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Candidate Help & Advice

How to Handle Rejection During Your Job Search

Running a recruiting firm, I come across many job seekers who have simply “had it” and, via a tremendous amount of interviewing rejection, give up on their job search. However, there are more effective ways of going about handling rejection and overcoming obstacles during one’s job search in hopes of getting that job that you want.

Here are just a few ways how to handle rejection during your job search:

1. Try to figure out the causes for this rejection – Many times, our headhunting agency sees that constant rejection during the interview process spawns from nothing more than the interviewee going for open positions that are out of their skill-set, thus putting them at a disadvantage right off the bat.

Either way, until you recognize where the problems are and why you are getting rejected, improvement is going to be near impossible. Step away for a moment and think about the reasons why you’re not interviewing up to snuff and simply correct it.

2. Make sure that you remain resilient – While taking a break is a great thing, giving up is a terrible way to end a job search. Just like in anything in life, you’re going to encounter ups and downs, however it’s how we handle those downs which differentiates us from those who are not as successful.

Running my recruitment agency, I have to deal with many career setbacks, though I have come to the conclusion that giving up solves nothing and resiliency and consistent hard work always does the trick. In business and in getting a job, going through the necessary motions and making sure that you do the right work pays off.

3. Keep a positive attitude – While our normal response is to become negative and lose self-confidence in ourselves, this is the last thing that is productive and can only worsen the problem. Keeping a positive attitude means that you don’t take everything personally, make sure that you smile and know that next time is a new interview and past rejections are simply in the past and should remain there.

Additionally, keeping a positive attitude means envisioning you getting the job that you want as until we picture success, it is harder to know what we are after. You must believe that good things will happen.

4. Maintain strong self-confidence – Don’t define yourself by the rejection that you are seeing during the recruitment process. Getting turned down for jobs doesn’t mean that you’re a loser or possess any less worth than other individuals. Make sure to separate your feeling of yourself and the ability to interview well.

To have a stronger self-confidence, you must come to the realization that you don’t need anyone else to complete you, nor do you need to depend on these interviewers to make you happy.

In the End

Keep on improving yourself and believe that the work you’re putting in will benefit you, and in time (rather, when it is time), you’ll find the job you want.


Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement a recruiting firm based out of New York City.