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How To Handle A Job Application Rejection

Ronnie Ford -- No matter what stage of the job search process you're going through, how you deal with rejection can be as important as having a strong resume and cover letter.

There is nothing worse than receiving a phone call or an email to inform you that your application for a position has been declined and that you have not moved to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Reviewing, considering, and then putting in a job application can be time-consuming and can create emotions of excitement and hope in regards to getting that role which could be your dream role and company.

No matter the stage of the recruitment process—be it the first communication from the hiring manager/recruiter via email informing you that you have not been successful, right through to the final stages of the process and being informed by a call—how you deal with rejection can be as important as having a strong resume and cover letter.

What people can forget: normally, your application is tracked each step of the way; each and every communication that you have—phone, email, or face-to-face interview—is recorded in your candidate file in the recruitment software. Leaving a lasting and professional impression through each step of the process is critical.

With any rejection, emotions understandably can bubble to the surface—for some, a quick hit of the reply button to an email could have a long-lasting impact on any future applications with the company.

    -- If you receive a rejection email, don't reply immediately. File it and come back to it once you have had time to think.

    -- Only reply to an email rejection once you feel you're in a more positive frame of mind and know that any reply you put forward will be one that is professional.

    -- Remember: a recruiter/hiring manager's time is just as important as yours. They could have spent two to three weeks working through the process, including reviewing and informing you about your application.

    -- As emails are often recorded in recruitment software, consider sending the recruiter a "thank you" email for taking the time to consider your application, and to wish them well with the search and filling the role.

    -- With an email rejection, you could consider asking, "Is there anything I could do, or gain experience in/with, that could improve my chances of gaining employment with the company in the future?"


Your email interactions may be logged against your candidate file. When you apply for future roles in the company, even if it's much further down the track and with a different department, your communications could be viewed. Keeping things professional and engaging would definitely be a positive for you.

Many recruiters and hiring managers have seen, time and time again, applicants react through emotion, stress, or because they are unemployed, with a quick email that can include highly inappropriate language or even physical threats.

No matter what your situation or circumstances, take a moment; don't immediately reply. Communicating in such an unprofessional way will simple close off any future opportunities with that business.

Phone Rejections

Normally, phone-based rejections are completed when you have undertaken a face-to-face interview. Usually, you would have established a connection/rapport with the person you're dealing with, so it's important that you handle the rejection professionally.

Also, unlike an email rejection, where you can take time to consider any reply via email, you will need to think on your feet over the phone.

    Once again, thank the individual for their time and thank them for giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and experiences.

    Feedback: Ask for feedback: what did you do well? what did you not do so well? what could you have done differently? and what can you do professionally that will help you in future applications for such roles?

    Be upfront: Ask if they would consider you for the position in the future should the role become vacant again (if you want to work for the company). Let them know that you are interested in the role and working with the business in the future.

    Always have a rejection plan in place; this will ensure that if you do receive such a call, you can quickly deal with it head on.

    Follow up: Think about sending a thank you email. Let them know you appreciate their time and consideration, and, hopefully, in the future you will get to work with the company.

There are other things to consider and that you can do to handle rejections. These will be based on the role, company, and where you are in the process.

The most important thing, which is hard: don't let your emotions take over. Doing so could lead you to react in a way that is not professional.

Dealing with a job application rejection in the right way can help you further down the line. This is very important when applying through a recruitment agency that recruits for a wide range of roles and companies.

A momentary lapse in professionalism and emotions can cost you, not one company but many.

Source: Ezinearticles

For more, visit Resumes for You.

© 2021 Ronnie Ford

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.