Job rejection 101: What NOT to do, when you don't get the job

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You Didn't Get the Job, And You Can't Know Why

Rejection is tough to take in any area of life, but when you're turned down for a job you were really excited about, it can be particularly devastating. Most of us need to work for a living – getting a job rejection has a concrete effect on our bottom line.

Also, there's the self-esteem aspect. To a certain extent, we are what we do. We spend the bulk of our waking hours at work, so it's only natural to look to our jobs for a sense of identity and purpose.

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All that said, there's a right way and a wrong way to deal with getting bad news during your job search. These are definitely some of the worst choices.

  1. Getting snarky.

Do you have a tendency to lash out when hurt? If so, back away from the computer before you respond to that email from the hiring manager. There is something worse than not getting the job, and if you send a sarcastic, demanding, or just plain unprofessional email in response, you'll find out what that is. (OK, we won't make you work for the answer, when you've had a rough day: it's burning your bridges.)

Here's an example of a really bad response from a job applicant, courtesy of Alison Green of Ask a Manager:

I've reviewed this email. It's pretty clearly a form letter. I can appreciate that you've got a lot of applicants, and need to skim the fat, so to speak, but I require honest communication from a potential employer, not form letters.

"Yeah, it is a form letter — a friendly and polite form letter, but a form letter," Green writes. "When you need to communicate the same information to hundreds of people, a form letter is the most efficient way to do it. I'm not sure why that makes it less 'honest.'"

Bottom line, it wouldn't matter if the form letter was dishonest; writing to the hiring manager and demanding a different type of communication isn't going to change the outcome. The person who wrote this response forgot the most important fact about their situation: they're not in a position to demand anything.

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Take advantage of your college career center
Most universities offer career coaching from trained professionals who specialize in development and advancement. Whether or not you have an idea of your career plans post-college, it can be beneficial to take a few hours out of your day and set up an appointment with one of the counselors. Many times, these professionals can review and help you tailor your resumé and cover letter. To top it off, because of their experience and networks in various industries, counselors have the potential to connect you with hiring managers.

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Begin creating and using your network 
One of the most important aspects to finding a job is taking advantage of your professional and personal network. Your connections can vary from your family members and friends to your professors and alumni. If you feel as if you're lacking a valuable network, however, business association events and gatherings are the best way to gain important contacts.

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Participate in recruiting and career fairs 
This piece of advice may be the most obvious, but many students fail to take advantage of it. Careers fairs orchestrated by your specific college are invaluable. They allow you to not only learn about opportunities in your respective career, but it also allows you the opportunity to network with hiring managers and employers of the companies present.

Use your social media wisely 
It goes without saying that we live in a social media world. Everything you do online can be tracked, so it's important to make sure you are representing your personality and style accurately, and in the best possible light -- you never know who may be looking at your page.


 
Always follow up  
With the advancement of modern technology, most job applications are done online. Because of this new process, it oftentimes makes it harder to find the person of contact to follow up with. However, you shouldn't let that initial obstacle prevent you from following up. If you can't find the name of the hiring manager directly reviewing your application, use LinkedIn to do a search of the next best person to reach out to. Many potential employees miss out on interviews by not being proactive and sending follow up emails.
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  1. Doing nothing.

The less said about the rejection, the better, right? Wrong.

Job rejections are an opportunity. Sure, you missed out on that job, but if you behave in a gracious manner, you might be able to expand your network.

"If you sincerely liked the people and the organization and would want to be considered when another opportunity opens there, the biggest mistake you can make is giving up on the employer and the people you liked," writes Susan P. Joyce at LinkedIn. "Instead, send a nice thank you note to the hiring manager, the recruiter, and everyone else who was in the interview process."

The less said about the rejection, the better, right? Wrong.Click To Tweet

In doing so, you leave a positive impression on the hiring manager or managers. In other words, you're not making our next mistake....

  1. Assuming the door is closed.

The main purpose of the thank-you letter is to leave the interviewers with a good feeling about you and your candidacy for future roles ... but if you play your cards right, you might also get another shot at this job. Not every hire works out. Behave professionally, and you might get a call sooner than you think.

You can also use your note as a way of asking for feedback on your qualifications and interview experience, which might help you upskill yourself more quickly for the next spot on the team.

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Tell Us What You Think

What's the worst response to a job rejection that you've ever seen? Let us know in the comments, or talk to us on Twitter.

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The post Job Rejection 101: What NOT to Do, When You Don't Get the Job appeared first on Career News.

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