If you’re looking for a new opportunity, chances are you’ll deal with rejection during your job search. Job rejection is part of the process but dealing with it is never easy. Getting knocked back for a role, or multiple roles, you really wanted can affect your confidence and your outlook on future prospects. It can leave you questioning: “Why do I keep getting rejected for jobs?”

Whether you make it to the final stage of an interview only to be told they decided to go with another candidate, or you didn’t even receive callbacks or emails for any of your job applications, what matters isn’t the job rejection itself but how you deal with it. If you’re experiencing job search rejection, here are ways for how to stay positive and use your experience to help you land your dream job.

It’s an opportunity to get valuable feedback

When it comes to job rejection, it’s important to reflect on why you didn’t succeed in the role, and this means asking what you did well and what areas you can improve on.

Whether it’s from the recruiter or the interviewer, asking for feedback after a job rejection can help you improve your resume and interviewing skills for the future, or give you actionable insights into any gaps in your experience, which you may need to develop going forward. Take time to really listen and reflect on any feedback you receive after the interview process, and don’t be afraid to ask more questions or request examples to illustrate key points if the answers you get are unclear.

It helps you reassess your needs

When you don’t land the job, it’s also a chance to question whether you truly wanted the role you applied for. During the process it can be easy to get caught up in the good aspects of a job description and ignore any red flags but if you’re unsuccessful for a role, you can evaluate the position more objectively.

Look over the job description and the company, and highlight any parts that didn’t excite you or didn’t quite match your expectations. From here, ask yourself why: Is it because you were looking in the wrong industry, or was the cultural fit not quite right? This experience and reflection can help you refine your search going forward. Perhaps adjust the keywords you’re using to search for jobs, or target a company with a different type of structure going forward.

It might not be the job for you

It can be difficult to see it now but getting rejected from a job could simply mean that the role wasn’t the right fit for you. Interviewers and recruiters have an intuitive sense when it comes to finding the right candidate for a role, plus they’d have a good idea of the business culture and the type of person who’d be suitable. So if they felt something wasn’t quite right, chances are, you would have felt it too had you been successful and accepted the position.

Whether the cultural fit was off, or your experience and ambitions just didn’t quite match up, it’s important to keep in mind that if it didn’t work out, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be and there’s something better out there for you.

Rejection helps build resilience

Although it’s difficult to deal with now, getting rejected for a role helps you to build resilience in the face of adversity – it’s an essential skill in today’s dynamic workplace. After being rejected from jobs, feeling down or undeserving can often keep you from putting yourself out there again. Rather than seeing the rejection as a negative, try to see it as an opportunity to grow and develop as you move on and go forward in your job search.

By viewing the rejection as an opportunity, you’re developing your ability to face challenges in a way that’s constructive, rather than destructive. This doesn’t just help you deal with rejection or disappointment, it also helps you improve your ability to overcome obstacles in your career.

Just because it’s a no now, it doesn’t mean the door is closed

Even if you didn’t land this role, it doesn’t mean you won’t be right for an upcoming opportunity at the same company. If you’ve demonstrated your skills and impressed your interviewer, there are countless examples of people’s experience where the recruiter or hiring manager has gone back to an unsuccessful candidate for another opportunity that was better suited to their experience and needs.

Whether you receive a rejection call or you’re working on how to answer a job rejection email, be sure to express your interest in future positions if you truly think that company is a good fit for you: this shows your interviewer that you’re still motivated and passionate about working with them.

Stay in touch with your recruiter and interviewer afterwards, either through LinkedIn or a follow-up email in the coming months. After all, you never know what opportunities will come up in the future.

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