Being rejected for a job and how to bounce back

Jobs are both the stepping stones and ultimate destinations of our careers. Being rejected for a job can be disheartening. It’s especially difficult if you have all your hopes pinned on a specific job. Maybe you felt the job was a sure thing, too, which makes it even more frustrating. In this economic environment, a job rejection can feel like the end of the road. However, with an understanding of why you were rejected and what you can learn from the situation, you can bounce back when turned down for a job.

Reasons you may be turned down for a job

There can be a variety of reasons you may get turned down for a job position. Some people don’t even make it to the interview, and others do but are not accepted for the position. Whatever the case may be, some common reasons for not getting the job include the following:

Someone else has more experience than you

There will be times when a job is above your experience level. Maybe you thought you had enough time in the industry and expertise to make the cut. However, when it got down to it, someone else had more experience than you, and that’s what the hiring manager was looking for. Don’t let that type of job rejection get you down. It takes time to build your experience level.

Inadequate skill set

Along with someone else being more experienced, you may lack the skill set necessary for the job. If that’s the case, you may have misunderstood the job listing. In some cases, the person who listed the job may not have written out all the needed skills. In that instance, it would be hard to know that you didn’t have the skills required until you were turned down for the job.

Job no longer needed

Sometimes a job is listed, then it is no longer needed. Maybe the manager consolidated two positions into one and, therefore, no longer needed one of them. Or they might have realized they didn’t need to fill the role for other reasons.

It is disappointing to go through all the work to apply for a job only to find out it’s no longer needed.

Job description changed

You may not fit the bill if the hiring manager changes the job description. The company could have made changes after they had already listed the job. Once that happens, it may not be convenient or possible to redo the listing. The description change might still work for you, but it might not. In the latter case, you will need to move on to finding another job listing.

Culture mismatch

It’s not always because of your performance during the interview or your skill set that you get turned down for a job. It may be that you are not a fit for the company’s culture—every company has its own approach and way of doing things. Their values and mission may not work well with your goals. This doesn’t reflect poorly on you; it’s simply not a good fit.

Ways to bounce back from job rejection

You don’t have to give up hope for a thriving future when you get turned down for a job. You can still find value from this experience. Here are some tips to help you bounce back from job rejection.

See it as a learning opportunity

Every situation is an opportunity to learn something new. Instead of considering it a defeat or loss, you can consider it a learning time. If you are underqualified but want a job in this field, you can assess what you might need to do to get this job next time.

Maybe there are additional classes you need to take or certifications that would be helpful. Whatever the case, you can move ahead with a renewed outlook on what skills you need.

Take to heart any feedback you received

If you went to the interview and received feedback on why you weren’t accepted, don’t take this as a criticism but as a benefit. This information can assist you in your next job prospect and interview. The feedback may let you know that you should apply for a different type of job altogether, or it could direct you to polish your skills in certain areas. Take the feedback to heart and move forward.

Revisit your skills and goals

If you don’t get any real feedback from the hiring manager, which is probable, you will have to figure things out on your own. You can revisit your resume and look at your skills and experience to see how it fits (or doesn’t) with the job. Do you see any gaps or areas that are lacking? If so, you can work to fill those in.

It’s also helpful to reevaluate your goals to ensure they align with the culture of the company to which you applied. Sometimes it’s not a match. If that’s the case, you can research companies before applying next time to ensure that your values align with the company’s values.

Work on your interviewing skills

Interviewing can be nerve-wracking. Some people seem to fly through interviews easily, while others get quite nervous. You may be a great candidate for the job, but you just don’t interview well. If that is your problem, you can remedy it through practice. You can work with someone else to hone your interview skills or review online resources with sample interview questions.

No matter why you are turned down for a job, you can bounce back and succeed in your next venture. Learn from what went wrong and confidently move on to the next job opening.