This is the BEST advice with regards to job hunting: DO NOT let your emotions control your search.
It is very easy to let disappointment rule and take it personally when you are not offered the job. You feel rejected, you may be upset, possibly angry or sad, BUT whatever you do, don’t show it.
This can be one of the best skills you master in the art of job hunting – hold on to those emotions and graciously accept that someone else got the job over you. Take a moment when you get off from the phone call, finish reading the email or rejection letter to take a deep breath and pause before acting.
When you are emotionally ready send the “Thank you” note to the hiring manager, recruiter and/or HR coordinator. Sincerely thank everyone involved in the process despite the rejection. It can be a simple email or handwritten note. But remember to send the “Thank you” even when you don’t get the job.
Why you ask? There are many reasons why, but the most compelling might just be:
“Not everyone works out after getting hired”
Did you get that?
“Not everyone works out after getting hired”
Sometimes the first choice isn’t always the best hiring decision and you want to stay in front of the hiring manager’s mind in the event that the candidate does not work out. This is important to think about every time and again, don’t’ take it personally. The person they chose may work out great, but you just never know, so why take that chance and do something unwise?
That group you interviewed with gets extra headcount. Wouldn’t you want to be immediately considered for it? After all, they did really like you enough to put you through several rounds of interviews.
Someone in that group quits, gets promoted, gets fired, restructured, relocated…. Or whatever the case may be – you want to be considered next time and by leaving a good lasting impression you might just be.
Some things to keep in mind are that when two people, who are equally qualified go head to head in the final round of interviews it’s never an easy decision for a hiring manager to make. Only one person can get the job. Sometimes it’s because of the internal candidate or referral or something else out of your control. So if for whatever reason it’s not you, the way you react to the hiring manager will determine whether you are considered for a future role.
No matter how disappointing it is, you have to keep your cool – don’t let it drag you down. This is another time that you need to remember that you will hear a lot of “no’s” before you get that “yes”. The more upbeat and positive you are will reflect during future interviews and you can’t let hearing “no” drag you down.
I have kept in touch with candidates who respond to the fact that they didn’t get the job very graciously. When an opening arose in the future that they were well suited for, I call them just as promised. How they communicated with me during the interview process up until the final hiring decision are huge and not forgotten.
On the flip side, I’ve had people react so poorly when they’ve been told they didn’t get the position. A snide or nasty response closes many doors and only reaffirms that the correct hiring decision was made. It’s okay to be disappointed, but don’t vent to anyone at that company – keep it to yourself, share it with your close friends. As hard as it might be, it’s in your best interest to do so.
I run into quite a few active job seekers that are feeling down and out about the hiring process. It’s easy to start to feel in the dumps when you repeated go on interviews and are repeatedly turned down for jobs.
My best recommendation for those not able to pick back up again is to find yourself a good career coach, career strategist or mentor. Someone who will be in your court with you and help to guide you during what might be a very tough professional journey.
Sometimes we just need a cheer leader to keep us moving uphill. This can be a family member, close friend or professional mentor.
At some point, you may need someone to critique what you are doing or not doing that might be costing you the job. Many of us can successfully embark on the hunt just fine on our own, but as the job market changes, a little extra professional advice might be worth the cost.
I have a few Career Coaches that I recommend to candidates who ask – see my blog roll for their links.
I suggest you interview them as you would a new doctor, realtor or employee and select the Career Coach you feel would be your best advocate and has the right personality fit. It might be the wisest decision you make for your career.
Remember that you might never get a second chance to make a lasting impression once you’ve tarnished it and the last thing you want to come across as is the character Glenn Close plays in the “Fatal Attraction” movie. Who could forget this famous line – one you don’t want to ever reenact in real life:
"Well, what am I supposed to do? You won't answer my calls, you change your number, I'm not going to be ignored, Dan!"