Remember the devastating feeling of a relationship ending and everyone telling you that some people just aren’t meant to be together? Job searching in your 20s seems to bring back those memories.

You’ve found the perfect job, used every bit of knowledge from career prep courses to perfect your cover letter, purchased new professional attire, practiced for interview questions, and even had multiple people check over your résumé – but they turned you down.  

Getting rejected from a potential job is heartbreaking, but you can’t let it get you down. What we often forget is the perspective of the employer. Perhaps you just don’t fit the job description or someone much more qualified also applied. Whatever the reason may be, here are a few tips for handling job rejections:

Be Sad

Seriously, it’s okay. Call your mom and cry a little. Print the email they sent just so you can physically rip it up. Your disappointment is justified- you spent endless hours preparing your résumé and practicing for the interview. Just remember that once you get it out of your system, you can’t be sad about it again later.

Consider Their Point of View

You really don’t know who else applied for the job or what exactly the employer was looking for. Even if you considered it your dream job, there’s still a great chance of finding something even better. It’s okay to believe that company is missing out on someone great, but it’s their duty to hire the best candidate for the job.  Just because it isn’t you does not mean you aren’t qualified and talented enough to get a position elsewhere.

See it as an Opportunity

You may have just been saved from an environment that you really didn’t fit into. Either way, now you have the chance to check your résumé again, make some changes, and apply for more positions for which you’re qualified. See this as a practice run for a more important interview later.

The breakup between you and your sweetheart didn’t stop you from dating again and a rejection letter from a job shouldn’t hold you back either. Don’t forget that your peers are experiencing similar situations; some of them may be competition, but others may be an outlet for venting or finding encouragement.

A few years from now, when you’re settled into the truly perfect job, you’ll remember a few of these heartbreaking rejections and wonder why you were upset in the first place. You don’t have to believe that everything happens for a reason or that good karma exists, you just have to believe in yourself and your abilities.


AuthorAlyssa Knight