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Newsletter Archives

Reality Check
What Gets You to Your New Job?

Dress to Impress
Dressing for Interview Success

Are You Ready . . .
For Your Job Winning Job Search?

Preparation for the Interview
Toughest Interview Questions

Resume Presentation
Tips to Look Good and Stand Out

Reinventing Your Workself
When Circumstances Change

Pep Yourself Up for the Interview
Getting Psyched for the Big Opportunity

Make the Most of the Interview
Interview Questions for You to Ask

Your Job Search Is Your New Job
Spending 8 Hours a Day on Your Job Search

Frequent Resume Missteps
What Does Your Resume Say About You?

Employment Testing & Assessments
How Do They Enhance the Interview Process?

Casual Interview Discussions & Informal Questions
Stay Conscious and Interview Focused

Handling Job Search Rejection
Another Networking Opportunity

Stay Positive During Your Job Search
“Best Practice” Tips for Remaining Optimistic

Salary Negotiations
Be Prepared, Positive and Open

Reference Checks
Detailed Assessments Are Now the Norm

Writing Thank You's
Make a Noteworthy Impression

Cover Letters
Make a Good First Impression

Working with Recruiters
What Recruiters Want You to Know

Common Resume Mistakes
Is Your Resume Promoting Your Talents?

Know the Company
Do Your Homework

Handling Job Search Rejection

Another Networking Opportunity

Remaining positive after receiving a rejection notice can be tough. The key to handling rejection is in being prepared and not taking the notice personally. Successful candidates continue to job-hunt, stay positive, motivated and learn from the process.

Even the best and seemingly most qualified candidates receive rejection letters. Whether you simply applied for the job or went through the entire interview process, receiving a rejection notice can be difficult. Should you receive a rejection letter, this month’s 1StopResume Job Seeker Newsletter can provide you with methods to turn the experience into a networking opportunity.

Scenario ~ You Thought You Were “Perfect” for the Job

You read a job posting that matched your background perfectly. You went through the interview process all the way through the final interview. You researched the organization, showed your respect by arriving on time, dressed to impress, printed your resume on expensive paper, enjoyed the tour of the facility and felt that your connections with all the interviewers were very good. Then two days past the day the company said that they would call you with the results of the interview, you received a rejection letter in the mail. Although this is a common occurrence, the sting of such a rejection can be hard to take.

What happened?

You could tell the first interviewer really liked you. So, you were not surprised when they called you back to also interview with the company president. You were ready for it. Then they asked you to have dinner with the top executives of the firm. You knew you were a finalist, and were starting to think about salary questions, benefits and when you could start.

And then, a letter with the company’s return address on the envelope, arrived in the mail. Even before opening the envelope and reading the letter, you knew the general idea of what was written inside.

Thank you for your interest in our company, and thank you as well for interviewing with us.

We have carefully reviewed your background and qualifications along with those of other candidates. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have a position available that would effectively utilize your experience.

We appreciate your interest in our company and will keep your resume on file in the case a position opens that matches your background. We wish you success in your career endeavors.

Somewhere beyond your disappointment, you know you have to respond to the rejection. What are you going to say? How are you going to handle it?

This all sounds a little dramatic, but most of us in our job search process have received a rejection or two (either over the phone, email or in the mail). The truth is, given the number of people who apply for open positions nowadays, you could well face some kind of rejection before you finally land the job you want.

Receiving a Rejection of a Submitted Application

Some forms of rejection are less painful than others. If you applied for a position and never made it to the interview stage, receiving a rejection notice may be disappointing, but it is not usually devastating. After all, the hiring entity never saw you face-to-face. He / she has not asked you questions and reviewed your background. In short, they have not rejected you personally and, conversely, you have not had the chance to size them up and get a sense of how you would fit in to the company. In a sense, it has all been just a paper exchange.

All the company has seen is in your cover letter and your resume. So, if you want to think about this constructively, your attention should be focused on those materials.

Notices Come in All Flavors

We have read many rejection letters, and, as human resources professionals ourselves, we have written a few. Some companies show spunk in sending out notices and some companies simply do not do this well. Let’s look at some examples.

We Reject These Reject Notices!

The following three notices are actual rejections received by candidates. We have taken out the company and position references.

Thank you for the opportunity to review your qualifications regarding the xyz position with ABC Company. After careful consideration, we have determined that we have other candidates whose qualifications more closely meet our current needs. Your interest in our company is sincerely appreciated. We will keep your resume on file for one year in consideration of future opportunities. Please accept our best wishes in locating a challenging and rewarding career opportunity. Sincerely,

Thank you for applying for the xyz position. At this time, the selection process for this opportunity has concluded either because we have already identified a suitable candidate or a change in business needs has eliminated the need to fill this position. Your profile will remain active in our database for 24 months. We encourage you to visit our website at www.BCD.com and consider additional opportunities with BCD. We are a growing company and employment opportunities are continuously updated. Again, thank you for your interest. We wish you success in your job search. Warm regards,

We are in receipt of your application for the position of xyz. While you do have a great background, we don’t believe you are a fit in our organization. We wish you success in your job search. Sincerely,

Notices That Reject, but Nicely

Although reject notices are never easy to receive, we want to salute IKEA for their notice. It actually made the candidate smile. It made him feel that there is heart in the company.

