You might have done all your homework. You did your research, got together a great resume, applied to a job that fit your skills. Maybe you even landed an interview. But the results came in and you didn’t make the varsity team. Bummer. Rejection is tough; job search rejection is just as tough, especially when so much effort and stress surround the experience. So here is what you should do if you didn’t get the job.
Use the Time to Be Proactive
This might be a good time to do some additional research. Take a look at recent employment trends. Did the industry change expectations? Maybe they required certifications before but now have a strong preference for degrees. Did this factor into the job search rejection?
Did you stumble at the interview? It’s OK, welcome to the human club. Get a friend or family member to sit down and do some mock interviews. Practice. Figure out what part made you lose the hiring manager. Chances are, you already had a sense of how the interview went.
Maybe you aced every aspect of this experience and you’re just befuddled about what happened. Remember that hiring managers are there to find the best candidates for their openings. It’s quite possible that another candidate’s set of skills and education were just a better fit, pure and simple.
Give Yourself a Break
Chat with a friend. Go out. Hit a heavy bag. Complain about the situation to someone you trust. Get that frustration out.
Job hunting isn’t easy, and sometimes it can be downright fury-inducing. It comes with stressors, financial concerns and huge amounts of time and effort. And you’re bound to feel like you just wasted a lot of that. There’s a good chance you are getting overly critical of yourself as well.
Remember: It’s not personal.
Forgive your mistakes and find the best way of getting these feelings out so you can do your best Elsa impression … and let it go.
Reassess Your Expectations
This is where you’ll need to ask yourself some hard questions:
Are you only applying for positions that require more management experience/additional skills/education than you have?
Have you painted yourself into a corner with your requirements of the job? Is it really important that the company have a free juice bar with protein shots? Can you maybe consider a company without frills? Or even one that isn’t a behemoth on the market and is just starting out?
Did you ask for a salary much higher than the company was ready to offer? You may have a feel for the salary for similar positions in California but interviewed for one in Kentucky. Maybe you need to adjust your negotiating skills or just need to step your requirement down a notch to avoid future job search rejection.
Are you willing to consider an entry-level position in order to work your way up?
After researching, did you find that your expectations were completely reasonable? Might be just a case of bad luck or bad timing. It’s all good.
Reaffirm Your Goals
OK, you’ve been proactive and got some additional research. Take a moment to analyze this in contrast to the expectation reassessment. What did you find? Was there flexibility? Maybe you have to apply for a wider variation of positions – spread your net out over a wider field. Do you still only want to apply for “lead singer of Journey” openings? Did you realize that you’d be OK with playing the drums, or even singing for Fleetwood Mac? Or hey, your goals are the same and there’s not a thing wrong with them.
Now you got it figured. Good, move forward with those goals. You’ve effectively re-centered yourself.
Get Back Into the Fray
Move on. Get yourself back out there. You’ve got a plan and you know the ropes. You got this. The only job you know for sure you can’t get is the one you never apply for. Read our blog for veterans for tons of great content on job searching.
Check out our job board for military veterans to fill your pipeline of potential jobs back up. You got this!