We have better candidates: how to deal with rejection during your job hunt

Finding a new challenge in your career often requires a long breath. It can be pretty hard to stay motivated, especially when you’re told ‘no’ for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, dealing with disappointment is part of the deal, and there’s nothing else you can do but to accept and move on. Of course that’s easier said than done, so let’s have a look at how you can deal with the situation.

It’s one of the most dreaded sentences to hear, especially after spending days, sometimes weeks impatiently waiting for that call: ‘Unfortunately, our team did not select you for further consideration’. It feels like all your hard work was for nothing and you’re starting to doubt the entire meaning of your existence. As it turned out, you are not the ‘best fit’ or the ‘ideal candidate’, and apparently somewhere else across this universe wanders a superhuman that is in fact worthy of that title. It’s perfectly understandable to have a moping session and have these kinds of thoughts, but try to keep it real: there is no such thing as the perfect candidate.

Come to your senses

Whether you’re able to eventually understand why you’re rejected or not, the last thing you need to do is respond emotionally to the situation. There’s no shame in feeling the urge to call out the recruiter and offend him/her to the bone because they have no idea what they are missing out on, but please do not put these devilish thoughts into practice. Of course you want to at least know why you are not the right person for the job. The first thing you need to do is relax, and let all these feelings or grudges pass by until you’re finally able to ask for feedback in a neutral manner. If you do respond emotionally, you might say stuff that will hurt your reputation and damage your career in the long run. The only way there is an actual chance you’ll receive pointers is to stay professional and to not be pushy. Also, if they don’t reply or refuse to, just let it go. Sometimes recruiters or hiring managers just don’t have the time or company policy forbids them to ‘waste’ it on rejected candidates. Fortunately, sometimes recruiters can actually be the generous type.

Keep your head up

If you were lucky enough to actually receive some constructive feedback on why you were not the chosen one, it could be priceless intel that you need to cherish. It’s good to know the competition to see where there’s room for growth, but it might be even more helpful to know what you have in common to discover what traits your ideal company holds in high regard. This way you will be able to understand where you stand and you might discover how close you actually were to landing your dream position. Either way, try putting the whole rejection thing behind you and use it to your advantage. Eventually it will toughen you up, or it allows you to work on some skills that might get you the job next time. Just remember that there could be a thousand reasons why you missed out, and that reason could be as minimal as a difference of one year in working experience. There is absolutely no shame in that. Just do you, and eventually you’ll find yourself being the one to take the upper hand and land that position.

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