I was rejected from a job I thought I was perfect for. Now what?
We've all been there. We tailor our resume, utilize a company reference or two, spend hours perfecting our cover letter, and finally hit submit on the application. We receive a call from the employer to set up an interview - yes! The interview goes as well as we hoped for, even with details about what the first few weeks on the job would be like.
Then we wait. With each passing day our hope diminishes. We receive the email or call that no one wants to hear: "We are sorry to inform you that we have moved forward with another candidate. Unfortunately you were not the right fit for the position at this time."
Disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, confusion, and many more emotions sink in. What happens next?
1. Take a Day
Take a day to yourself. Process your emotions and decompress. You worked hard trying to get this position and although it may not feel like it, there is a position out there with your name on it. Remember, your resume was well written enough to get you the interview. Your interview skills were developed and got you to the final stages of the interview process!
Take note about anything the interviewer liked about you during the interview process. Continue showcasing those attributes for future interviews. In addition, think about which things made you nervous or you were not sure went as well as you hoped. These may be areas where you can seek further development.
2. Don't Burn Bridges
Take a deep breath and give the interviewer (or hiring manager) a call. Thank them for considering you for the position and let them know you value their feedback. Ask him if he has any areas of improvement from your interview or resume so that you can make sure to incorporate them for future opportunities.
It takes somebody to say the truth to start a process. - Gary Vaynerchuk
Let him know it was a pleasure to interview for the position and company and to keep you in consideration for any similar roles in the future. Do not use this call as another attempt to sell yourself for the position. Simply be kind and accept any feedback even if you may not agree. If the interviewer is not available, you can also send him an email. Keep in mind, you may not receive a response.
Connect with him on LinkedIn. The interviewer knows your skill set and may post similar opportunities on the site. They may also turn into a great reference for a similar position with the company or another company they know of.
3. Onward and Upward
Every storm runs out of rain - Maya Angelou
This won't be your last application or job interview. Your road does not end here. Continue job searching, interviewing, and growing in the process. Recruit your network and even reassess your career plan. You will get rejected again at some point, but do not let any faceless company company dictate who you are or your potential. That's up to you to decide.