Bouncing back from job rejections

content job rejections

The job-hunting process can be tough and success is never guaranteed straightaway. Any rejection will hit hard, but multiple ones in a row can be demoralising and demotivating.

While a rejection is not the best news to hear, keep in mind that you are not alone. The key is to try to turn any negative into a positive, by understanding how to deal with job rejection and bounce back stronger.

‘It is completely understandable to have your confidence knocked by a rejection, but don’t face this alone. Job-hunting might feel like a siloed, individual activity, but it doesn’t have to be,’ says Hannah Szymanski, director of interim talent at Robert Half.

If you are struggling to stay positive at any point in the interview process, it is advisable to speak to your recruiter. They will be able to offer support on how to keep motivated, but perhaps more importantly, they can use their experience to guide you through the process.

Recruiters will have helped hundreds of others like yourself find a job and will be best placed to help you move your job search along.


‘Your recruiter will also be the best person to gain constructive feedback from those you have interviewed with to help guide you through where you could improve – and even role-play some of the interview questions as well,’ says Szymanski. ‘Recruiters will have a wealth of experience working with other accountants and they will know what will stand you in good stead during your next interview.

‘Your recruitment agency will have likely worked closely with the company that is hiring to identify what it is they need, so they will be well placed to give you some insider knowledge.’

Bear in mind it is pretty common for trainees to be put forward for multiple interviews and not be successful. Also remember there is a job out there for everyone, particularly in the current economic climate where skills are in short supply.

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Employers need to make a decision based on the student they believe is best suited for the role.


As such, not getting that job was unlikely the result of a hiring manager making a conscious decision against you – the greater likelihood is that another trainee’s experience or personality resonated more strongly.

If you are unsure about why you were turned down, it is definitely worth enquiring about constructive feedback from your hiring manager. Not all of them will provide this, but a simple phone call or email can potentially give you a clearer idea of why you didn’t receive a job offer. There could be a good reason why you were overlooked and it will at least put an end to any nagging doubts you may have.

If it turns out there are gaps in your skillset, consider enrolling on a course. It could give you an advantage when you apply for future roles.

There will always be areas where we can improve, but remember that you bring your own unique value proposition and passions to the table. Focusing on these can provide the renewed energy and momentum you need to find the job that is right for you.

It may help you to create a list of your strengths and key contributions you have made to previous workplaces. Not only will this reaffirm your value as an employee, it can also come in handy for your next job interview.

Author: Alex Miller, writer

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This article was first published in Student Accountant in June 2023Get the SA app now

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