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When You Didn't Get the Job

Jessica Bartow,

You didn’t get the job. Your perfect job. Between researching the company, updating your resume, applying, interviewing…you have probably invested quite a bit of time and resources into something that didn’t pan out as you had hoped. We have all been there, and it is not fun. So what now?

Now it’s your time to shine. You have a great opportunity before you! Not only do you have this employer as a connection in the future, but you can learn from this experience to help prepare you for your next interview. What does that look like? It starts with gratitude.

It might be hard, but go back to that rejection letter you received so that you can respond to it. If you only feel negative emotions, it is okay to give it a day to let yourself process it and respond professionally. Thank those who took the time to interview you. It is okay to share that you are disappointed, but share that feeling in a tone that shows that you would be interested in future openings that company may have. You never know, that employer may reach out to you in the future for a different position that might be a better fit.

When responding, you might be tempted to ask for feedback. There are various opinions on whether this is appropriate, but the safest choice is not to ask. Asking for feedback can put employers in an awkward spot, as it can become a legal risk. If an employer shares reasons you were not selected, those can be misunderstood or misinterpreted and open them up for a lawsuit. They may genuinely want to help, and if so they may share some tips on their own. But do not expect feedback, the employer is not obligated to provide it for you.

If you are looking for feedback, try practicing your interviews with someone else! This can be with professional coaching, or doing a mock interview with a peer, family member, or friend. If you are a student, check out the Career Services on campus for tips and help with practice interviews. That’s what they are there for! Just remember, regardless of who you practice with it is important to be open to criticism to improve.

As tough as it might be, don't lose heart--start the process fresh on