The Benefits of Rejection

Posted: February 7, 2022

Receiving an email informing you that you’re no longer under consideration for an internship, co-op, or full-time position can shake your confidence during the job hunt. Though the initial sting of rejection might seem like a disadvantage at first, there are plenty of ways that you can use this opportunity to gain feedback, adjust and adapt, and use the experience to propel you forward in your job search. 

First, it is okay to acknowledge your disappointment with the outcome. It helps to consider the things that made you excited about the job opportunity in the first place. Was it the location or industry? What about the company culture? Maybe it was the tasks you would be working on? It's good to reflect on what drew you to the company or position and why you found it appealing. Once you have identified elements that are a priority for you in a future position, keep them in mind when conducting your job search and you’ll be able to more effectively seek out opportunities. 

Next, know that you’re always welcome to ask an employer for feedback on your application or interviews. After you receive word that you won’t be moving forward in the selection process, reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager and thank them for their time and consideration of you for the role. Politely ask if they had any feedback that they could share with you to help you improve going forward. Going about this interaction professionally and open to suggestions will help you to gain valuable insights as a job seeker while not burning any bridges. While all employers may not be able to respond with feedback, the ones that do will give great insight!

If the employer was able to share potential areas of improvement, set up an appointment with an ECS advisor to create a plan going forward. Use this opportunity as one to reset and determine how you will put their advice into practice. Take some time to fine tune application documents, like your resume or cover letter, to ensure they are portraying your qualifications in the best light. Perhaps the employer gave you feedback that pertained to your interview. Consider setting up a mock interview with our office to practice your skills in a low stakes environment with standard and behavioral questions that you might encounter in your next interview. These efforts can help get you back on track with your job search. 

Finally, it helps to keep a positive outlook when faced with rejection. Instead of viewing it as a dead end, reframe your outlook on what you’re going through as redirection. You now have more clarity on what you’re looking for in a job or company, you gained more practice and exposure to the selection process, and you were able to get employer insights! It may seem cheesy, but take comfort in the fact that rejection is something that everyone will encounter, and what steps you take afterwards demonstrate your strength and perseverance. 

“If you don’t give up on something you truly believe in, you will find a way.” ― Roy T. Bennett