Didn’t get the job? How to Turn NO into YES

Candidates can use a rejection to build on their core strengths, address development points and ultimately find a job that suits them best.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Courtesy Image of Unsplash

Looking for work can be quite difficult, and like dating, you’ll experience more rejections than offers.

Rejection stings, especially when we’ve put so much preparation into making a good impression. But it’s a simple reality of the job market: When there are 20 applicants for one job, 19 of them will not get hired.

You have two choices when you get a rejection:

  • Give up.
  • Treat it as an opportunity in itself.

Yes exactly, Handled in the right way, a rejection can lead to a second chance at landing your dream job, or at least a job you can tolerate until your dream job shows up.

With that in mind, it’s important to know how to make the most of this painful experience.

The following strategy will help you increase your chances for a “YES”:

1) Take time to recharge Yourself

Getting rejected from a job hurts so much. We experience a variety of negative emotions: anger, frustration, anxiety, jealousy, and so on. It’s important to give ourselves time to let these emotions run their course and get them out. Don’t be shy in getting help to a friend and do what you need to do to take your mind off the letdown.

Don’t take it too seriously, instead it’s very important to remember the other things in life that matter — our friends, our values, our family and our health — and to not neglect them.

2) Don’t just write a thank you note, but write an influence letter

Your letter should briefly sum up key points from the conversation you had with the hiring manager, and remind him/her of how your skills and experience fit with the company’s objectives. The letter should make it clear that you understand the scope of the challenges and are uniquely positioned to help the company respond. Make sure you use good grammar and that your professionalism and passion come through.

You should try to ask why you were rejected and what you could improve. This can be difficult, but it is essential for your development. Make the interviewer aware how important feedback is to you, as this will show them how committed you are to self-development and may convince them to hire you in the future — attitude can be just as important as ability.

3) Build a more focused strategy

After the initial hurt and hopefully received some feedback, now is the perfect time to give your career strategy a new look.

Start to ask yourself: Why wasn’t I chosen? How can I improve my attractiveness as a job candidate? How am I going to make connections, learn about opportunities, and approach applying to more jobs?

This exercise will give you a more organized, focused approach to your job hunt, so you can direct your attention to the opportunities that you are the best fit for.

Use what you’ve learned to make yourself a better candidate for the next application, whether it be to the same company or to a different one.

4) Move forward

Many jobseekers think that, when you interview for a job and find out you don’t get it, that’s the end of the story. But it’s wrong. Infact if you’ve made it to the final rounds of an interview process, you’ve clearly impressed the hiring manager. And, having spent several hours discussing your work experience, skills, and goals, you’ve built a professional relationship.

So, why not use this person as networker and ask him to connect you to other positions. Every opportunity is a networking opportunity, and every job interview can lead to a job, even if it’s not the one you applied for.

Originally published at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Melanie Feldman and Anna Schuliger of Going Places On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

by Jason Hartman

3 Ways To Turn A Rejection Into An Offer

by Ashley Stahl
Juanmonino/ Getty Images

Why Rejection Hurts (and 3 Ways to Dust Yourself Off)

by Ashley Laderer
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.