What to Do When You Don’t Get the Job


One unique challenge professionals face on the job hunt is that high caliber positions are few and far between. Add the fact that there’s also a pool of fierce competition and sometimes this means you won’t get the job you’re looking for right away.

This is the part where it’s easy to give up or let emotions take over. Rather than throwing in the towel use this guide to help you get back on the saddle.

Do Not Ignore Your Disappointment

Perhaps this may sound hokey, but you need to take the time to actually feel the disappointment. You don’t want it rearing it’s ugly head later when a recruiter asks you “Have you applied to any other positions?” You also don’t want it gnawing away at your confidence.

If you need to take a day to wade in the uncomfortable feelings of rejection then do it. The point is to move through the feelings so they don’t affect you as you move forward on the job hunt.

If you’re looking for some great ways to move through disappointment try talking to someone you trust, doing an intense exercise routine or writing it out. All of these methods get the uncomfortable feelings out of your head.

Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”

When someone doesn’t get a job it could be one of two scenarios. The first is that you just weren’t a good fit. The second is perhaps you fumbled during the interview.

In either scenario it’s good to see what you can learn and where you can improve. If you have the opportunity try asking the recruiter why you didn’t get the position. Companies will oftentimes give them feedback they can share with you.

Keep in mind that this feedback is not to be taken as a personal attack against you. Instead see it as a learning experience so you can do better next time.

Bonus: Learn how to overcome the biggest hurdle in your job search — yourself. Check out my new Guide on the Job Landing Mindset.

You may find that perhaps you need to narrow down your search to fit your skill set, or maybe you just need to answer some questions better during the interview. Whatever the case, take notes and make the appropriate adjustments as you move forward.

Know That You Can Always Reapply

Just because you didn’t get the job once doesn’t mean you can’t get it in the future. Things within organizations change, new hires don’t always pan out, new policies can be implemented, and new positions are created all the time.

You yourself may have also changed as a candidate. You may have gotten more training, handling more responsibilities at your current work or gained more experience.

The point is you can reapply for the job even though you may have been rejected previously. A good rule of thumb is to wait 3 to 6 months before reapplying. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to know how to handle it if it comes up in conversation.

Being rejected for a job is not the end of the the world. You always have options to improve, reapply or move forward when you don’t get the job you’re looking for.

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