Man in a suit looking at his laptopApplying for jobs can often feel like a full-time job itself, and often it doesn't feel like a rewarding one. While rejection can be a difficult part of the process, there are ways to recover and keep moving forward. In this guest blog post from Lisa Jordan, discover tips to keep your job search momentum and make progress on your path to employment.

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Recovering from Rejection: Staying Up When You're Feeling Down!

Aug 13, 2019

By Lisa Jordan, President, Human Solutions, LLC.

man in a suit at his laptopSubmitting resumes and applications often feels like a full-time job. Unfortunately, it doesn't always feel like the most rewarding one, especially when you are met with rejection. An important thing to remember is that searching for a job is a process. While the number of resume or application submissions will vary depending on the type of position you're applying for, this guideline holds true time and time again: keep applying to open positions to increase your chances for an interview, and ultimately, a job offer.

Submissions are just one part of the process. Another part of the process is, unfortunately, rejection. No matter how much time you spend researching a company or customizing your resume, not every employer will invite you for an interview or hire you. That's okay! Even though it may feel like a reflection on you, that's not necessarily the case. Reflecting on rejection can help increase the chances of landing a job.

The following are tips for keeping the job search momentum going:

  1. Put it in perspective. First, it's normal to feel a variety of emotions when you are rejected. Take the time to process those emotions. Talk with a friend or write down how you're feeling. Then, do something to help shift your thinking or clear your mind. Take a walk or exercise, or listen to music. "Book-end" your day with motivation. This means reading something positive or inspirational when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. Job searching can be exhausting! It's important to include those activities that will help rebuild your motivation and confidence.

Re-review Your Resume

Keep in mind that potential employers are likely reading many resumes for one job opening. Even if your skills and experience fit the position, you may not have highlighted the right information.

For each job, consider checking your resume to include specific keywords from the job listing that fit your experience.

Your Ticket to Work service provider can even help review your resume and suggest ways to re-phrase certain skills to better match what employers are looking for.

  1. Ask for feedback. If you don't land a job following an interview, it's okay to ask the hiring manager why you weren't selected. Perhaps the company hired or promoted internally or decided not to fill the position. Or, maybe there were requirements for the position you did not meet. It's better to know the information and learn from it than to ignore it or wonder why you weren't selected. Asking for feedback also shows the employer you are interested and willing to learn or improve. Either way, be sure to follow up with a thank-you note or e-mail.
  1. Let it go. When we feel rejected, we tend to overthink the many reasons why we weren't selected. Did I ask the wrong questions? Was I under- or over-qualified? Did I say the wrong thing? While reflecting is helpful, once you're done with your review, it's time to move on. Remaining stuck in your thinking doesn't allow you to be present and focus on other job opportunities.
  1. Continue to network. Letting your network of family, friends and colleagues know what you are looking for may lead to that perfect position! Don't hesitate to ask questions of those that are in the field you're interested in pursuing. Informational interviews are a great way to learn more about what employers may be looking for in a job candidate. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people, boost morale and add valuable experience(s) to your resume.

Remember, rejection is a normal and expected part of the job search process. While it is often the least rewarding part, what you do with those feelings and the experience will keep your momentum going!

About the writer

Lisa Brown Jordan, President of Human Solutions, has a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). She has been passionate about providing workforce development and disability-related services to government, community-based organizations, and businesses for over 15 years. Through Human Solutions, Lisa manages a "virtual" Employment Network, serving Social Security beneficiaries in over 30 states. Lisa is the Board Chair of the National Employment Network Association (NENA) and proudly served in the United States Navy during Operation Desert Storm.

Ticket to Work

Social Security's Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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