We’ve all been there: you’ve applied for a new job, thought everything went smoothly, and were excited to move on to the next stage. Then, the rejection comes. That’s not the end of the road, though! Here are six steps to help you deal with job rejection and become an even stronger candidate.
Review your candidacy
First, take some time to look back over the application process. Reassess your resume and cover letter to make sure there are no errors. Think about the interview and try to remember if anything was said (or not said) that may have made the interviewer hesitant to move forward with you. Then, go back to the application itself and evaluate whether or not you were actually the best fit for the role — and whether the role was the best fit for you.
Ask for feedback
Next, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback if none was offered already. Though it can be difficult, reach out to hiring managers and interviewers to see if they have any advice on why you weren’t selected. And remember to be open to constructive criticism and willing to take any useful suggestions to heart.
Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses
Once you know any places that need adjustment, it’s time to reflect not only on them, but also on your strengths as well. Are you a creative thinker but have trouble speaking up? Or maybe your technical skills are spot-on, but you didn’t do enough research on the company before the interview. Think about ways you can improve your weak points, as well as how you can better highlight your assets.
Work on improvements
You’re aware of what should be changed and what should be highlighted, so now begins the work. Polish up your resume and cover letter, if need be. Practice answering interview questions in front of a mirror or with someone else. Add skills or certifications that may have been missing when you first applied. Find ways to bring up more of your hard and soft skills during the application process. Use whatever feedback you have been given and take the steps to strengthen your candidacy.
During this period, a key factor for helping you along is to stay positive. View this as an opportunity to grow, as opposed to merely an obstacle. If you need to, take some time for self care or reach out to friends and family. And keep in mind that even though this job didn’t work out, there may be another, even better offer waiting for you in the future.
Keep moving forward
Finally, it’s important after a job rejection to keep moving forward. We know it can be tempting to throw in the towel and say it’s not worth trying anymore. Remember, though: the hiring process can be competitive, but if this job wasn’t the right fit, something else down the line will be!