March 02, 2017

How To Survive Job Search Rejection

No one ever likes getting rejected. Unfortunately rejection plays a big role in the job search process. This is especially true for new college graduates with no work track record in their new profession. Supply and demand along with not being in the right place at the right time contribute to the rejection phase in job searching. However if rejection is a given, then what can be done to combat this phase or even use it for your gain? A successful trick that knowledgeable job seekers use is to understand the rejection stages and to use counter-measures at each stage.  
Let's talk a little about the rejection phase and its corresponding stages.

 Stage 1: Denial. After spending time creating a perfect resume and submitting it for an open job position, a rejection email is received back from the organization to which you applied. During the early part of your job quest this may be the first or the first few rejection emails that you are beginning to receive. Your confidence is still pretty high and it is easy to rationalize and deny that there might be problems with your job application, resume or interview. Thoughts like, it was the organization that made the mistake or you are relieved that you didn't get the job since you didn't really like the job position all that much, are  common. This stage is all about denial.

Stage 2: Anger.  The pile of rejection emails has filled at least one waste basket. After few months of searching, finding, and applying for job openings the end result is no job. You have moved back in with your parents. Your confidence is starting to drop. Thoughts like, I went to a bad college or earned a non-marketable degree are common in this stage. It becomes harder to stay optimistic and fill out more job applications.

Stage 3: Hopelessness. Some of your friends have found jobs but you haven't. Your confidence is hitting a new low. Now you are having thoughts like, why me or I'm a loser. You are thinking about giving up looking for a job in your profession and will take just about any job you can find.
Successful job seekers understand the rejection phases listed above and take counter measures aimed at each stage. These individuals understand that applying for and receiving job offers is a numbers game. These folks know that depending on the market demand for their skills, they may be looking at a 2-5% non-rejection application rate or in other words, they expect 95 to 98 rejections for every 100 applications sent out. If this is your case, what can you do? You can break the rejection cycle by applying countermeasures [CM] for each stage. Now let's examine the CM stages.

CM Stage 1: Assessment. The early rejection notifications are arriving. Instead of going into the Denial stage begin your assessment of what went wrong. Did you fill out the application form correctly? Did you tailor your resume to map to the skills the job requested? Were you prepared for the interview if it got that far?

CM Stage 2: Apply Assessment Corrections. Don't wait for the rejection pile to get larger. Immediately begin to apply what was learned during your Assessment stage. Continue to seek advice from others who have been through this process recently and had success. Free sources of advice include but are not limited to Monster.com; check out the Career Resources banner on Monster's home page. Another free resource is Careerbuilder.com which has on its home page a Search Resources tab. The Search Resources will transport you to the Careerbuilder blog that has Advice & Resources. Sometimes job forums can be a good source of what's happening in the market place from those currently in the job quest. Indeed.com/forum is a place where job search questions are asked and answered. A few more active job forums are reddit.com/r/jobs/ , reddit.com/r/GetEmployed/ and reddit.com/r/jobsearchhacks/ .

CM Stage 3: Increase Job Application volume. This stage is in direct opposition to Stage 3's Hopelessness category. Instead of giving up on the job search you need to ramp up your application submission process. Longer hours may be necessary in order to double or triple your outgoing job submissions. Remember finding a job is numbers game and it's nothing personal, it's just the way it is.


Finding a job involves a great deal of work. It always did. Start applying well before you graduate from college. Begin filling out job applications until you feel like Ringo Starr on a take of "Helter Skelter" where he yells, " I got blisters on my fingers!"

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