How to Deal With Job Rejection & Move Forward

January 21, 2022

I love getting rejected…

Said no one ever.

Job rejection depression is real. It’s tough not to get in our feelings and take job rejection personally. The good news is that we have literally all been there at some point; it’s inevitable. While it is never a walk in the park, there are ways to deal with the rejection so that you feel empowered to keep pushing, until you land the right role for you.

So here are our top 5 tips on how to deal with job rejection and successfully move forward to apply to your next role: 

  1. Clap For Yourself 
  2. Say Thank You & Reply To the Rejection Email 
  3. Reflect on the Reject 
  4. Keep It Moving
  5. Take Your Time

Let’s dive into each of these a little more shall we? 

5 Tips for Dealing With Job Rejection

clap for yourself - tips for dealing with job rejection

1. Clap for yourself

The very fact that you made a conscious decision to put yourself out there, is a positive. It takes time and dedication to apply to jobs. Don’t sell yourself short and don’t spend too much time beating up yourself. 

Getting rejected from a job could spiral into an unhealthy depression, especially if you are met with multiple rejections. Remember to talk to friends or family. It is also never a bad idea to speak with a professional therapist if needed. 

Also, chat with other people who may be in a similar situation. Look for support communities on LinkedIn or Professional Facebook Groups.

2. Say thank you

You’re probably thinking “why on earth would I thank someone for not giving me a job?”. Rejection letters don’t have to be the end of the road. 

While it may sound odd, it’s always a great idea to reply with thanks, so there’s an opportunity to leave things on a positive note. You want to leave a positive impression on the recruiter or hiring manager for future opportunities. You never know what other job roles of which you could be a better fit.

There are a few ways you can reply to your job rejection and say thank you. 

Replying to a job rejection email 

Your first instinct may be to immediately trash the rejection email but your response is important. Simply respond and let the recipient know you are thankful for the opportunity to interview. 

Example: Hi John,

Thank you for your response and for updating me on the status of the job interview. Although I was not the best fit, I am thankful for the opportunity to interview with XYZ Company. 

[Optional: If there are any other roles in which my experience and qualifications are a great match for XYZ company, I would love to be considered.]

Thank you and have a great day.

Your name 

Keep your response short and sweet. No need to go into long full-blown details on how you could have done great things for the company and you wish it was a different outcome. 

Just like you, recruiters are busy and you are more than likely one of many receiving the same email.  Spend this time applying to your next job opportunity. 

Replying to a job rejection on the phone 

If an employer is calling to let you know you didn’t get the job via phone, simply put keep it professional and sweet.  Simply thank them for their time and the opportunity to interview.  Your tone of voice on the phone as well is important of course, keep any snarky comments to yourself

Should I ask for feedback after a job rejection

Asking for feedback is always a great idea, but understand that not everyone will be willing to provide feedback. It’s great to know where you could have been more clear in your responses or if your experience was not a great fit for a particular reason. This will ultimately help you when moving forward. 

However, if you are unable to get feedback directly from the employer practice your interview skills with someone else. Preferably a person who will give you honest feedback and constructive criticism. Practice in the mirror or even record yourself to notice if you have any nervous fidgeting habits.  


3. Reflect the Reject

Rejection is beautiful and beastly all at the same time because it’s not until you get rejected that you see the reward.  When you’re trying to figure out how to deal with job rejection, also accept the fact that an employer “didn’t think you were a good fit.”

Did you ever stop to consider that perhaps you really wouldn’t have been a good fit? 

Could you use some new skills? 

Have you taken on any new projects that could lend themselves to the role you’re eyeing?

What if you would have been stuck in a position that you dreaded? What if you had to work with egotistical and entitled colleagues? What if they wanted you to work ungodly overtime hours?

After each interview think about writing a list of the things you think went well, and the things you could improve for the next one, and learn from the experience. You may never know the details behind the rejection, but always a good idea to re-review your resume and replay the interview. 

All in all, try to see the good in the “no”.

4. Keep It Moving

After you’ve taken some time to reflect, dust your shoes off and hit the ground running again with submitting resumes and interviewing. Continue your momentum, and stay hungry for new roles.

Don’t make the mistake of beating yourself up about the interview you didn’t get. Focus on the opportunity in front of you at the moment, and seize it.

Also, until you have received a solid YES or NO from an employer keep the job search going. There could be a chance to leverage two job offers received at the same time to negotiate a better salary. Overall, you want to keep your options open. 

As you continue to interview for new roles allow each experience to build upon each other. Try different approaches with your cover letter 

5. Take Your Time

Patience is the key to finding a job. We’re sure you’re thinking “how much more patient can one be?” Try not to be in such a frenzy over just “getting a job,” that you forget about your personal goals. 

Anybody can get a job just for the sake of getting a job, but if you’re looking for something that will help you develop and grow; it will require patience. Remember your worth, and never settle.

Continue to refine your skills and your resume to position yourself confidently to employers.  Don’t forget to keep networking and meeting new people. Update your profile on LinkedIn. 

See if you have connections on LinkedIn with someone who works at a company you are interested in and ask for a professional introduction. Personal relationships can sometimes be the magic formula to giving you a push for the role you really want. 

The moral of the story is to think of job rejection as a “glass half full” situation. The next opportunity that is awaiting you could be even better than the one you’re moping around about. Remember… no means next.

We’ve all experienced job rejection at some point. Use that rejection to reflect and come back stronger. In our inspirational No Means Next card, you get to unlock your free Interview Hot Tips Guide to help land your next dream role. This guide will help you answer interview questions without melting.

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