Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reframe the Rejection

You know the feeling: your heart leaps into your throat when that email that you have been waiting for appears in your inbox...only to come crashing down when you learn that "though you are an exceptional applicant, your candidacy will not be pursued any further." A difficult situation, but one that can be leveraged to your benefit. Here is how to really handle rejection when job searching:
  • Lick your wounds: When job searching you are most likely going to get rejected. Some people are able to easily bounce back from rejection; some need a bit of time. Don't think that you are a failure for taking some time to reassess and refocus. The pause could give you clarity that will make your search easier.
  • Create a "rejection" thank you note: Send a note to your interviewer, thanking her for her time and wishing the candidate they selected success. This may seem bizarre, but doing so in this circumstance will speak volumes about your character, professionalism, and the graciousness with which you handle failure.
  • Ask for feedback: Contact your interviewer to ask for genuine feedback on your candidacy. You may be surprised about what you hear, from errors on your resume to problems with your interviewing style. Take whatever advice you receive seriously and, again, formally thank her for her time.

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