Wouldn't it be great if the first job you applied for and actually really wanted, you got? While this may happen to a few lucky individuals, it's not a common scenario in the job search process. Instead of being completely bummed by the lost opportunity, consider the ways you can use rejection to your advantage. These five tips can get you back on track and motivated to continue the search for a better fit.
It's Not You, It's Them
It's hard to separate rejection from personal worth, but this is something you must do to move on with your job search. Sure, it's painful to lose out to someone else, but that person was most likely a better fit, and this leaves you open for something even more aligned with your personal and professional goals. Maybe that other person had more experience or a better rapport with the hiring manager. You'll likely never know, and dwelling on it is only going to keep you in a rut.
Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
This old adage rings true for just about everything. Unless you've got a job offer letter in hand, continue your job search. You never know what else is out there, and even if you snagged an interview, the company might hire someone else or even leave the position vacant if it doesn't feel it has found the right candidate. You can hinder your progress in finding a new job if you only rely on one company to fulfill your dreams.
Evaluate Your Candidacy
After the interview, take a good look at what happened throughout the whole job search process. What was it about your cover letter or resume that appealed to the hiring manager? How did the interview go? Did you feel good about it afterward, or were you a bit unsure of the results? If your rejection happened before the interview stage, it might be difficult to pinpoint the cause, but you can still ask others in the field to review your materials and offer advice on how you can improve them. If you did get an interview, consider asking the hiring team about your interview and what it did or didn't like about you.
Use What You Learned
Don't take what you learned from evaluating your candidacy and file it away. Do something about it. Revise your job search materials to better represent your skills and abilities. If you learned that during your interview, you didn't make good eye contact or explain your qualifications very well, practice on improving your eye contact and verbal skills. Do some mock interviews with colleagues and friends to become more comfortable with talking about yourself.
It's Not the End
Just because you didn't land this particular job doesn't mean there aren't more job possibilities out there for you. Take every rejection you get and use it as a learning opportunity. Improve and perfect your pitch, and exude self-confidence and reliability. There will be a company that's the right fit. You just need the time to find it.
Using rejection to your advantage in a job search is the best way to keep yourself motivated when things don't seem like they're going your way. Don't give up, and don't let rejection affect your self-worth.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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