How to Deal With Constant Job Search Rejection

The Prepped Team

May 21, 2020

4 minutes

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Given the increased uncertainty of the job market, job hunters are likely to be hearing “Thanks, but no thanks,” more than ever before. Rejection isn’t fun, we understand that. It can put a dent in your confidence and belief you will find employment. However, rejection doesn’t have to slow you down in your job search, nor should it.

5 positive habits you can build to help recover from job rejections

A fact of life is everybody experiences the sting of rejection. It’s how you deal with it that counts. Will you let one, two, ten, or more rejection emails get you down, or will you bounce back? Here are a few ways to stay motivated and hone your search until you land that dream job.

1. Reflect on your skills and capabilities.

Are you highlighting the right skills and capabilities for the jobs you’re applying to? It’s important to showcase a mix of soft and hard skills. Prepped can help you determine if you’re highlighting the right ones, or if you need to upskill. We have exercises that help determine your strengths, and we encourage you to share the list with friends and family to get feedback.

2. Acknowledge your emotions

While you don’t want to base your self-esteem on not being selected for a job, it is important you acknowledge your emotions. Trying to pretend everything is okay when you’re feeling sad, pessimistic or like everything is hopeless, or worse, beating yourself up for it isn’t going to help. Acknowledge how you are truly feeling and treat yourself with compassion. Speak to yourself like you would a good friend. What advice would you give them if they were in your shoes?

3. Develop and refine your elevator pitch

When you meet someone for the first time, whether it’s in an informal coffee chat or in an interview, it’s important that you introduce yourself properly. In other words: your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a quick summary of you and your brand. Giving your perfect elevator pitch by speaking confidently about your skills and future goals in front of a prospective employer is something most of us wrestle with. Honing your elevator pitch is an important tool in setting yourself apart. Our elevator pitch generator helps you create your intro, and you can use our recording tool to practice your pitch.

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4. Ask your network to help

Starting your career can be challenging enough at the best of times. One of the ways you can overcome constant rejection is to ask your network for help in your job search. Granted, it’s more difficult to build a network while many of us are social distancing. One of the ways you can do this is through a virtual coffee chat. Even if you have developed a strong network, ask yourself if you’re putting that to good use? Are you being clear in your ask? Sign up for Prepped to access our email and LinkedIn message templates to help you communicate what it is you need help with. And if you’re looking for additional resources, here are some further tips on how to network like a pro from a networking expert.

5. Keep going

If all you hear when you send out resume after resume is crickets, it’s normal to feel dejected. However, it doesn’t mean you are incompetent or unemployable. It makes it even harder to put yourself out there and keep applying for positions. Ultimately, that’s what it takes to successfully handle constant rejection. Remember to keep rejection in perspective, especially given the current circumstances we’re all facing. Dig your heels in (hey, if it helps, throw a few positive mantras up on your wall, on the fridge, your mirror - whatever keeps you going). Grit, defined as “firmness of character’ indomitable spirit,” takes courage, endurance, and resilience. Even if you hear 50 no’s, all it takes is one “yes” to launch your career. Sign up for Prepped and get access to our tools and templates that can help improve your chances of getting a job by up to 6X*.

*Songqi Liu, Jason L. Huang, & Mo Wang (2014). Effectiveness of Job Search Interventions: A Meta-Analytic Review. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1009-1041.