No matter what stage you are in the job search, it’s likely that rejection will knock on your door. For some it’s once, others multiple times and for others, so far—always! Being turned down for a job you really want hurts and it can easily crush your confidence. We often see job candidates who dwell on receiving a “no” or no communication from a prospective employer, beating themselves up and declaring themselves failures but the truth is, thinking that rejection has ruined you not only feels miserable, it also holds you back from any future chance at success.

If you’re stuck in a rejection cycle, our recruitment specialists have some practical ways to help you feel better and lift your job search back to full power.

First, THE REAL PROBLEM; your mind.

Psychologists can prove that the real reason why rejection breaks us down too hard is because our brains are wired to pay more attention to negative events than positive ones. This “negativity bias” is exactly why we blow a “no” out of proportion and feel so disheartened when we get rejected. For example, while you may think you were turned down because your resume wasn’t impressive enough, the truth may be that the company could have made an internal hire or simply terminated the job listing altogether. Incidentally, we experienced one such incident first hand last year when a client terminated their hiring campaign mid-way after interviews had even been done. One of the candidates who were unfortunate to be in this pool reacted by posting a lot of hate mail and angry reactions towards us (the recruitment agency) when in actual sense, neither us nor the candidate could have influenced the outcome to be different.

So, even if you know for sure that you were rejected because you weren’t the best candidate for the role, you must change the story you tell yourself about rejection. Change your mindset; view rejection as a fresh opportunity to do better next time.

If you have your mind and perceptions in the right place, here are more ways to handle rejection;

Be 100% realistic.


It’s hard to acknowledge that you’re not always going to land every job you apply for. No one ever does! Learning to accept rejection as part of the process will help build your mental and emotional strength. The day you eliminate the need for a guaranteed outcome, you will open yourself up to a world of other possibilities—other jobs, opportunities, and companies that could be an even better fit.

Don’t over think it!
Agonizing in your own disappointment only will only keep you stuck in the past and make your energy & intelligence useless at the time you need to pick yourself up, and charge forward to the next great job.

ACTION is the best strategy for leaving rejection behind. The next time you get rejected for a job position, follow up with the hiring manager to ask how you can improve for the future. It might feel awkward, but sending a simple note asking how you could improve your interviewing skills or qualifications is ideal. By adding this type of learning into your job search, you eventually position yourself as a stronger candidate in the future. There have been situations in our recruitment process where a candidate got rejected for one job, sought advice on how to improve and was recalled for a different position where they scored highly because they knew what needed to change for the better.

Lastly, be resilient.
Resilient people often meet challenges with a constructive approach and focus on the opportunities created when things don’t go according to plan; they keep a positive attitude.  To build resilience, you must understand that success and rejection go hand-in-hand; there’s no guarantee of a free pass in the pursuit of happiness.

While a job rejection might seem like a huge dagger in your heart, it’s also a great opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and the job search process to enable you to improve for the future hunt.

Keep your head up.