Resilience in Rejection 

The job search process certainly isn’t easy. Taking the time to develop a beautifully tailored resume, sending it off to an employer, and not hearing back can be overwhelming. Receiving an email from your dream company only to open it and find that they’ve decided to move forward with a different candidate can be heartbreaking. Unfortunately, rejection is a common experience in all aspects of a job search. However, it’s important to know that everyone experiences it, you certainly aren’t alone. It’s the ability to use this rejection to develop a resilient and positive mindset that will set you apart from other candidates and move you successfully on to your next exciting role. Rejection is all part of the process and, although anxiety-causing at the time, it provides you a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Be Kind to Yourself

Missing out on a role can certainly affect your confidence and have you second-guessing yourself. The key to handling a “no” from a prospective employer is to not let it define you. Be kind to yourself, learn that you can move on from setbacks with the right mindset and turn them into opportunities for growth. Resilience is about bouncing back, learning from your experiences, and improving for the future.


Take the time to reflect on your approach. Evaluate your process and always make sure you’re adjusting and optimizing your application when you’re applying to each new role. Think about your performance during the interview. Although not typical, sometimes employers will share post-interview feedback. If you’re in a comfortable mindset and open to and prepared for constructive criticism, sending a simple note asking how you could improve your interviewing skills or qualifications is acceptable. Then utilizing that feedback to identify areas of development and improvement will allow you to become a stronger candidate for future roles.

Keep Moving Forward

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is feeling so discouraged that you overanalyze the situation, beginning to believe that the job search just isn’t for you. It’s quite the opposite! Instead, reframe your mindset, look at your next application as a fresh start, resolve to have your résumé reviewed and even get extra interview practice to be more prepared and confident than before.

Check out some of the Center for Career Development’s job search resources. Get a resume review and set up a practice interview!   

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
By Caitlin Cincotta
Caitlin Cincotta