Don't let rejection get the best of you. Here's how to approach it during your job search.

Rejections are part of the process when you're job searching for a new gig and like every step in the process, the way you respond can speak volumes about your character and integrity. There are three types of rejections you can receive as a job seeker: (1) no response, (2) an automated email and (3) a personal call or email. Here are the right ways to respond to each type of job rejection.

Job Rejection #1: The Silent Treatment

It's incredibly tough to respond to a hiring manager when they seem to be giving you the cold shoulder because there is no way to easily discern whether the employer is just taking a long time to complete the hiring process or if they've decided you’re out of the running. A good way to get a heads up on this is to ask during the interview about the prospective time frame to fill the position. If you are told, for example, two weeks, then after three weeks it is a safe (although not necessarily always accurate) assumption that the position has been filled. About a week after the estimated fill date, it is appropriate to check back in with the recruiter or hiring manager. This can be done via email (as often times employers request no phone calls) along the lines of “I’m just following up on the interview. I enjoyed hearing about the position and am inquiring to where you are in the decision making process.” You may or may not get a response; no response is usually answer in and of itself and you can safely move on.

A good way to get a heads up on this is to ask the employer during your job interview about the prospective time frame to fill the position. If you are told, for example, two weeks, then after three weeks it is a safe (although not necessarily always accurate) assumption that the position has been filled. About a week after the estimated fill date, it is appropriate to check back in with the recruiter or hiring manager. This can be done via email (as often times employers request no phone calls) along the lines of “I’m just following up on the interview. I enjoyed hearing about the position and am inquiring to where you are in the decision-making process.” You may or may not get a response; no response is usually an answer in itself. At this point in the job interview process, you can safely move on.

Job Rejection #2: The Robotic Response

Other times, you may get an email informing you the job has been filled. The only way to be sure it is an auto-response (machine generated) is if the sender is marked as ‘noreply’ or if it says in the body of the email that it is an auto-response and not to respond. If this happens, you may or may not choose to respond. If you really felt strongly about the position and felt a rapport with the hiring manager, you may email him or her and state that you received notice that the job had been filled and extend good wishes and restate your interest in the company and any additional opportunities that come up.

Job Rejection #3: A Human Connection

If someone from the company calls you or sends you a personal email to let you know they've decided to go a different direction, consider yourself highly regarded, as this doesn’t happen very often! Despite any disappointment or even anger that you may feel about being rejected, remain professional and cordial. Make sure to thank them for the personal attention and, if warranted, state your interest in being considered for future opportunities.

Above all remember, that rejections are not the end of the world, they are merely one step closer to landing your dream job!

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