Bouncing Back from a Rejection
"We regret to inform you.."
"Thank you, but..."
"We will not be moving forward.."
"We have decided to go with.."
Let's not sugarcoat it. It sucks when you see the first line on your email "Unfortunately..". You might start to question yourself or question the interviewer's decision, or both. That's okay. Now, let's pick ourselves up and get through it.
Stay calm - make the best out of the situation
The moment you receive the rejection email, it feels as though your heart has sunk into a bottomless pit. We've all been there and it can be a hard pill to swallow. You have invested your time and effort during the application process but what can you do after receiving the email?
The best thing to do is to respond to the email.
This will reflect well on you (both professionally and personally). Most candidates will not respond after receiving a rejection, so take this opportunity to stand out from the rest and keep your application in mind in case:
The candidate they choose declined the offer
The candidate they hired decided that the role was not fit for them and decided to leave
There is another role in the company, suited for you.
Before going through the process of sourcing, screening, and interviewing new applications again to fill the role, hiring managers and recruiters will first look into the applications from the recent candidate pool.
So how should the reply look and what should you say?
Thank the recruiters for getting back to you - this shows that you value their honesty and time spent getting back to you.
Express how you feel in a light manner - it's normal to feel disappointed but don't dwell on it too much.
Show that you are still interested in the company - take the opportunity to ask if there are other open roles that might suit you or ask if they are open for reapplications (in case they haven't mentioned it)
Ask for feedback - this shows that you are willing to improve yourself and are open to feedback.
There are many ways to respond to the email but always remember to keep it short and direct to the point.
We have to remind ourselves that nobody gets accepted to every job post they applied for and that is perfectly fine. Eventually, you will be in a role that fits you.
Allow yourself time to heal emotionally and mentally:
Being rejected is always stressful and can take a toll on you. May it be your first or 5th rejection, always give yourself a break to avoid the job hunt burnout by:
Calling a friend - it's always good to have a support system where you can talk it out and have a good laugh.
Going for a walk - Studies have shown that walking for 10-30mins helps relieve stress and improve your mood. You can find the full benefits from this article in WebMD.
Listening to music - Do you prefer something calm and soothing or something that will make you get up and dance? Either way, listening to music helps boost your mood.
These are just to name a few, but if you want to read more ways to feel better, find helpful tips here. What's important is that it makes you feel good, and reminds you that everything is going to be okay.
Reflect but don't dwell
Now that you are feeling better, it is a good time to reflect and ask yourself a few questions:
Did I meet their minimum qualifications?
Was I being genuine in the application?
If I were the assessor, would this application pass?
What are the skills needed in the role I want to be in?
What can I do to articulate my strengths?
What are the interview questions that I can practice on?
Being open and honest with who you are (weaknesses and strengths) and knowing what you can offer will get you in a better position to apply for the role you want, even in your reapplication.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" – Benjamin Franklin
Now that you're ready to get back to the job hunt. Here are some things that you can do to prepare and set yourself up for success.
Think in English - If English is your second language, practice thinking in English to become more proficient in the natural flow of the language.
Listen to podcasts or videos - Practice active listening by watching TedTalks or interviews. This helps you understand the context of the message by the tone and diction of the speaker.
Be thorough in reading - Practice reading articles to train your eye to catch important notes and information. You will need this when reading through the instructions.
Write with clarity - Whether it's for writing a cover letter or a written test in the application, think about being clear and organized with the message.
Start by outlining the start, middle, and end of your message.
Then add in the content for each part.
Stick to clear and simple sentences.
Review and revise your resume - For each job that you are applying for, read thoroughly the job description of the role and see the responsibilities. Try to match those responsibilities with your work experience and revise your resume to highlight your experiences and their outcome.
Before the initial call
Practice talking with a mirror - This is a great way to bring awareness to how you present yourself and practice your non-verbal communication. (Eg. facial expressions, hand gestures, etc)
Get on a mock call - For online interviews, mock call a friend. This is the time to check your audio and video settings and familiarize yourself with the functions. (Bonus: Record your mock call to review how it went.)
Breathe - Breathing exercises calm the nerves. Take a deep breath and hold for 2-4 seconds, then breathe out and hold for 2 -4 seconds. Repeat it 5 times or more.
Online interviews are exciting and nerve-wracking, but we've got you covered on how to ace the interview here.
Remember, rejection is your direction to a better version of yourself. It is easier to find or figure out what you cannot do. Once you know what not to do, what you can do are endless possibilities. You got this!