Four Great Tips for Handling a Job Rejection like a Boss

It was all going so well…

No Business

If looking for a job hasn’t yet been voted one of the most disagreeable ways of spending your time, well… it should be. But it’s even worse to get an email informing you that you did it all for naught.

Nothing stings quite like rejection, but it’s all too easy to ignore hidden opportunities, even in a brush-off.

Check out four great tips for handling a job rejection like a boss.

Treat every job interview as a networking opportunity

While we might tend to focus on the end result, the fact is that we’re making an impression on an interviewer every step of the way. It’s important to remember that the interviewing process is a chance to show off our character. Even if you don’t get the job you were hoping for, your interviewer might very well hang on to your resume for later, refer you to a different department, or even recommend you to another company they work with.

One study by LinkedIn found that 85% of all jobs are filled by networking. In a world that’s growing increasingly small, and with industries forming independent, tight-knit communities, you’d be surprised to find out who knows who. Use this to your advantage, and you can go a long way.

Practice makes perfect

Whether you’re refining your answers to interview questions or polishing your resume to better reflect your goals with a future company, every interaction with a potential employer is a learning opportunity.

Sometimes, responding to a job rejection means looking for better ways to communicate your strengths and present your skillset to your interviewer. Or, it might just mean going through a few dry runs to get comfortable in your own skin.

Whether you realize it or not, a little bit of repetition can help with even the small things, such as walking confidently in the door and making eye contact, or having answers about your job history at the ready. Eventually, you’ll be able to relax and let your muscle memory take over.

Leave the door open

While you may be feeling bitter inside, it’s a good idea to write a gracious follow-up letter to your would-be employer thanking them for the opportunity and expressing the hope to see them again in the future.

This has the twofold benefit of making you look good as well as feel good. It channels your energies forward – rather than lingering on failure, you express optimism that you’ll succeed. And this has a positive effect on both the person or people you’ve interacted with as well as on your own self.

There are several helpful things to put into a post-rejection email, such as expressing gratitude for their time, communicating in a quick sentence something specific that attracted you to this company, and articulating the desire to be in touch about future opportunities at the company, if any arise. After all, you don’t get anywhere if you don’t ask.

And if you don’t hear back, it’s alright – that doesn’t mean that your thoughtful missive didn’t leave a lasting impression.

Keep calm and treat yourself

Above all, it’s important to bear in mind that the job search can be a long and arduous process, often taking months. Keeping your chin up and a positive attitude will help greatly over the course of this journey.

If you’re feeling down, it’s not a bad idea to treat yourself to something nice, even if it’s small. It’s OK, and even necessary, to reward yourself for your effort along the way. And there’s good reason to lift your spirits – after all, your dream job might be just around the corner.