If you let it get to you, the fear rejection can crush your energy and enthusiasm, and, eventually, your job search.
Learning how to deal with rejection can help you conquer each opportunity with more enthusiasm and confidence. Here are some expert tips to help you do that.
• Accept it: Realize that when you embark on job search, rejection just comes with the territory.
"There is always going to be rejection," says Susan Klein, a Florida-based business and executive coach. "If you go on a job search and expect not to be rejected, you are setting yourself up to lose. Know that not everyone will need what you have to offer."
Learning to accept rejection also means learning to not dwell on the negative.
"You have to be self motivating," Klein says. "You can't depend on just having everything go well. Don't dwell on it and go over and over in your mind that you weren't accepted. Move onto the next thing."
• Mind over matter: Change the way you think about each rejection. Rejection stings. Unfortunately, it can also warp the way you approach your goals.
"The reality is rejection stinks. What impacts people is what you look at," Fuhrman says. "You can focus on that rejection, and if you do, you'll start saying things like ‘I'll probably get turned down for the next one.' Or, you can look at it and think ‘Well, what did I learn from it?'"
Think of each rejection as a singular event — not a pattern. By keeping your eye on your overall goal — finding a great job — you'll soon realize that the rejections along the way are not that significant.
"Never lose sight of where you want to end up," Fuhrman says. "Failing is a single event. Failure is when you let that event take control of the rest of your life."
• Learn something: A rejection can actually be a useful thing, if you use it as a learning experience.
"Get as much information as possible from the [hiring managers]," Klein says. "If it's just that you sent a resume and they said ‘No, thank you,' see if you can get information — what was missing from your resume?"
The same applies to job interviews. It's perfectly acceptable, experts say, to ask hiring managers for feedback if you are not offered the job after an interview.
"In business, if you have done your homework and they say no, I believe you have the right to question it, to ask ‘Is there something I didn't do or should have done better?'" Fuhrman says. "A lot of times you do get an answer, and that helps your confidence."
The feedback you get can also help you discover what your strengths and weaknesses are — and how to make the best of them. For example, if a hiring manager tells you that you have the right amount of training but not enough on-the-job experience, it's possible to use that information in a positive way.
"You're not sitting in that interview room getting enough field experience, but what you can do is go out to the next interview and prepare," Fuhrman says. "You can make a positive out of it by saying ‘One of the things that makes me really strong is I have these skills through education and I bring a fresh approach to the job. I haven't acquired the bad habits some people acquire in the field.'"
Gathering feedback can also help you focus your search on the job opportunities that are best suited for you.
"It's better to take a look at another possibility then just keep getting these no's and never know why," Fuhrman says. "Knowing the difference through the interview can be of tremendous benefit, because you can prepare for the next interview or change your plans."