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5 ways to deal with job rejections

Posted on 09 March 2022

5 ways to deal with job rejections

​4-minute read

We are yet to find anyone that likes being rejected from a job. Well, that is probably the most obvious statement of the century but we feel it is right to clearly state, nobody enjoys being rejected but everyone gets rejected at some stage in their career.

It can be especially difficult when rejection happens over and over again, but a little secret to share with you from a team of recruiters who have been in the market for many years, you are not alone if this happens to you.

Even those who are well qualified might struggle to find that perfect match and go through multiple processes before landing the right opportunity.

To succeed long-term in your search to build your career, you need to learn how to cope with rejection. Simply put, if you cannot control this component of the process, a small setback can easily turn into a career blocker.

This article has been written with job rejections in mind. Standing on the shoulders of those that have been through rejection time and time again, learning from them and sharing their top tips with you. Ideally, by the end of this read, you will be primed with ways in which to better deal with rejection next time it comes knocking.


Review / Reflect

First things first, no matter how short or long the feedback is, reflect on your entire process end-to-end.

Every interaction from your initial application, any interviews and negotiations. Leave no step untouched and reflect asking yourself: could you have personally done more? Performed better? Presented yourself more confidently?

The review stage when done correctly can be a sore process. You are really critiquing yourself during a moment of sadness, especially if you were set on the position, but doing it whilst it is fresh in your mind will help you generate actions and learns for future processes.


Ask for further feedback

You might be reading this and thinking, well reviewing feedback is great but I didn’t get any from the company. We understand this is arguably one of the most frustrating things about modern hiring processes, but do not simply accept a boilerplate rejection email.

No matter how far you got in a process, we would always suggest you follow up for specific and individual feedback. You may find that this leads simply to more standardised rejection type, however, the simple act of asking might uncover a learn you wouldn’t have got otherwise.


Realise it was not meant to be

Moving on from the learning process, a big part of dealing with rejections is usually the mentality around it.

The recent process could have been ‘the dream job’ but that doesn’t mean that right now it was meant to be for both sides.

Action the learns, improve in the areas you need to and then try again at a later stage. Nearly all companies we have worked with try to leave the door open in case there is a better match in the future.

We once knew an engineer that was rejected from AWS 17 times (you did read that right), perseverance and dedication led them to eventually take an opportunity with AWS and flourish.


Delete the email

Once you have your actionable learns, have followed up for further feedback if required and digested the process in full, in our opinion there is no point leaving that rejection email dormant in your mailbox, taunting you if you happen to come across it again.

Give yourself a win here, delete the email fully or move it to a sub-folder if you wish. Out of sight, out of mind will help you get over the rejection.


Keep on trucking

Be it your 1st or 100th rejection, take it from recruiters who are rejected daily, it is simply a factor of life. It is easier to deal with rejection the more experienced you are with it, but sometimes it will still sting.

Keep on trucking and realise that more people believe in you, even if you don’t think they do.


We hope that this article gives you a small sense of relief that you are not alone when it comes to rejection (but we kind of think you knew that already!). Return to this article anytime you wish, the idea behind all our Peritus articles is to offer you a little more simplicity to the chaos of recruitment, no matter where you are in a process.

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