Ohio University Office of Career Services


Dealing with Failure on the Job Search by heatherpittman
August 12, 2010, 4:59 pm
Filed under: From the Staff, Job Search | Tags: ,

Being turned down for a job is never easy. In the current economy, it is not only important to know how to write a good cover letter and excel during interviews, but also how to deal with rejection after applying for jobs.  Rejection is never painless, but there are some ways to deal with it so it does not overpower you or disrupt your job search.

Don’t Take It Personally: There are multiple reasons why you were not selected for a position.  The company may not fully understand your degree (ex: difference between computer science and IT).  It is also not just about your qualifications but about a match between you and the company.  Not being selected does not mean you do not have excellent talents and attributes.

Learn From Being Rejected: When you receive a letter saying you were not a good fit for a company or that they have already filled the position—take it as an opportunity to learn.  Why were you not a good fit? Were you missing a requirement?  How can you improve yourself and gain theses skills?  If the position was already filled—are there other opportunities with the organization?

Focus on Your Strengths: It’s easy to blame yourself and focus on your imperfections when dealing with job rejection. Focus on what you’re really good at, and what you’re passionate about. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.  Keep a log of your successes-however small.  When things are not going so well, pull out your book of successes and remember that big successes are just the product of adding small successes together. 

Keep Multiple Things Going: Nothing is worse than only having one résumé out there and finding out that company is not interested.  Have multiple applications going so that something good will be more likely to offset the bad.

Know You Are Not Alone: Seek out a support system.  Having the support and shared knowledge can be very helpful.  Others can offer you contacts, job leads, friendship, and advice along the way.  Just having someone to support you can make the search less lonely.

Heather Pittman, Interim Assistant Director

For more information check out these articles:

How to Deal With Job Rejection

Why Wasn’t I Hired? Dealing With Rejection

So You Didn’t Get the Job…It’s Not Over!

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