How to get a job after being rejected

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May 3, 2021

If you've been rejected for a job, don't give up! It may feel like the end of the world but a surprising amount of people still get a job after being rejected. Here's how they do it - so you can do it too.

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Is it really possible to get hired after being rejected? 

The answer is yes and in this blog post, we'll show you how. You need to know what not to do as well as what to do when getting that rejection letter in the mail or email inbox.

What sets the winners and losers apart is how they respond to the rejection rather than the actual rejection itself.

Don't do this when you get rejected for a job

Let's start with what you absolutely must not do.

Dealing with job rejection is never easy. Especially if you feel that you have missed out on the perfect 'opportunity of a lifetime.'

I know this can be hard but resist the temptation to call or email them to argue about their decision.

Stop and ask yourself this question. What good will this do?

It is very unlikely to make them change their mind because, if you think about it,  you are actually telling them that they don't know how to do their job properly.

Remember, this is not a permanent rejection. 

If the company is at the top of your list of places you would like to work, unprofessional behaviour regarding this role may mean they won't consider you for others at a later date.

They haven't said they will never hire you - just that they won't right now. Big difference and one to note.

Next, be really honest and ask yourself if you really are the right person for the role. Just because you really wanted the position, doesn't mean you deserved to be offered it.

However, if you truly believe that you were a great fit then don’t be deterred by rejection as it could just mean that other factors were influencing their decision.

These factors are exactly why you shouldn't give up.

Reasons why you still may be offered the job after being rejected

It can be hard to pick yourself up after a job rejection because it feels so personal.  If you had multiple interviews where you felt that everything was going well, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact they didn't feel the same way.

Perhaps they did though but one of these 6 factors triggered that rejection letter.

1

They were holding out for perfection

You know when you read a job description and you see 'essential skills' and 'desirable skills' listed? Well, oftentimes recruiters and HR will start looking for a candidate that is the perfect 10 across the board.

But then they wait, and they wait until they realise they don't exist.

If you apply in the early stages of advertising a role, you may get a rejection for not being perfect but they may also reconsider your application at a later date when they realise they need to be more flexible.

 2

The job may have been placed on hold or cancelled

A position may have to be pulled due to an internal restructure, a surprise resignation elsewhere in the organisation, or perhaps because a budget needs to be approved.

This often happens when you apply for an Expressions of Interest or EOI role. Companies typically do this prior to a project being won.

For example, a civil contractor who needs 60 operators for a project can't wait until it is awarded to them before starting to recruit. They need to advertise prior to winning the contract to be ready to deliver on it when they get the green light.

But, if they don't win it, the rejection letters go out.

However, at the same time another project might be won which means you will be offered a different role.

 3

You may be a silver medallist without knowing it

Sometimes a recruitment decision is a close thing between competing candidates.

You may have been at the final interview, and only just lost out on the job.

In recruitment, the word silver medallist is used for candidates that were rejected but added to skills pools where they will be considered for other opportunities.

If you are really good they may offer you another position just so that they don't lose you.

 4

Their first choice might let them down

They could offer the job to you after not receiving an answer from the person they initially chose.

Alternatively, their first choice may accept the offer but be a bad fit so they turn out not to be such a great choice.

Either way, that rejection could be torn up and forgotten.

What you should do after you get rejected for a job

Now you know that job rejections aren't necessarily personal and that there is a chance you could still get the job, can you see why that 'from the heart not the head' email telling them to reconsider their decision would be a bad idea?

So what should you do? Sit and wait or something else?

The sitting and waiting tactic can actually work in some cases because they are naturally going to come back to you.

Especially if you were the runner-up silver medallist candidate.

However, to maximise your chance of getting the job after being rejected here's what you should do.

Your aim is to show them what a professional you are and remind them of why they chose to interview you in the first place.

Further, doing this will leave a little doubt in their mind about whether they really should let such a classy candidate go and work for their competitors.

Thankfully this big impact tactic takes little time and effort on your part.

This one simple email sent to both the recruiter and the HR hiring official can really set you apart from your competition.

it will also encourage them to contact you if any of those reasons above were behind your rejection letter.

The thank-you email to send after a job rejection

Yes, it does sound a bit counter-intuitive to thank them for saying no, but it really works.

Here's how to leave a great last impression and leave the door open for them to be confident about coming back to you if they change their mind for whatever reason.

"I want to thank you both for considering me for ..." whatever the position was.

 

[Then follow this up by giving them a compliment]


"It was great meeting you and your fantastic team. It's obvious to me how you have all achieved ... "


[Or something along those lines because it is just something to warm them up.

Next, you need to reiterate why you're the best person for the role]


"While I feel I would be a strong candidate and fit for the company and this

position because ..."


[say why you feel you'd be the

best person for the job],


"I genuinely respect your opinion and that you know what is best for your team and your organisation."

[That's it. Don't waffle on or do a hard sell. Then end with this]


"If anything with this position changes or you feel I would be a suitable candidate for other roles in your company, I would be keen to come back for a further interview.


Thank you for your time and consideration"

Key takeaways

The best way to get a job after being rejected is to make it easy for the person rejecting you. Be professional and try not to take it personally so that they feel more comfortable reconsidering your application in the future if needed.

Thank them, acknowledge your disappointment but your respect for their decision, confirm that you would still like to be considered if anything changes, and then move on with your job search to uncover other opportunities.

Mark Daniel

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About the Author

A global resume writer and career coach, Mark is known for his honest, direct, and hard-hitting advice, helping people manage job applications and succeed at interviews. Now based on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, he is the co-founder of Real Life Career Advice and the Hi Vis Hub. A prolific publisher, Mark contributes to several industry magazines and his daily career advice blog to his 45,000 LinkedIn followers.

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