Bounce back from job rejection

content job rejection

Not many people go through life without experiencing some form of rejection or another.

The key to succeeding is how well you cope with it, so try not to overthink every rejection you encounter.

On the job front, look to react in a measured and proactive manner, in order to give yourself the best chance of achieving personal growth and obtaining your dream job.

Lee Owen, director at Hays Accountancy & Finance, comments: ‘A job rejection can be hard, especially if you are trying to break into a competitive job market.

‘You will have put in a lot of hard work, planning, and time into your career and the interview process, so it is hard not to get trapped in thoughts of self-doubt and thinking you are not ‘enough’.’


After you have been notified that your application for a job has been unsuccessful, make contact with either your recruiter and/or the employer you met with.

A well-structured email with a few choice questions is likely to receive a positive and constructive response.

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‘Although the situation may feel unfair, it is important not to burn any bridges with the company. You will never know where you will be in a couple of years, so you do not want to tarnish your reputation,’ says Owen.

‘Sending a thank you card to the interviewer shows your professionalism and you could be considered for a different job opportunity,’ he adds.


Consider the factors that may have lead to your rejection. Perhaps you and the position you sought simply didn’t match up, or maybe a potential employer felt you lacked one or two of the key skills or experience.

Self-reflection, asking questions of yourself and looking to plug any gaps in your skills set are important. Keep an eye out for training and volunteering opportunities, particularly for those key skills where your self-analysis tells you that you can build up greater skill levels.

It is always helpful to seek feedback too – and remember that while advice may be hard to take, more often than not it can help you resolve any issues you have previously failed to pinpoint.

Owen says: ‘Asking for feedback will give you valuable insights about areas for improvement and provide clarity about what to focus on to improve your success rate.

‘It is very beneficial to implement your feedback into your next interview.’

Look to maintain a positive focus, especially if you have faced more than one rejection and make sure you apply for the right jobs. This is one sure fire way to keep rejections to a minimum.

Author: Alex Miller, writer

This article was first published in Student Accountant in April 2022

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