During a job search, most applicants will hear “no” many times before they hear a “yes.” Each time you are turned down for a position, it can feel like a defeat. However, rejection can be an opportunity. This isn’t Pollyanna thinking, it’s simple strategy. We have four ways to learn from rejection.
1. Ask for feedback. Ask the hiring manager if they can offer any information on why you weren’t a good fit or provide constructive criticism on your performance. This not only yields valuable insights, but helps you develop a teachable attitude.
2. Offer genuine thanks. Each interview is an opportunity to practice your interpersonal skills and clarify your career goals. While it can be hard to see a rejection as a positive, recognize the value you received. Personally thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. The way you treat those you interact with now may yield positive results in the future.
3. Engage in reflection. Spend some time in honest inventory. What could you have done better? Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently next time? Is there anything you’d like to adjust in your résumé? Be thoughtful and specific as you take stock.
4. Move forward. Once you have gleaned the lessons you can, look toward the next opportunity. It won’t benefit your job search to endlessly ruminate on the rejection. Understand that rejection is a natural part of the job search and turn your focus to the end goal the process leads to.
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