How to Handle Job Rejection


Story  and Graphic by Maddi Hill

Stepping into the real world is exciting. With graduation and internship applications fast approaching, you begin to feel more excitement as opportunities grow.  You’re ready to take on the world, you’re ready to apply for jobs and internships that pertain to your field. You feel like the world is yours to conquer. You have endless opportunities. You have been studying for a long time, balancing school and social life with extracurriculars, you’ve worked so hard to get where you are. But, what happens when the first rejection letter comes in?

During the job search, you’re going to be met with rejection. After filling out dozens of resumes and putting in tons of hard work, it’s hard to stay positive after being rejected.  Rejection is discouraging and can lead us to roadblocks. Rejection is not easy to handle. But, there are some ways to make it easier to cope with to help us continue our journey.

It’s happening to everyone

Job rejection isn’t just happening to you, it’s happening to most people. It takes most people multiple tries before they’re able to land an interview. It takes even more tries to get the job. Take some small comfort in knowing that it’s not only happening to you.

Maybe it’s not meant to be

Not getting a job can happen for different reasons. Maybe this just wasn’t the job for you. It’s important to remember that we all have our own timing. You will find a job you love, you just have to give it more time.

Get Clarity from the interviewer 

Thanking the company after being rejected is one of the most beneficial things you can do. It’s important that you show them gratitude for giving you an opportunity. While doing so, ask your interviewer if they saw any qualities they felt you were lacking. You can also ask if there’s a better way to navigate your field.

Practice Interviewing 

Although you have worked hard to earn your degree in your field, interviewing is intimidating. Do not be afraid to ask for help. There are professionals whose job is to help people better their interviewing skills. Many colleges and universities offer mock interviews to help practice your skills. Here, at Central Michigan University, our mock interviews take place in the Career Development Center.

Take time for yourself 

Being rejected is discouraging and can take a toll on you. After being rejected, it’s important to take care of  yourself. Take some time to relax, eat your favorite food, do some self-care and watch your favorite movie. Whatever you need to do to feel better and bounce back, you should do it. It’s not selfish or silly to make yourself feel good. It’s important to take care of yourself, because if you’re okay, you’ll perform better.

While rejection hurts, it’s not the end of the world. After you have taken time to relax and improve your skills, get back out there. More rejection might wait, but with time you will land your dream job.