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8 tips to handle IT job search rejection

Sharon Florentine | March 24, 2016
Didn't land that dream job? Rejection can be difficult, but there are eight tips for handling the loss and moving forward with your career search.

4. Follow up

While not all companies will respond to candidates they reject, they are often willing to share feedback with candidates who came close to getting the job.

"Follow up with your key contacts, thank them again for the opportunity to interview and learn about the position, and let them know how much you desire a similar role. Then, ask for feedback on why you didn't get the job. In some cases, you might not hear anything; sometimes you'll get lucky, though, and someone on the company side will be willing to engage with you this way," Barnett says.

5. Stay on their radar

Just because you were rejected from a specific role, doesn't mean the company didn't think you were impressive. After all, only one person can be hired for one role at a time. Make sure you're staying in touch with the recruiter or hiring manager you worked with, but don't appear desperate, Barnett cautions.

"This can be a very casual, 'just touching base from time to time' kind of thing, just to stay connected. If something else comes up, this will help you stay top-of-mind for the company, and it also shows that you're not bitter, you're resilient, you have a positive response to stress and that you're an optimist who's moving on," he says.

6. Be graceful

Nobody likes a sore loser, so make sure you're staying positive and friendly, even in defeat. Thank everyone for their time, and make sure you offer your help in any future endeavors if there's an opportunity, he says.

"Some of the best hires come from referrals, so even if they didn't hire you, they may know someone who is looking for a candidate with similar skills and experience. You're showing that you respect their company and that you're an advocate for them, even if you're not working there," Barnett says.

7. Keep moving forward

Rejection is part of the interviewing process and something we've all felt. Don't give up. If you need to take a little time to lick your wounds, that's understandable, but don't let rejection crush you.

"Channel that negative energy into reinvigorating your job search. Take a look at your resume, start networking aggressively and work on scheduling more interviews," Barnett says.

8. Find the positives in your current world

So you didn't land the new job, and now you're faced with going back to an unfavorable work scenario. While it's much easier said than done, try not to become angry, depressed and bitter, Barnett says. Sometimes, you have to accept that you'll be stuck where you are for a bit longer, and make the best of it.

"What you don't want to do is make desperate, poorly-thought-out decisions based on anger or frustration. Don't rage-quit your current job, for example — that'll land you in a much worse position. If you have a toxic manager or an unhealthy work environment, well, that's all the more reason to try and stay positive and patient — something amazing will come along for you if you keep trying," Barnett says.


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