Receiving a rejection letter or email from a company you liked can be discouraging. If you were looking forward to the job and thought you had nailed the interview, it can be difficult to rebound. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to spring back positively and potentially leave a good impression for next time.
Send a Reply
On first glance, it may seem counter-intuitive and pointless to send a reply to the letter or email. After all, the company basically told you that they found someone better. It would be strange to not feel disappointed by that. However, sending a reply to the rejection has unforeseen benefits. Kat Boogaard from The Muse has this to say about sending rejection notes: “…It’s a great way to demonstrate your professionalism, establish the grounds for a continued relationship, and—in some circumstances—even open the door for future opportunities.  Even further, responding to the rejection gives you the opportunity to ask for feedback, which is valuable information you can use to continue improving and making progress in your job search.”
Kat’s article from The Muse on job rejection notices also has a nice template for you to use in your own emails or letters.
The important thing is that you tried and did your best, but now isn’t the time to wallow. The only direction to move is forward.
Pick up the pieces and start your job search again. Ideally, you will still want to be searching for positions while interviewing, just so that you have extra opportunities in the works in case the interview does not work out. Focusing on one at a time isn’t the best use of your time.
Use this time to learn from any mistakes you made in the previous interview process and put effort into improving yourself for future interviews.
Get Feedback When Possible
The best way to learn is to learn from your failures. Being rejected by a company can be a big opportunity for you to find out where you went wrong and what you need to work on for next time. Having already maintained the bridge of communication by sending a rejection reply is a good start. Reach out to the person of contact and ask them where you went wrong in the interview process, or ask them what aspects of your resume were weaker in comparison to the person(s) they hired. A professional individual will gladly give you constructive feedback on what you need to improve. Worst case scenario, they won’t respond at all, and that’s not the end of the world.
Getting rejected from a job doesn’t have to be the end-all. Use the failure as fuel for your successes.
Still need some more ideas? Here’s a few tips on the types of questions you should ask during your interviews.