How To Turn A Job Rejection Into An Opportunity 

Photo: Ms Natika


You perfected your CV, boosted your online profiles, stalked your interviewer and studied every potential question that could be thrown your way. You’re picturing your new career, you’re drinking lattes, tapping away at your desk merrily and laughing with your new best bud boss.

Then, by a twist of fate, your rejection letter lands in your inbox – and it hurts. Before you give up and slip into the woe-me-make-mine-a-triple downward spiral, try these tips to keep the door open…

Thank your interviewer
Although the natural reaction is to hit delete, it can be worth closing with a thank-you. The fact you got as far as you did, and the interviewer took the time to meet with you means you got close – and you never know what role may open up around the corner. Thank your interviewer for taking the time to show you the company, and mention any highlights.

Ask for feedback
Assuming the interview went well and there were no Rachel Green cringe-worthy moments, you may simply lack experience. No biggie, you just weren’t right for each other. Take the opportunity to politely ask for feedback, and use your new found knowledge in future applications. Ask where they think you could give your interview skills a boost and take note. It’s not easy taking feedback, here’s how to ask for feedback like a pro!

Clarify your availability
If you are looking to get your foot in the door and you are between jobs, why not put yourself forward for an internship role? You could gain experience and have an opportunity to prove just how perfect you could be for a permanent position. Plus, what a perfect counter argument for a ‘you lack the relevant experience’ rejection – company 0, you 1.

Request to be kept in mind
You were lovely and polite throughout the entire process, you are equipped with feedback and maybe you’ve even landed an internship. The final step is to let your interviewer know that it would be great if you could be kept in mind if any suitable roles come up in the future. When they do, you’ll stand out. Check out how a rejection letter made our managing editor go for her dreams here.

Go on, what have you got to lose?

Written by Hannah Gransden.

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  1. This is brilliant advice! I am saving this… it will be coming in handy very soon, I feel.

  2. This was the hardest thing about being rejected for job after job! Learning to take the setback and turn it into something I could use forced me to swallow my pride and try even harder.

  3. Good advice on sending a thank you, definitely worth it to not break ties, could be a contact in the future

  4. Good advice on putting yourself forward for an internship role – it’s a great way to “get your foot in the door,” plus it could end up being a permanent job after all!

    Fantastic advice; Thanks for sharing it with us:)


  5. Aw… sorry to hear that Liz:( We’ve all been there unfortunately. Rejection is never easy. Hopefully you’ve had better luck since and you now have a job :)

    Lindsay. X

  6. Honestly this really works. I interviewed for a front desk position at a hotel and pretty much knew I wasn’t getting it when I left. But I was polite, I thanked him, and guess what? I got a call a few days later that they wanted me to interview with the manager for another department and I’ve been there since September. It’s part time, which is partially because I need it to be, but still.

  7. Being polite and humble definitely goes a long way. Great advice!

    Diana |

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