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How to deal with job rejections

Dealing with job rejections is not an easy task. But sadly it is something we need to confront when we are in the search of our next dream job. So how can we deal with it in a more productive way? Make sure to check out 9 tips we have prepared for you.

Nr. 1: Remember you’re not the only one

It might feel as if everyone is finding jobs except you. And that might lead to frustration and feeling left out. But you are not alone! Not even close.

According to LinkedIn Statistics, 40+ Million people use LinkedIn on a weekly basis to search for jobs. And most of them didn’t find a job with their first application send.

Knowing you are not alone is very important because it helps you understand you are not being left out and are missing something everyone else has. Find reassurance in the fact that you are not alone with this and that also you, will find a job eventually!

Nr. 2: Consider the many reasons that could lie behind a rejection

There is not just one reason for rejection. Yes, it might be they chose a better fitting candidate, but it might also be that you simply applied too late and they already had made up their mind. It might also be that an internal candidate in the company got the position because of rules of the company. It might also be that you were overqualified for the position. There are so many different reasons that it would be a big mistake to only assume it was because you were not a good candidate! Always remember this because your self esteem should not be suffering from a job rejection.

Nr. 3: Have a list of your strengths and skills ready to be read to reassure you what a great candidate you are

During the job search process it is important to keep a positive mindset and keep your self esteem up! A rejection won’t take away all your experiences, all your skills, all your personal strengths. But it might make you doubt them. So whenever you feel a bit shaky, read this list out loud to yourself. Yes, you are exactly that person that has all that! And a rejection can not take that away from you.

Nr. 4: Talk to a good friend or family member to get the support you need

There’s nothing like moral support from the people we trust the most. Go grab a coffee with them and let all your emotions out. Tell them how mad you are at that rejection or how frustrated you feel. But remember that you are doing this just for a little relief. Because internally you need to know that you will find a job! And this is just part of the process that will get you closer to where you should be.

Nr. 5: Focus on what you can control

This is probably the most important advice, so please take this one to heart. When it comes to the job search process there are so many things out of our control. A rejection being one of them.

But what we can control is our mindset and the quality of the application documents we send. And a rejection should push us to keep on trying, to keep on adapting our documents. The better your documents, the higher the chances of getting that interview invite – so out the hard work in.

Nr. 6: If possible ask for feedback to know what to work on

Getting feedback from recruiters in Germany is a really difficult task. But there is one moment in time you should always ask for feedback: after an interview. They actually owe it to you at that point.

So make sure to always try to get some feedback to have some ideas on what to keep on working at.

Pro tip: if you got a rejection after an interview, make sure to send them a follow-up email asking for a short feedback call (recruiters are more open to do this via phone).

Now, if you have no chance of getting that feedback from recruiters, talk to your friends or experts in the area. This is also a great way to get that feedback in.

Nr. 7: Think about the next positions you want to apply to 

Sometimes our mind kind of stays stuck when we feel rejected. But staying stuck is a very dangerous think! Because at exactly that moment we stop looking out for new possible opportunities. If you received a rejection it is ok to feel sad for a bit. After that it’s time to focus again: What other amazing jobs are out there? Which one will be yours?

Nr. 8: Take a small mental break whenever you need it

Because job search is a very tiring and intense time, it is very important to know when to take breaks. That break might be meditation, sports, reading a book, meetings with friends or just relaxing at your sofa watching Netflix. Make sure these breaks are a fixed part of your routine to avoid burning out fast.

Nr. 9. Remember to celebrate the small steps 

Every application you send is work you did. And you can be proud of the effort you are putting in.

Only you know how much effort (and passion) you put into every job application. Don’t let a rejection take that away from you.

Feel proud of how serious you are taking the process, of how much time you are investing and how many opportunities you are spotting. Rejections are part of the process but the fact that you are doing it, is already a big step! Feel proud of yourself.

Picture of Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach

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