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Job rejection: How to bounce back even stronger

Job Rejection

A job rejection can be hard, especially if you are trying to break into a competitive job market. It can make you feel deflated, angry, and cause you to lose your motivation and desire to keep interviewing for other career opportunities. We understand that and have experienced this disappointment throughout our careers as well.

However, it’s important not to let a job rejection keep you from applying for other opportunities. So, this week, we’ve put together some of our best advice on how you can not only deal with job rejection but also use it to improve yourself and future career prospects.

Let’s get started.

#1 Take some time out and get your emotions in place

After any rejection, you are likely to have many different emotions, and therefore we encourage you to take some time out to allow you to process your feelings.

Being rejected doesn’t mean that your attributes and professional qualifications aren’t remarkable. When it comes to hiring, employers weigh numerous considerations. Many factors may have led to your job rejection, including being under-qualified or over-qualified, your attitude towards the job and the company, your interview experience and many more.

Often some of these factors may be beyond your control. You have to understand that in today’s competitive job market, there are often hundreds of applicants for a role, so for an employer to pick just one person is a very challenging decision. As a result, even if you are not offered the job, it may not mean that the employer didn’t like you.

Whenever you receive a rejection, start by thanking the employer for their time and follow by asking if they can give you some feedback. If feedback is not an option, begin by evaluating how you thought you did in the interview. Did you cut off the interviewer? Did you not answer questions as well as you could do?

By identifying areas of weakness, you can then focus on learning how to improve yourself in these areas.

#2 Understand that you are not alone

Every day, countless others face job rejection. If you are dealing with job rejection, the best thing you can do is reach out to others who are currently, or have previously been in similar situations.

This way, you can share your experience and emotions and get mutual support that will be enormously beneficial. They can tell you how to deal with job rejection, and you can ask them what they did to overcome this phase.

There are also various books, podcasts and youtube videos on how to handle job rejection. Hearing how others were able to bounce back from a significant job rejection can help you feel less alone and more confident when you are ready to start reapplying again.

#3 Send a thank you email to the interviewer the day you get the job rejection mail

Sending a thank-you email after a job rejection sounds odd. However, it can help your career in the long run. You can use your thank you letter as an opportunity to build your network, receive feedback and ask to be considered for future opportunities.

After you have received the outcome of your interview, respond by thanking the employer for their time and giving you insight into the company. You can also highlight that although you are disappointed to have not been offered the role, you are excited to see how the company develops and would like to be considered for any future opportunities that may become available. Lastly, you can ask for feedback so that you can find out what you did well and areas you may need to improve.

By taking a few minutes out of your day to write this email, you will leave your interviewer with a positive impression of yourself and therefore increase your chances of receiving constructive feedback or even the possibility of being considered for another role in the future

#4 Think about what you could have done differently

After every interview, sit down for a few minutes and consider what you thought you could do better. This could be from how you answered their questions to your presentation skills and even your posture.

If you felt that you were a bit shaky with your presentation skills, work on presenting to others before your next interview to help reduce your nerves. The same idea applies to answering interview questions, write down some of the questions that you struggled with and do some research into how you may have been able to respond better to them. By doing this, you will create stronger responses that you can call upon in your next interview.

The point of thinking about what you could have done differently is not so you can beat yourself up over what you did wrong, but so that you can learn from it. Take each interview and each job rejection as an opportunity to grow stronger for the next interview.

#5 Focus on your strengths

Although you didn’t get the role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did not have any areas that you excelled in. So, take some time to reevaluate what you thought went well in the interview. If you were able to receive feedback, ask what areas they believed you did well in. It’s just as important to focus on your areas of strength as it is to focus on your areas of weakness.

By focusing on your strengths and highlighting them in future interviews, you’ll be able to show employers why you’re the best candidate. It can also help you improve your interviews and even help you land your dream role.

#6 Come Back Stronger

Applying to jobs isn’t easy, especially if you are recovering from a job rejection. However, if you have taken the time to process your emotions, work on your weaknesses and have learned to highlight your strengths – you’ll come back stronger and more motivated to get going again.

If you are feeling weary about having to fill out tedious interview documents again, go through your previous cover letters and see if you can pull any content from them to help you with new interview forms.

Though we should stress that with every new job application, you should write a new cover letter to ensure it is tailored to the company and the role you are applying for. We do recommend saving the previous cover letters you’ve written before as a foundation for creating stronger applications in the future.

Doing this allows you to make sure that each future application is stronger than your previous one, giving you the best chance of succeeding, and it will make it easier to start the application process again as it won’t feel like you have to start from scratch.


Applying for jobs is hard and receiving a rejection from it is even worse. What’s important though is what you do after you’ve received that rejection as it can determine the outcome of other future opportunities.

If you don’t take the time to reevaluate yourself, your emotions and your skillset to ensure that you go into the next interview a stronger candidate than you did before, you will be doing yourself a disservice. In addition to this, if you don’t put in the work and the time to regroup and come back better prepared and more motivated, then it can lead to more job rejections in the future.

So, give yourself time to be upset about a job rejection but don’t stay there. Get back up and start looking at your strengths and areas to improve. Work to develop your skillset and use your strengths to your advantage. By taking the time to hone your skills, you will be better prepared to blow away your competition and land the role you always wanted.

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Julia Hurtado

Julia Hurtado

Having spent an entire summer dedicated to travelling abroad, Julia now focuses on helping other students experience life outside their home country. As an American now working in London, Julia enjoys sharing advice on interning abroad, sipping tea (with 2 sugars, 1 milk please) and reading in her spare time.

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