Rejected: How to Bounce Back in the Best Way

Rejection is a natural part of the job search process. You are not alone! The simple fact is you will not be the right candidate for every internship or full-time position. Sure, it bites when you get rejected from a position you really wanted, but how you respond is everything.

You can’t take the employer’s decisions personally.

There are many factors that go into their decisions and many factors are not in a candidate’s control. Be sure to listen carefully to any feedback so you can learn from the experience and move forward. They might be looking for someone local, and you aren’t in the same state. Perhaps they are looking for the right cultural fit in their conservative office, and you are more creative. If it isn’t the right match, it’s okay. You want to be in a position and a company where you can bring all the best parts of yourself and thrive.

The job search process is very competitive.

There are many qualified college graduates applying for the same positions.  The typical corporate position receives 250 applications for one position, which is why having an application strategy will benefit you in the long run. That would include learning about which industries are hiring, what skills they are seeking, and making the most out of our alumni network.

Evaluate your progress and determine if you need to make changes.

Take another look at your resume, cover letter, or how you are corresponding with contacts or alumni. It may be time to make an adjustment. The blanket approach will not work. You’ll need to customize your resume and cover letter to each opportunity. You shouldn’t be using the same cover letter for a sales job as you would for supply chain job since they require different skill sets. Review the job description and find the core skills they are looking for in a candidate and highlight your abilities in your application.

Connect with the Ferguson Career Center for guidance. 

We are here to help you – without judgment or harsh criticism. We know how challenging this process can be, and we work to make sure you feel more confident and prepared when you leave our office (or our Zoom Room.) You can make an appointment through Handshake, and we are open all year. The job search is a challenging and emotional roller coaster. In other words, we get it.

Show energy, passion and enthusiasm. 

Make correction with your approach while companies are actively recruiting. Show energy, passion and enthusiasm. Stay positive and keep your eyes looking forward. Don’t get caught up in past mistakes or missed opportunities and remember: Each application is a new opportunity.

If you are really struggling, reach out to the Wellness Center and speak to a counselor about your feelings and how to best bounce back stronger. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help and it’s critical to take care of your mental health.

Tiger Tip: Still love the company? If you have an opportunity to respond, send a note saying that you really enjoyed the interview process and are open to feedback. Even more importantly, you are still interested in working for Company X, Y, Z and want to be considered for future opportunities where you may be a great fit.