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What to Do Next If You’ve Been Rejected for a Job

Blog / October 24, 2019

We’ve all been there. You get all excited about a job prospect. Your resume was stellar. Your cover letter was tailor made for the position. You nailed the interview. You started imagining yourself in the role, wondering how you’d ever spend your new salary. And then you get that email that you didn’t get the job. You’re crushed! But you can overcome it. And you will! After the initial wave of anger and hopelessness, here’s what you can do when you’ve been rejected for a job. 

What’s your why? 

Ask yourself why you were so excited about this job. Be honest. Did you want a new challenge? Professional growth? A stimulating and engaging job? Or were you just excited about the prestige of the company and some of the perks? If you were enthused about the company but not necessarily about the role, maybe you’re better off. Experienced interviewers can sense your passion, and if they suspect you’re not genuinely excited, they’re going to hire someone else. If you really loved the company, keep your eyes peeled for another position that you can get excited about. 

Assess your preparedness 

A lot of jobseekers underestimate how much preparation they need to do, especially if they’ve been searching for a while and their search gets downgraded to autopilot. Did you fully prepare for this role? Your resume and cover letter should have been customized for the position. You should have researched the company and prepared your answers accordingly, echoing their mission statement, values, current events, and maybe even some tidbits about key personnel. 

Reevaluate your process 

Here’s your chance to be a Monday morning quarterback. What else might have led to your rejection? Even though your interview went well, there are so many other factors that hiring managers consider. It could have been something one of your references said, an inappropriate post on one of your social media accounts, or maybe it was that one of the other candidates was simply more qualified than you. 

Be honest 

Go back through all your interactions and determine whether or not you should have seen this coming. Were there red flags? Were you blindly optimistic even though you weren’t fully qualified?   

Aim to Improve 

Regardless of what reason you land on for why you didn’t get the job, you should do a bit of self-reflection and identify something you could do better. After all, you might as well make the most of the situation and strengthen yourself as a candidate. Maybe you can fine-tune your interviewing skills, plan on doing a bit more pre-interview research next time, or proofread your resume a little more carefully.


For tips on rebounding from a potential employer’s rejection, check out our website at

Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh