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UMM Home > Career Services > Job Application Tools > Dealing with Rejection

Dealing With Rejection

That time of year is here--I mean "rejection letter time." It happens to everyone (well, almost everyone!)...

   It's important to realize that as a job seeker, you will go through many stages. Sometimes you will be excited, other times you will be down. This is common and normal. Some job seekers go through this kind of pattern.

First: LIMBO. Waiting for some response, any response. Everyone's waiting for some direction, some feedback. The tension builds, and all of a sudden students seem to put their whole life into the hands of the recruiters. All of a sudden students aren't in control, someone else is!

Second: REJECTION. This is an awful experience--depression sets in!

Third: ANGER. Sometimes students start blaming their profs, the recruiters, the placement office.

Fourth: DISCOURAGEMENT. After anumer of interviews and rejections, it seems a lot easier to give up and stop the job search process altogether.

Fifth: REGROUP. After a period of cooling off, students frequently gain a fresh perspective and have the energy and optimism necessary to start again and be persistent until the efforts pay off.

   How can you get through this? Well, just knowing there's a light at the end of the tunnel may help. Did you know that 6 to 9 months after graduation most graduates who seek employment are employed?

   Here are some suggestions to follow while you are looking:

  1. Remember to be proactive--actively continue to contact employers--that way you remain in control and your fate doesn't rest with some other person.
  2. Remember that a rejection does not mean personal rejection. you qualifications simply did not meet their needs at the time. Try other employers!
  3. Anger is sometimes OK--if it's productive and if it's not the recruiter's (or anyone else's) fault that their organization can't hire everyone--remember they're only human too.
  4. Sometimes when you are really discourage, it's important to just stop for a while. for a change of pace. Don't give up entirely--just give yourself a break. Then you'll have the energy to start again.
  5. Evaluate your performance, try to identify problem areas and clear them up early. Ask for information. At the end of each interview, it is perfectly acceptable to tactfully and nicely resate you interest in the organization and ask when will you (apporx.) have some indication of their interest. or you can immediately send a thank you letter stating and asking the same.
  6. Obtain feedback. Some of the more outgoing students even ask for feedback at the end of the interview--suggestions, on how to improve, etc. Not all recruiters will answer, but many will. Few will volunteer this information unless asked directly by the students.
  7. Contact the employer. if you do not hear from the employer after several week, you may write or call the recruiter and ask about the status of your application.