How to Plan Your Next Steps After Job Rejection

Updated: Sep 19


While it’s easy to allow disappointment over a job rejection to knock your job search off track, there are a variety of actions to take in the wake of this event. Before doing anything, recognize that making it as far as an interview is an achievement. From there, you can use the experience to not only improve your interviewing skills but to improve your career management. From asking the hiring manager for constructive criticism to practicing public speaking, you can spin a job rejection to benefit your long-term career goals.


Celebrate: You made it as far as the interview stage. Most prospects aren’t even considered for positions, and their resume is moved to the trash bin. You did better than the majority of applicants for the position. Pat yourself on the back!


Keep In Touch: As you’re celebrating making it as far as the interview stage, you’ll also want to thank the company for giving you this experience. And let them know you’re still interested in their organization if similar positions open up. Not only should you follow up with them after the initial rejection, but you should also keep in touch with them moving forward in your job search. They obviously like what you’re offering. Leverage the relationship you’ve established with them to potentially score another interview for a different position.


Take a Different Perspective: The best advice in life is don’t take anything personally. While it may feel that the hiring manager and company rejected you and rejected what you have to offer, what really happened probably has more to do with the prospect they did hire. That person’s experience more closely matched what they needed for this role. From this perspective, the decision had little to do with you. Consider it a win and use the experience to bolster your job search initiatives moving forward.


Request Feedback: Call the hiring manager or send an email asking for constructive feedback. Simply ask why they didn’t offer the job to you. This will be especially helpful if you want to interview for another position with the company. And if they needed someone with additional skills, you can take action with that information by signing up for a course.


Practice Presentations: It’s hard to know how others view us. There are organizations that help members practice public speaking. It may be worth joining such an organization and requesting feedback from other members. This will not only help you with your interviewing, but it will help you with your long-term career goals, as well. Filming yourself during a practice interview or practice speech can also help you become self-aware in the moment to put your best foot forward while building your career.



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