did-i-not-get-the-job

Didn’t Get the Job? 3 Crippling Myths About Rejection

You walk out of the interview feeling spectacular. You had all the right answers. You’d be perfect for this job, and you showed why. This is the one. Finally, your job search is over. All that’s left is the call and the words, “You’re hired!”

The call comes. But it’s not the one you expected.

rejection-is-not-the-end“Thank you for interviewing with us. We decided to go in a different direction.”

With a lump in your throat and a wound in your spirit, you wonder what could have possibly gone wrong. “Why did I not get the job? What could I have done differently?”

And this happens again.

And again.

You fall deeper into despair, wondering if you’ll ever win the day.

Rejection is an unfortunate part of life. When you’re pounding the pavement looking for work or desperate for career change, rejection takes on a whole persona. If you let it, your job search can sap you of strength, motivation, and confidence.

But this doesn’t have to be your story.

How do you dust yourself off and keep putting yourself out there, so you get hired? Take these small steps forward, and watch what happens. You’ll be glad you did.

The Real Meaning of “No”

The words you use to describe your situation largely determine how you feel afterward and how you respond. If you feel hopeless, start by thinking through your last rejection.

If you didn’t get the call, or you didn’t land the job, you choose the meaning of that experience. Was it catastrophic? Devastating? Demoralizing? Confirmation that you’re not good enough or smart enough?

Or is it a stepping stone? A learning experience? A chance to fine-tune your approach, so you hit the mark next time?

It’s not easy to shrug off the pain of missing out on the job you thought was perfect. But it’s not the only opportunity, and it’s probably not the best opportunity for you if you got rejected.

So how do you get past the hurt, doubt, and disappointment job search rejection brings? First, acknowledge those feelings. Don’t pretend everything’s fine when it’s not. Admit how you feel, and get ready to shake loose from those feelings with a healthy perspective.

Gain that healthy dose of reality by reminding yourself about these three things:

1. It’s not personal.

A job search rejection doesn’t negate your value as a human being. In fact, it often doesn’t say anything about how well you’d do in the role either. Factors outside of your control contribute to the hiring decision. When two or more candidates appear equally capable, the luck of the draw often decides which one gets selected.

In other cases, your skills and experience may not match up with the employer’s needs. That’s not an attack on your character or ability. It’s simply a reality that this time you weren’t a match.

Practice detaching your self-worth from the results of your search. Remember that competition is fierce in many job markets, and you’re playing a numbers game. Define who you are by what you have to offer, and draw strength from that reality when rejection tries to sing a sour tune.

2. It’s not permanent.

Unless you throw in the towel, every setback you experience is a temporary one. Hope isn’t lost until you stop sending resumes, stop noticing what’s working and what’s not, and throw up your hands.

Choose to believe the truth that your job search is a numbers game. As you polish your resume and learn from the feedback life gives you, you’ll refine your tactics and eventually win the heart and mind of someone who can hire you.

Failure is not forever. Each day brings new opportunities and new possibilities. Don’t let those pass you by because you’re dwelling on things that didn’t go well yesterday.

3. It’s not pervasive.

When rejection tries to steal your hope, it deceives you into thinking you can’t do anything right. In every area of your life, you mess up. It feels like every relationship, project, professional goal, and personal dream you’ve ever had remains forever out of reach.

Keep your feet on the ground, and keep an accurate perspective. A job search rejection doesn’t show you that everything in your life is upside down. Learn from the experience, extract what’s good out of it, and move forward with your next steps.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, who loves you, and what you have to offer.

What to do Next

Before you get distracted, remind yourself about what makes you great. Remind yourself that rejection isn’t personal, so you won’t lose a grip on your confidence. Remind yourself that it isn’t permanent, so you continue moving forward toward the sunshine ahead. Finally, remember that a rejection isn’t pervasive, but a single stepping stone on your way to landing the new career you deserve.


Make an investment in your future with a resume / CV and cover letter written by Vivian Adkins, CPRW of Foremost Resumes. Foremost Resumes offers affordable resume writing services – resume prices are published here. If you have any questions about my resume services, call or text 1-321-442-7994.

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If you found this post helpful, I’d be grateful if you would help spread it by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.

Thank you!

—Vivian Adkins, Resume Writer at Foremost Resumes

About Author

Vivian Adkins, CPRW
Vivian Adkins, CPRW is the owner of Foremost Résumés and a Certified Résumé Writer. On this blog you can learn about résumés, how LinkedIn can help with your job search, how to conduct an online job search, and more.
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