How to handle rejection when you’re job hunting

Overcoming rejection is one of the biggest pain points of the job hunting process. Whether it’s an automated email that comes seconds after you submit your application or a personalized note from a recruiter after several rounds of interviews, every form of rejection stings 🐝

Today, I am sharing some of the ways that I personally handle rejection in the job hunting process in hopes that it will help you when those tough times come.

Switch to a growth mindset

It’s easy to kick yourself down but remember that even when you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way you can go is up! After mulling over the feeling of disappointment, believe that you can become better. Whenever faced rejection or failure, I told myself that I’d become so awesome that it would become their loss for not choosing me! This growth mindset helped me focus on finding my next opportunity and excelling in it.

Watch Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve | TED Talk.

Fix your resume

If you’ve submitted a bunch of job applications but are not hearing back, your resume is likely the problem. Some reasons could be that you don’t have any or enough keywords on your resume, your resume has weird formatting that the ATS scanner cannot read through, or you’re including irrelevant experiences that don’t matter to the job(s) that you’re applying for.

To address this, make sure you use an ATS-friendly resume template, tailor your resume to the role(s) you’re applying for, and get feedback! You can check out resume rescue for more help and resources.

Ask for feedback

Instead of complaining or pondering about why you didn’t get the job after an interview, reach out to the decision-making source and ask why! Use a neutral-to-positive tone and focus questions on:

  • 1-2 areas that you could improve on in the next 6-12 months
  • What skills or experiences the successful candidate had that stood out to them
  • How you presented yourself in the interview and what you could improve next time

This feedback should give you something to look forward to and work on to overcome the initial sting of rejection.

Tip: Once you work on these things you can send a follow-up note to share your progress and maintain the connection with the recruiters and hiring managers.

Keep practicing your interview skills

Think of every interview that did not result in a job offer as a practice for the next time. Also try to do more mock interviews, which can be embarrassing, but are the best form of practice! Find a trusted friend or mentor who can quiz you and give you feedback on how you present yourself. The more you practice, the more natural and confident you will become in answering the main questions that you usually get asked in an interview.

Check out the best interview tips from Natalia Przech, Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft.

Network for new perspectives

Sometimes, you can get stuck in your own head when it comes to job hunting. Look for people who can give you a different perspective and challenge or validate your approach. Find mentors, managers, or successful peers and pick their brains through coffee chats. You may come out on the other side with new ideas and fresh motivation!

Learn how to become a better networker on LinkedIn.

You got this 💪

There are so many resources out there that can help you become successful in your job hunting. This blog is just one of them, but make sure you find the resources that resonate the most with you. I personally love reading articles or newsletters from Forbes, Korn Ferry, and Medium.

Thanks for checking out KKARENISM! What topics do you want to learn about next? Let me know in the comments or message me on LinkedIn.