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What to do When you Don’t Get the Job you Wanted

Applying for a job and getting rejected can be really sad and discouraging, sometimes even soul-crushing, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are five things you can  do to stay positive when you don’t get the job or even an interview.


1. Vent.


Putting together a job application and preparing for an interview is a lot of work and can be very stressful. It’s frustrating when you invest valuable  time and effort into your application and, even though you know that you are the perfect fit for the position, for whatever reason, you still don’t get the job. You are totally allowed to be mad about it for a little while.


2. Remember, it’s their loss.


Rejection can be really discouraging, but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t amazing and totally capable of doing the job. Many factors affect who gets hired for a position and who doesn’t, so unfortunately, perfect candidates get turned down all the time. Don’t let it crush your confidence, because you are smart and hardworking and that employer is missing out! Besides, if they can’t see how great you are, maybe you don’t want to work for them anyway.


3. Reflect.


Even if you are sure that your application was flawless, take the time to look over your resume and cover letter again and reflect on your interview. Even small typos on an application can deter employers from offering you the job, so look for any mistakes that you could have made and ask yourself if there is anything that you can improve on. After all, it’s a learning process that everyone goes through! After this, you will be in even better shape going into your next job application.


4. Take it as an experience.


I’ve applied to a number of jobs in my relatively short lifetime, and it’s common to not  receive  an offer or even hear back from them. I remember one time I applied to a Starbucks and they were interested, but they wanted me to talk on the speakerphone with customers in the drive-thru. Now, I can’t hear or speak on the phone, so when I explained that to them, they said that that would not work for the position. Honestly, I felt like it wasn’t really that personal, and the rejection made sense. What I learned from this experience is that not every job will be a good match for you and you will not be a good match for every single job or position in the world. Instead of internalizing rejection inside yourself and thinking, “I’m not good enough for everything,” change your mindset and think, “Okay, so which jobs are a good match and good enough for me?”


Remember, every failure is a learning experience that you can put towards your journey to success.


5. Relax. And never give up!


It’s not the end of the world if you don’t hear back or get offered a position! A job doesn’t solely define you or determine what kind of person you are. Rather, you should think the opposite. Every person who is successful in their profession has had some failures in the past, and they never gave up, even if it seemed so tough at the time. Meanwhile, don’t let the failure get you down or distract you from other important things in your life. Focus on your schoolwork, have a glass  of wine, or do whatever makes you feel better.


Yes, not getting an interview or an offer can be a low blow to your self-esteem and confidence, but you shouldn’t let that get you down. Yes, it can be a valid reason to feel disappointed and negative, but you should not just dwell on that. Just acknowledge that, yes, you’re disappointed but it’s not the end of the world and life goes on.


Remember, just keep swimming.



Her Campus at UVic wants to see you reach all of your career goals! That’s why we are offering a Professional Headshot Event on March 10th! Come have your photo taken for FREE, and impress employers with a professional profile picture on your Facebook or LinkedIn. Event details can be found here.


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Jess is from Calgary, Alberta, but studies English literature and business at UVic. After her degree, she hopes to pursue a career in the Entertainment Industry. Some of her favourite things are Wes Anderson films, cute coffee mugs and costume parties. When she's not studying or writing for HC, she is usually watching movies, playing soccer or exploring Victoria! 
Molly is a recent graduate from University of Victoria.
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