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A Job Seeker’s Guide to Recovering from Rejection

Apr 18, 2022 9:00:00 AM
By Linda Trzyna

in Interview, Job Seeker, Resume, Social Media Best Practices

Were you recently turned down for a job? Even if you weren’t excited about the role, repeated job rejections can wear away at your self-esteem.

Maintaining a positive outlook amidst a prolonged job search can be tough, but there are steps you can take to keep temporary disappointments from becoming monster depression-makers.

Take a Step Back

If job search rejection is getting you down, take some time to evaluate your approach. Consider these questions:

  • Is your resume well-written and professional-looking? Have people you trust read your resume and point out anything that is unclear. Still having trouble? Contact TPD for guidance and check out our free resume template!
  • Think back to a recent interview, suggests the Robert Walters Group. “Ask yourself: What did I sense went well? What could I have done differently? If the process took place in stages, rank your performance for each part and determine where there is room for improvement.”
  • Do you need to clean up your social media postings or LinkedIn profile? Make sure even your grandmother wouldn’t object to your posts or the image you’re projecting.

Get Feedback and Make Adjustments

Job hunting can be a learning process, especially if it’s been a while since your last job search. Feedback from others may prove helpful.

For instance, have a friend or professional critique your presentation during a mock interview. Or, practice answering common interview questions while looking in a mirror to gauge your facial expressions and body language. Identify your weaknesses and work on fixing them.

If you thought an interview went well, but you didn’t get the job, you might even reach out to your interviewer for feedback.

Reject Rejection

To remain strong amidst rejection, keep focusing on your good qualities.

“When a negative thought pops up, immediately replace it with a memory of a time in which you prevailed over adversity,” says Forbes. “Mentally repeat back all of your accomplishments, both big and small. It will serve as a reminder that you’ve succeeded in the past and can prevail against all odds in the future.”

Keep Looking

If your job search is stuck in a rut, a change in tactics could help renew your motivation. Connect with former colleagues for networking assistance. Check-in with a recruiter on the status of a position for which you interviewed. Use social media as a resource.

“What I teach my clients is to apply online, but also find a decision-maker at the company, whether it’s a recruiter or a hiring manager, and reach out and introduce yourself,” Emily Liou, a certified career happiness coach, told Fast Company. “There are so many ways to find a job in this day and age, and you don’t have to fully rely on job boards.”

Most importantly, try not to take rejection personally. “Ironically, employment rejection is usually not about you!” says Carroll Welch, a Forbes Coaches Council Member. “Accept that a rational business reason was likely the basis for your rejection, as hard as this may be.”


If you still can’t seem to find a job that fits, consider searching with TPD! TPD is committed to helping people succeed. Join the TPD Talent Community, find jobs and check out our free job seeker resources.

Filed under Interview, Job Seeker, Resume, Social Media Best Practices

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