How to Handle Job Rejection

Before I begin I want to preface this post with the following; For the past year I have been trying my hardest, in vain, to move on to a bigger, better, more lucrative career path.

Aren’t we all?

This isn’t a dig at my current job. I’m thankful for the skills I have acquired and the people whom I have met. Each job that I have been so lucky to have been employed at has helped me grow as a person and as a man in the workforce. That said, it’s time to start doing more than pay the bills off.

With my graduation less than two weeks away I’ve done my best to apply for a number of jobs and internships that I feel will continue to help me develop as I ultimately chase my end goals. I’ve applied to fortune 500 companies, small start ups, and of course within my own workplace. Rejection after rejection I have found difficulty in maintaining my own sanity.

“To feel uncomfortable is to grow” and half a year later I feel like a hooker in Sunday Mass. There are some applications I have interviewed with repeatedly only to be turned away, others I don’t even know if I have been officially eliminated from the candidate pool because of a lack of notice. Those who do have the decency to get back to me use the same “copy and paste”…

“Thank you for your application. Despite your impressive background and qualifications, we have decided to move on with other candidates whom we feel are better suited for this job”.

If you clicked on this article, then you probably know how I feel because you’ve been in the same boat. You’ve wondered what more you could do. You think about who they may have passed you over for. You feel scathed from rejection, wanting your recruiters to know just how wrong they are and how you’re gonna make it while they make the mistake of dismissing you.

It feels unfair. It is unfair. But it’s a blessing.

“Everyone makes mistakes… especially recruiters” – Me

What should you do after being rejected for the up-teenth time?

  • Find someone to talk to. Holding your frustrations in will only hurt yourself.
  • Revisit your resume, LinkedIn, etc. Find something you can improve.
  • Understand that competition makes you better. A loss stings, but they teach you more than a win does.
  • “Keep your head up in failure, and your head down in success.” – Jerry Seinfeld.  You will make it. It might take a few trys but when you finally do, just remember how much you worked, how late you stayed up, all the sleep you loss making it perfect. And then remember that everyone around you is trying to do the same. Respect the competition, respect the grind.


But wait there’s more!

What’s the etiquette after you have been turned down? Do you send them a big fat email full of 4-letter words that start with “C” and “F”? Perhaps you see the recruiters/managers at your job, do you suddenly take longer to respond to their request? OH! I know, give them the stink eye. That’ll show them how wrong they are right?!

No, the option you HAVE to chose if you really want the ultimate “revenge”… Move on. Don’t treat anyone any differently. Don’t be bitter in “defeat”. Learn from it and allow it to make you a better person, not worse. When you chose to behave differently as a result of someone else’s decision, you are cultivating an air of immaturity. You’re thumbscrew, you’re crack in the armor is exposed.

“I’m glad I passed on Justin… he’s really such a jerk!”

That’s what they will think and say. They will not feel bad about rejecting you.. they’ll feel relieved. They almost had an easily disturbed employee join their department and bring their bitter attitude with them. Can you say, “Bullet dodged?”

Bite your tongue if you must but don’t show yourself in such a vulnerable, hurt position. There will be hundreds of jobs with thousands of applicants and you must learn to differentiate yourself from the pack. Acting bitter like everyone else will only make you into one of the many sheep. Be proud like a wolf, not allowing anything but your smart planning and tactful strategy to guide your way.

And if anything, take it from me. I’ve been rejected repeatedly from jobs and internships for over a year now. I’ve been passed over for reasons beyond me and if I allow it to get to me.. I’ll be passed over by many more. Part of starting a blog has been to give me a space to not only write, which is a passion of mine, but to eventually monetize. Would I have ever started a blog with this purpose if I found the very first job I applied to? Of course not.

It’s only when we face adversity that we find our purpose and means to succeed in life.

Keep on keeping on!




Featured Image was retrieved from ( I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.