We're so flattered by your interest in IKEA as an employer. Unfortunately, the position you have applied for has already been filled. But we're going to keep your resume for awhile ... you never know when the next great opportunity will appear!

Receiving a Rejection After the Interview

You are called in for an interview at the company, and do not get the job. In a competitive market, obtaining an interview is a feat that can actually make you believe that you might get the job.

As calm and collected as you might try to be about it all, you might not be able to help daydreaming about job offers or planning your future.

If you get rejected after an interview, your initial impulse may be to return uncomplimentary comments. If someone does call to give you the news, you may feel like retaliating. Or if they have notified you by mail, you may be inclined to send them a scathing letter.

But, while it may make you feel better temporarily, professionally speaking it will not move your career forward. An emotional outburst after a rejection can make navigating a tight job market all the more complicated, because you may see or work with the same people in some other capacity. Networking is part of the job world, so, by offending a company or hiring professional you could also be offending a network and burning more bridges than you realize. Moreover, even though you have been rejected for the job in question, you never really know how things will work out. New hires do not always keep their jobs. Some simply do not fit in as well as the hiring manager thought that they would.

In any of these cases, the company could be forced to start another search — and, if you made a good impression in your interview or were a finalist for a previous job, you could suddenly find yourself a frontrunner for a job you thought was long since out of reach.

Dealing with the Emotions of Receiving a Rejection

For all that has been written about getting a job in this difficult economy, and all of the advice you have received, not much is said about dealing with the other side of coin — about not getting the job. When it comes to the personal experience of being rejected, your attitude and ability to turn the rejection into a networking opportunity is important.

This is not to trivialize your feelings in any way. We have talked with dozens of candidates who have read job descriptions that describe their background in every detail. Yet when a reject notice came, they felt it incomprehensible to have received the notice without even being given an interview.

You Decide How You Feel / Deal

When a rejection notice arrives, you have the choice as to how to handle the rejection.

Share Your Notices

Most people read the notice and then share it with a few people. Make sure that you share it with individuals who support you and your job search efforts. This is not a rejection of you; it is a failure of the company to choose you for an interview.

Look for Support

Besides your friends and supporters, there are sites on the internet that provide job search support. Some candidates have found this a good route. Moral support for your job search is important. If you don’t know where to go, ask your friends, a spiritual advisor or counselor. Also, our site offers a good support system: 1StopResume.com Moral Support

Write a “Thank You” Note to the Company

Okay, don’t scream ... This is where the networking comes in and we will discuss this effort further. It is a good idea to send a reply to the company thanking them for reviewing your background and telling them you would welcome the company contacting you again if and when they have something that would be mutually beneficial.

Re-focus Your Efforts

Most people receive the reject notice and then hunker down and work their job search with more diligence. This is healthy. We suggest that any reject letter is really a rerouting opportunity: “If not that company, what’s next?”

Look to a Higher Source

For those individuals of faith, faith without trust is not faith! If you truly believe that a higher force is active in your life, then you know “things happen for a reason” and this rejection is telling you to keep looking and moving forward.

Learn from the Process

The interview process does not end just because you were rejected. In a sense, the rejection is still a part of the interview. It gives you yet another chance to demonstrate your maturity, to show your understanding of the profession and the hiring process and to prove you are a worthy candidate, to the hiring manager.

If the rejection came after an interview, take a good long look at what occurred and see if there are positive changes to be made.

Sending a Networking Letter

Our final suggestion for handling a reject notice is to write the company back and thank them for the interview or the opportunity to apply for the job. Express your desire to be a part of their company should a job open that could utilize your background. Here’s an example of a networking letter:

Dear Kelly:

Thank you for contacting me with the result of your search for the controller position. I enjoyed meeting with you and discussing my background. The company’s future sounds fantastic.

Please keep my application on file. When a position opens that could utilize my background and expertise, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you again.

All the best,

Terry Brown

Actual Reject Letter, Keeping Your Sense of Humor

The following is a reject letter sent to a University after the candidate was rejected for an assistant professor position.

Harry A. Millington

412A Center Hall

W________ University

M______, WA 12345

Dear Professor Millington,

Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me an assistant professor position in your department.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite the university’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.


Chris L. N______

Handling Rejection in Summary . . .

A well-written thank you note, mailed within one or two days of receiving a notice of rejection makes a positive statement. A thank you note expressing your regret at not being offered the job, while also thanking the company for their consideration of your qualifications, may lead the employer to give you some additional contacts or consideration. Anyone you meet while finding a job can potentially become a valuable contact.

Above all, be courteous, stay positive and motivated and learn from the process.


We wish you great success in your job search!

1StopResume.com utilizes several sources to bring you revolutionary and fundamental job search wisdom. While we would like to acknowledge individually those websites, books and articles, authors, and masters, this list would be extensive. We thank these sources for their contributions.