How to Cope With a Job Rejection and What You Can Learn From It

Job hunting can be a bit of a bumpy road. It can be a real blow to go through a selection process and find a rejection at the end of it. Although it’s not nice to miss out on a job, neither does it make it the end of the world. Here’s how you can learn from the rejection and turn it to your advantage:

Ask for feedback

A rejection following a job interview is a learning opportunity. Maybe you didn’t have a certain skill they required (but another candidate did). Perhaps you came across as a little too nervous in the interview. Ask for some detailed feedback from the interviewer, so you can learn from the experience and stand a better chance of applying for other jobs more successfully.


This doesn’t mean conduct a deep, soul-searching analysis of yourself, but merely looking back on the process and considering how well you did at each stage. Be honest with yourself. It’s a chance to identify what you could have done differently so that you don’t repeat the same mistake(s) in your next application.

Devise a plan

Have you had a series of job rejections? Think about the feedback from these and from any appraisals with previous employers, which can help you to identify recurring themes. Perhaps a lack of training or experience in some areas is tripping you up each time. These are weaknesses, but they don’t have to stay that way. Seek a little help and remedy the situation.

Be philosophical about the situation

You might have done an out-of-this-world- interview and still not got the job. It happens. Listen to the feedback. You might have done absolutely nothing wrong. They might have simply liked another candidate more because they had more experience than you. They might have had a skill that you don’t. There’s nothing you could have done about that at the time of the interview. It was just out of your hands. Who knows — the job might not even have been the right one for you anyway. If that’s the case…

Be resilient

Understand that rejection is all part of the process. You’re not going to land every single job you apply for. Job hunting just isn’t that easy, but every rejection will bring you a step closer to your eventual role. Although a rejection is a setback, it also builds character and transforms you into a stronger person as you move towards your new role. Grit and resilience are the order of the day, so you should always stay positive.

The road to a new job never runs smooth. There’s a lot of competition out there and you should brace yourself for a potential rejection, no matter how perfect you think you’ll be for a specific role. Turn the situation around by requesting feedback and learning from it, so that your last rejection truly is the last one.

By Peter Jenkins