Job Rejections: Why You Were Overlooked and How to Move Forward
Finding a job can be a full-time endeavor in itself. Scouring job boards, filtering out the best opportunities, creating an effective resume, filling out applications, and attending interviews requires tremendous amounts of time, effort, and nerve. In an ideal world, everyone would work their dream job and never have to compete for their ideal position. But in reality, jobs are scarce while candidates are not and not everyone can walk away satisfied. Being rejected for a job can be demoralizing and discouraging but that doesn’t mean useful lessons can’t be learned from the experience. For those willing to put aside their disappointment to find out why they didn’t win a job offer, benefits await that can help boost and buttress an uninspired job search. Take the initiative to find out why you were turned down for a job and learn how to use feedback to your advantage by using the following tips to make a potentially awkward situation more comfortable for everyone:
- The quicker you act after learning of your status the less likely you will appear to have been brooding over the outcome and the fresher your credentials will be in the mind of your interview. Soon after you’ve been turned down for a job, contact your interviewer or recruiter and request some feedback regarding your candidacy. Not only does the
follow up signify your interest in the position and company, the interviewer may decide to keep your resume for future reference or to be short-listed for the position should the initial hire fall through.
- The less awkward your approach to appealing for feedback, the better the response is likely to be. Keep your request minimalist and simple. It can be similar to something like: “I’m dismayed at being turned down for this employment opportunity because of your company’s reputation/the opportunities of the position/the suitability of the
position for my career path/the chance to develop my skills under the mentoring of (a prominent employee). Any feedback regarding why I was passed over for the position will help me in better preparing myself for other opportunities in the future.” And, of course, thank the interviewer for the opportunity of interviewing for the job.
- Once the hard part is completed, you have to be prepared to hear things that may be unflattering or critical and so remaining open about any feedback you receive is pivotal to improving your approach to interviewing in the future. Never argue or dispute what is said since the interviewer is already convinced of their perceptions and you may end
up burning a bridge that may have lead to future opportunities. Finally, don’t take the comments personally. Instead, use them as a starting point for reevaluating your job seeking approach and discovering ways to improve your candidacy in the future.