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Jonathan Greenhalgh job hunting, Candidates...

How to deal with rejection - 5 top tips

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Nobody likes rejection, but it's something that everyone will experience, especially those looking for a new job. Generic, impersonal rejections after sending a CV or going to a face to face interview can hurt. Worse than that, some employers will ghost candidates meaning that you get no feedback at all (This is not an encouraged or professional tactic).

Your resilience and ability to bounce back from these situations will make it easier. There is always something that you can do to seize control of your job search, no matter how hopeless it might feel. Here are five top tips for getting back on the job hunt horse after a rejection.

1. Don't take it personally.

Rejection is part and parcel of business and life; at some point in time, everyone gets rejected. Steve Jobs was rejected, and fired, by his company Apple before he came back to make it a success and J.K Rowling sent Harry Potter to 12 publishing houses before anyone would agree to put the books out (Imagine).

But when it happens to us, it feels personal, and it's easy to see it as confirmation that maybe you weren't quite good enough. Most of the time, this isn't the case.

There are lots of reasons that you could be rejected for a job. You may have been pipped a the post by a more qualified applicant; the business could have hired someone they have an existing relationship with or the role may have been cancelled or put on hold.

Businesses, most of the time, will not just give you an excuse to appease you. But, it is vital that you remember that sheer amount of variables that influence hiring decisions. It's not all about you.

2. Switch up your application strategy.

Applying for jobs has never been easier. You can apply for jobs in all manner of places, from job boards, newspaper websites, google and even Facebook. Many even offer 1 click apply, meaning you can send your CV to several—jobs in a matter of minutes.


The simplicity of these applications can encourage job seekers to send their CV, untailored, to every single job they see. This quantity over quality approach sees hirers inboxes flooded with CV's, making it harder for them to root out the better candidates.

Take some time. Tailor your CV to the role that you are applying and really show your suitability for the role.

3. Learn from your rejections.

Each rejection is a learning opportunity. Grab as much feedback as you can get, if you can't get any try and look at how you can do it differently next time.

If you get rejected at the interview stage, ask which questions you fell down on and why. Write down how you would approach this question next time.

If you do this, every rejection will build more resilience, and you will become a stronger candidate.

4. Don't give up.

Looking for a job can be massively impactful on you emotionally, which could put you off your job search, you should take the time to recognise and acknowledge this. Make a note of your goals and put together an action plan to help you stay focussed.

Don't let rejections deter you from your goal of landing a new job. As one person, looking for one job you are bound to build up some rejections before you get an offer, it's all a part of the process.

5. Network, network and network.

Applying for jobs at businesses with no prior connections or even speaking to someone who works there first, probably isn't the best idea. Get to know the people who work where you want to work. Connect with them on LinkedIn have a few conversations, grow your network and when the time is right, leverage it to help you land your ideal role.

You can also use any information that you gather in your networking efforts to polish your CV and make your application even stronger.


Rejection can hurt, you will need to take some time to reflect on each one, but learn to not dwell on it for too long, set a time limit on it and then put it behind you. Then move on to the next opportunity.