Elections are cruelly public job rejections: how to bounce back

Sarah Coles
Recently rejected for a job? How to bounce back
Recently rejected for a job? How to bounce back

There are plenty of people with recent experience of not getting a job - in the most public way possible. There's nothing like standing on a stage wearing a rosette, and hearing that you've come second in the race for a job you really wanted. If you find yourself in a similar position (presumably minus the stage and the rosette), there are still five things you can do to come out on top.

See also: How (not) to quit your job

See also: What not to say in a job interview

See also: How much does your dream job pay?

1. Ask 'why?'

If you honestly feel you are right for the job, and you did well in the interview, then it's worth getting some feedback so you know what to do differently next time.

This can be tricky, especially if you are fielding a phone call containing bad news, so your best bet is to be polite, thank them for their time, and send them an email asking for feedback.

When they've given you feedback, don't try to argue the point, but thank them again, and pledge to learn from it.

2. Learn from it

This is easier said than done, but take the whole experience from the interview to the feedback, and adapt to it. You may want to make changes to your CV, practice your interview skills, or reconsider the information you share at the interview

3. Follow up

If you don't feel you were right for the job, but you really like the company, then two or three weeks after your interview, send a follow-up email.

You can thank them for seeing you, express your enthusiasm for working for the organisation, and ask them to keep you in mind if something appropriate comes up.

4. Stay in touch

Timing is everything, so try to keep in contact with the person who interviewed you, the recruiter, or the HR department - so they think of you if any vacancies arise.

Don't bombard them with messages, but get in touch when you have anything to tell them - such as new skills or experiences, and ask them to keep you in mind if anything comes up.

5. Keep going

It's easy to be deflated by rejection, but if you want a new job, then you can't afford to be laid low by every dead end. Don't waste any time sobbing over your CV, print out a new batch and get stuck in.
It may feel rotten right now, but you can at least console yourself that you didn't get the news announced from a platform, while you were standing next to your competition - and you weren't forced to applaud politely and try to look pleased for them either.