Dealing with rejection while job hunting

Nobody likes being turned down for a job, and if you’ve worked hard to prepare for a role you really want, it can be even more difficult to accept a rejection. However, with the right attitude, you can turn the experience into a professional development opportunity. Here’s more.

Process your feelings

Disappointment, anger, and frustration are just a few of the feelings you can experience after not getting a job you applied for. You may experience a range of emotions, and it’s important that you process them and channel them in healthy ways so that you can move forward freely. You can do this by journaling, exercising, being in nature, and doing self-care rituals. It’s also okay to cry. Give yourself time to let your feelings exist and be processed.


While it may be painful to admit, you may have not been the best person for the job. This is a good time to reflect on your CV, your preparation and how you conducted yourself in the interview. Don’t beat yourself up about it, as this will only play into the feelings of rejection. It may also be a blessing in disguise. If the company felt you weren’t a good fit, you could very likely not have enjoyed working there.

CV check

Go through your CV and make sure that your skills match the position you applied for. Spend time screening your skills with specific positions, and tailor your CV and cover letters for each application. If you are struggling, ask a friend or someone you trust to go over your CV and give you pointers on how you could improve it. Remember, it should be concise and to the point, but still reflect who you are as a person and potential employee.

Work your network

Social media has become a huge part of our lives over the past few years, and this goes for how we find jobs too. Rather than seeing them as just a way to check in and share cute pictures with your friends, use them as platforms to promote yourself and connect with others. A good place to start is, LinkedIn.

Consider each setback as an opportunity to improve your self-awareness and your ability to recover from and deal with disappointment. Make a point of remaining positive and doing everything you can to learn from the experience to help you prepare for the next opportunity. After all, being turned down for a job happens to everyone, what matters is what you learn from it.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).