Ways to Turn a Job Rejection Around

Ways to Turn a Job Rejection Around

Job rejection is always a bitter pill to swallow. It could weaken your morale as a job seeker. Rejection hurts no matter the medium it’s delivered through, email or in-person. However, the most painful part of rejection is the “what ifs” and the “If I had” that run through your mind. You could resort to self-blame and beat yourself up. It is normal to look back and try to find out the reason why your application was not accepted. Looking back can actually help you find ways of turning rejection around. Turning a rejection around? Yes, you read right. It is possible to change a “no” to a “yes.” Let’s show you how!

  • Stay Calm: When you get a rejection mail or call, you may feel a lot of emotions, and anger could be inclusive. We understand that dealing with news like that is not particularly a reason to rejoice or throw a party. But what you do after you receive a rejection could determine what happens next. So, breathe through it and remain professional. Applying for a job requires giving in your best and you must have done that. Getting negative feedback could therefore make you angry at the recruiter or hiring manager for not seemingly acknowledging your skills and interest in the position. You may even feel pressured and the idea of firing back with an email or phone call of your own could look attractive, at least to get the anger off your chest. DO NOT DO IT! While we are not asking you to talk down on yourself, remembering that the company or organization might have specific needs that you did not meet will help you move forward.

A rejection from a company does not mean that you are a failure. In fact, Company B might be looking for the exact skills Company A does not need. Refrain from using abusive words. A rejection does not mean that you have a vendetta against the company nor do you need to carry out revenge. Keeping a clear and open mind will help you see what needs to be changed and can open avenues of negotiation for you. If you were privileged to meet and form a professional relationship with the hiring manager, try to maintain it. He or she could prove to be a valuable professional network that will aid you in landing a future job. Do not become sentimental and burn all your bridges.


  • Ask for Feedback: You are calm now. Now you have your emotions in check, it is time to turn your situation around. If you genuinely like the company, there is absolutely no harm in attempting to change the situation. Send your thoughts through a carefully worded and conscious letter. Some have referred to this letter as a letter of influence. It is obvious why – you are not writing to beg for favors or patronize an employer rather, you are writing to change their mind based on the strong belief you have in your portfolio. Before starting your letter, thank the recruitment team for taking out the time to go through your application and the interview process (that is if you got a job rejection after the interview stage) and for getting back to you.

Next, state that the news was not favorable and far from what you expected and that you would appreciate it if you are told what you didn’t do well during the recruitment process or what boxes you didn’t tick. Asking for feedback is important not only because it can turn your situation around, but also because it can help you in the future when you decide to apply for other jobs. In conclusion, reiterate your interest in the company and that you will be following up on the company’s progress and hope to hear from them in the future if another opportunity comes up. Depending on the company, you could be lucky enough to get a reply telling you why your application was rejected. Even better, you could be scheduled for another interview.


What if I Can’t Turn a Job Rejection Around?

While you (and we, of course) hope that a letter of influence would put things in order, you also need to formulate a backup plan that will help you move on in case it doesn’t. It is heartbreaking to exhaust all avenues and still not get a “yes” but it is not the end of your journey. While it may sound cliché, birds don’t just fly, they fall and get up. That is exactly what you should do! Go back to the drawing board. Talk to someone. Keeping your fears and worries to yourself can lead to a depressive episode. Go through your CV and resume and see if it needs to be updated. The same goes for your cover letter and every other document needed for your job application.

Do not let one setback stop you from applying for other jobs. You could talk to an experienced friend or ask someone in the hiring field for help. Having an extra pair of eyes go through your future applications can help you pinpoint errors that are costing you offers. If the company replied to your letter, take into consideration the faults they pointed out. The good news is, that not all job rejections happen because you did not ace the interview or recruitment process so enough of the self-blame. The timing could be wrong for the company and they may have future plans of contacting you at a better time. Your job application could even be denied because you are overqualified for the role or do not have the skill or qualifications needed.

Rejection can also happen because the job is not related to what you studied in college. If that is the case, you could veer your job hunting towards the sector or a closely related one where you are adequately qualified and tick almost if not all the boxes. Whatever the reason is, do all you can to learn from the situation and prevent it from happening again. Job hunting is never easy but you can make it more efficient by letting a “no” be a motivation that encourages you to work harder. In time, you would be celebrating a job offer.

Career Advice

Leave a Reply