Career Tip: Getting over the Rejection Letter Blues

We know that many college seniors have already been applying for jobs for months, and many of you haven’t heard back from these potential employers yet. We understand that this is incredibly frustrating. We also know that some of you have received a rejection letter.

Our associate Ray, landed his first job only after sending out 200 resumes and receiving 198 rejection letters back! (Luckily for us, this experience was early fuel for his passion to help others advance their careers with less stress and frustration.)

Nobody wants to get rejected.

Filling out job applications online is no fun, and we recognize the negative feelings that come with getting the news that you weren’t the first choice applicant. Even worse may be hearing NOTHING! Many young people tell us they feel like they are sending their applications into a void – they submit their resumes and never hear anything back! (Note to employers – at least send an acknowledgement of receipt and notification that the applicant was not selected. Ignoring people who’ve take the time to apply to your company leads them to feel crappy about your company and those negative feelings don’t go away.)

Here is what we recommend when you’ve got the rejection letter blues:

  1. Let yourself feel disappointed. It sucks not to be wanted by every employer. Don’t wallow for too long, but do allow yourself to mourn that you didn’t get that cool-sounding job.
  2. Rethink your strategy. 99% of the time we don’t recommend that you apply online for a job unless you have ALL of the qualifications they are looking for. If the job description says they are looking for someone with an engineering degree and you don’t have one, applying is a waste of your time and setting you up for disappointment
  3. On the other hand – if you do find a job online that seems perfect, PAUSE before applying and network like crazy to find a connection inside the company. Your alumni network is a great place to start. There are some great tips for finding an internship that also apply to entry-level jobs in our free webinar. 
  4. Reality check! Put your rejection in perspective. It is highly likely that 100s of people were applying for that coveted job that sounds so perfect. Your job is out there too!
  5. What can you learn from your rejection? We highly recommend asking for help revising your resume and cover letter after a number of rejections. There may be a reason you are being rejected that can be remedied with changes to your resume and cover letter.
  6. End the interaction positively, and send a thank you note to the sender of the rejection letter. It will give you positive mental closure, and you never know. The recipient might be impressed with your professionalism. You may end up with a valued contact.
  7. Now get yourself back out there! Persistence, with an effective plan behind your efforts, is key.

Working with a career coach is often a great way to build up confidence and get support when transitioning from college into career. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss whether coaching is a good fit for you or your student.


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