Handling a job rejection & how to come back stronger


Planned Resources recruit across the niche markets of planning, engineering, architecture and design, property, and government support. We operate​ across private and public sectors in Melbourne, Victoria, and Australia. Here, Kathryn Dickinson gives her tips on how to handle a job rejection – and come back stronger!

It can be hard to not take a job rejection personally; but at some stage of the job search process, chances are you’ll be turned down for a role. The key is to turn a negative into a positive – and to understand how to deal with job rejection and use it to your advantage.

A job rejection can be tough

Naturally we’re often more affected by negative events rather than the positive, so it can be easy to blow a job rejection out of proportion. Of course it’s okay to let out your frustrations, but don’t let the feeling linger. Pent-up frustration won’t aid your continuing job search – so keep in mind, if you got as far as the interview stage that’s a success in itself.

Above all, don’t dismiss the company altogether. It’s possible you may want to reapply for a job with that employer further down the track so it’s important to not burn any bridges.

Don’t allow rejection to define you

Don’t take the rejection as a personal attack on your character or your skills; employers need to make decisions based on the candidate who they believe is best suited for the role. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the hiring manager is making a conscious vote against you, instead the greater likelihood is that another candidate’s experience or attributes are a better fit to the company’s needs at that time.

Turn a negative into a positive

A rejection can be especially frustrating if you are unsure as to why, so it’s worth asking for constructive feedback. Requesting feedback will give you clear insight into why you didn’t secure the role, and it will help put an end to any nagging doubts you may have. If it turns out there are gaps in your skillset, consider enrolling in a course – it could give you a real advantage when applying for future roles.

Focus on your strengths

While we always have room for improvement, remember that you bring your own unique skills, benefits, and passions to the table – and focusing on these can provide the renewed momentum you need to find the job that’s right for you.

Create a list of your strengths and the key contributions you’ve made in previous roles. Not only will this reaffirm your worth as an employee, but it can also be useful for your next interview.

Practice self-awareness

Consider how you present yourself. Take this opportunity to go over your cover letter and resume for areas that could be tweaked and improved. Think about how you answered key interview questions, and whether you highlighted your skill set in the best way. Then put the experience to work by aiming to do even better next time around.

Stay positive

Maintaining an optimistic attitude is an important part of dealing with a job rejection. As the adage goes “when one door closes another door opens”, so maintaining a positive outlook is crucial through the job search process.

Also remember, you’re not alone in this process. Focus on the next opportunity – it could take you one step closer to your dream role.

Maintain your momentum and motivation

It can be tempting to put your job search on hold while you wait to hear back about a role, however it’s vital to keep your job search moving until you have accepted an offer. Continue to stay in touch with your networks and maintain contact with your recruitment professionals. This sort of proactive approach nurtures your confidence and helps to prevent you from putting all your eggs in one basket.

Handling rejection is never easy, but it does offer valuable opportunities to discover more about yourself and enhance your job search techniques. Good things are always worth waiting for, and with persistence and a positive outlook, your dream job could be just around the corner.


By: Kathryn Dickinson, Recruitment Consultant

Kathryn forms part of our engineering recruitment team, she puts value on building and maintaining strong relationships with her client and candidate base.


Connect with Kathryn on Linkedin

Contact: 0405207772, kathryn.dickinson@plannedresources.com.au


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