August 7, 2016

How To Deal With Job Search Rejection

Your resume was flawless. Your skills and experience were identical to the job description. Your cover letter was perfect. You aced the interview. You dressed for success and your body language oozed confidence. You were the perfect candidate, but you didn’t get the job. Job search rejection stinks.

Female job seeker dealing with job search rejection with a thumbs down motion

15 Tips To Help You Survive The Job Search

Dealing with job search rejection is an unfortunate part of the job search that can leave a job seeker shocked, angry, flustered, and frustrated. Yet, it is something that nearly every job seeker will have to deal with at some point during their hunt for a job.

Let’s take a quick look at some job search stats from

  • 1000 people will see a job posting
  • 200 people will begin the application process
  • 100 people will complete the application
  • 75 of those 100 resumes will be screened out by an ATS or recruiter
  • 25 resumes will be seen by a hiring manager
  • 4 to 6 will be invited to an interview
  • 1 to 3 will be invited back for a final interview
  • 1 will be offered the job

As you can see the job search competition is fierce. Based on the above numbers you have a 1 in 1000 shot at beating out the competition. That stat alone should make you feel a bit better about job search rejection. It’s something that every job seeker has to deal with and you will survive.

20 Reasons Why You Can’t Find A Job

Here’s what you need to do when you face job search rejection:

  • Stay Positive – Take a deep breath and don’t get angry. Job search rejection isn’t personal so don’t overanalyze it. It’s a business decision. A positive attitude can help you overcome a frustrating job search.
  • Say Thank You – Even though you didn’t get the job, you still need to reach out and thank everyone you interacted with. Show appreciation for their time. Saying thank you is great for your personal brand.
  • Ask For Feedback – Reach out to the hiring manager to find out why you didn’t get the job. Ask them to keep you in mind if other jobs open up that you’d be a good match for.
  • Acceptance – It’s time to accept that you didn’t get the job. Take responsibility for the results and get ready to move on.
  • Learn From Your Mistakes – Take your rejection and use it to make you a stronger job applicant on the next go around. Do you need to tweak your resume? Boost your interview skills? Gain experience? Do what you need to do to be the best candidate out there.
  • Take Five – After a frustrating rejection email or phone call, take an afternoon off for yourself. Go for a hike, exercise, or zone out. This will give you time to collect yourself, refocus your thoughts, and maximize your job search effort.
  • Work On Plan B – It’s time to get back to the job search grind. Treat your job search like a full time job and you will find work. Hopefully you have a backup plan that includes other jobs you want to apply for, leads to chase down, or freelance/shared economy work to help you pay the bills.

Job search rejection is not the worst thing in the world. It’s part of the job search process and you need to handle it like a professional. Yes the job search can be a hard and rocky road, but keep everything in perspective and you’ll come out on top.

Tips and Tricks To Deal With Job Search Depression

Need to hone your job search strategies? Stop by the JobMonkey Blog to find all sorts of free job search advice that can point your job search in the right direction. Best of luck!

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

Sign up for our newsletter!