No two rejections are exactly the same, but there are a number of smart strategies we can employ to ensure that rejections don’t become the setbacks they have the potential to be. To learn how to handle these moments, read on.
Ask for detailed feedback
In the event of a rejection, feedback is a valuable resource. Feedback allows you to learn from what went wrong and improve in the future, and the best person to tell you what went wrong is the person who rejected you. So start by getting all the feedback you can from the recruiter or the employer. If the feedback seems very generic don’t be afraid to ask for something more specific – explain you are keen to learn and grow using this information. Always thank people for feedback, even if you don’t agree.
Reflect on the series of events
Feedback from others is important, but it mustn’t stop there. Remind yourself of each step of the process, from the interview, to your follow up, your preparation and more. Rank how you performed at each stage and ask yourself whether there’s room for improvement. Ask yourself which areas you felt you excelled in or where you didn’t do so well. Those areas where you were lacking are where you should try and improve, so that you can go into your next job application feeling more confident. Similarly, those areas you did well, celebrate and repeat.
Take a step back to reassess
Sure, you didn’t get this one. But was it really right in the first place? Reassess your professional aspirations and question them. Did you choose the role for the right reasons? Does it really excite you? If not, the interviewer might have picked up on this lack of enthusiasm and rejected you based on that.
What are your values? What skills to you have? What to you enjoy? When are you in flow? Look back over the job description and ask yourself whether it’s really you. After reflecting, you may still feel it was the perfect role for you. In which case, continue looking for similar opportunities.
Upskill with online courses to improve your prospects
If your skillset let you down, improve it! The internet offers a wealth of extremely helpful online courses that can help train you and make you more employable. Check out https://www.futurelearn.com/courses for ideas on what to study.
Don't burn your bridges
Although it can feel bitter, don’t let these feelings affect your conduct. Remain professional and gracious, thanking them for their time and expressing your wish to work with them in the future. A hiring manager may keep your details on record and think of you when the next suitable role arises.
Sometimes it's beyond your control
You might have done everything right, but, it just didn’t work out. Unfortunately, the outcome is not always your fault or something you could influence. In some cases it can just be a matter of bad luck. There’ll always be others out there with similar or better/more relevant skills, and sometimes you’re unlucky enough to be competing with them for the same job. Let it go, what’s done is done. Move on and face the future and focus on what you can control; your next move.