Whether you’ve just started looking for a job or you’ve been submitting applications for a while, it can be common to experience feelings of rejection. Maybe you’re not hearing from anyone after applying, or had an interview but didn’t get an offer. While this is all part of the process, it’s not always easy to deal with. Here are some tips to help deal with rejection and stay motivated in the job search.
Keep things in perspective
It can take most job seekers anywhere from six weeks to 12 months to find a position, with the average being five to six months. Job candidates can also average 24 rejections from hiring managers before getting an offer.
Although it can be challenging, don’t take rejection from an employer personally. Remind yourself regularly of your strengths and all that you can bring to a job. At times, it may seem like everyone around you is getting job offers, but try not to compare yourself to others. They may have started the job search earlier, or may have already gone through many rejections themselves that you don’t know about.
In some cases, rejection may not always be a bad thing. Remember that the job search process goes both ways. While the organization is evaluating you as a potential employee, you are also evaluating them as a potential employer. For example, if you value work-life balance and a company you’re applying to expects a 60-hour workweek, you may not want to work there. Not hearing from an organization or getting a “no” could be for the best, for both you and the company.
Find ways to stay motivated
Even though it can feel discouraging, keep applying and networking to maintain momentum in your job search. Set goals for a number of applications and networking contacts per week, rather than waiting to hear back from one company at a time. Find a friend to help keep you accountable and motivated, or set up a group meeting with some classmates for mutual support.
As you’re searching, consider learning a new skill. This can give you something other than the job search to think about, and it might help you in your search. All CU students have free access to LinkedIn Learning, an online library of instructional videos that cover a variety of professional skills. To access LinkedIn Learning, log in to your student portal and click ‘Training’ in the lower right navigation.
Volunteering is another good way to stay motivated. It’s an opportunity to support a cause you’re passionate about, and can remind you of your strengths. You can also include volunteer work on your resume. Visit the Volunteer Resource Center to find opportunities.
Revise your strategy
Take another look at your resume to make sure it’s highlighting your skills, abilities and experience. And remember, your resume and cover letter should be tailored to each job posting you’re applying for. Review these tips for creating a memorable resume.
Keep practicing your interview skills. After you’ve prepared some responses to commonly asked interview questions, practice your answers out loud. Scheduling a mock interview appointment with a career development advisor before your next interview can help reduce stress and boost your confidence. You’ll get immediate feedback on your responses and tips for highlighting your skills in the best way possible. You could also record a mock interview on InterviewStream to take note of your tone and body language as you’re answering questions. Keep in mind that 80–93% of communication is nonverbal, and this service provides objective feedback on your interview presence.
To get more comfortable speaking with professionals and hiring managers, schedule some informational interviews. These informal meetings are a way not only to research a particular field, company or industry, but you can expand your professional network as well. Start by making connections with CU Boulder alumni on LinkedIn.
Lastly, you could ask for feedback from employers you’ve interviewed with. Feedback from the employer may not be easy to hear at first, but it can be helpful advice for your next interview. When asking a hiring manager or human resources professional for their comments, be gracious and thank them for their time and the opportunity to interview with them.
Take care of yourself
The job search process can be stressful. Staying healthy, physically and mentally, can help you stay energized in your search. Prioritize things like getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per night), eating regular and balanced meals, making time for activities you enjoy and connecting with friends and family.
If expectations ever become too much or you feel overwhelmed, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) can help. You can stop by for a walk-in session at their main office in C4C N352 or find them around campus as part of their Let’s Talk program.