In a perfect job-search world, you would find the job opening of your dreams, apply, interview and get hired, all without having to apply for any other positions and therefore, never dealing with rejection. However, we all know that in reality, we end up applying for multiple positions—never even being called in for an interview for some of them—before an offer is extended and we land a new job.
That rejection—whether it be a "thanks, but no thanks" letter, a "don't call us, we'll call you" auto-response to your application, or just plain being ignored—can be tough to deal with as you try to keep your motivation up for your job search. Keep the following tips in mind to help you deal with rejection and move forward!
1. Know that you're not alone. Even if it feels like everyone else around you has a job, there are plenty of people out there who are struggling to secure a new position. Remember that even those who are working probably had to deal with some kind of rejection before they found their current position. Job searching is a process, and finding the right fit can take some time.
2. Don't take it personally. Even the brightest, most highly qualified candidates are not always the ones hired to fill a position. Just because you didn't get a job offer after an interview, or a call back after submitting your resume, does not mean that you do not have valuable skills and talent to offer. Employers are looking for candidates they feel are going to be a good fit for the position they are filling, the culture of their company ... the list can go on. You may not be a good match for one company, but this does not mean you won't be a good match somewhere else!
3. Learn from your experiences and move on. If you were not offered a position after an interview, it is certainly acceptable to ask the employer for feedback as to how you could become a stronger candidate. Also, don't beat yourself up over it or dwell on what you think you did "wrong"; instead, reflect back on your experience and what you learned from it. Apply what you learned in future interviews and interactions with potential employers.
4. Take time to rejuvenate! Job searching takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. It is important to remember to refuel as you are searching, especially if rejection is getting you down. Step away from your computer for an hour, take a walk, spend time with friends who will make you laugh. It is amazing how much easier rejection can be to deal with when we find healthy ways to refuel.
Interested in more posts on job search-related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.
If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.