Coping when you don’t get the job offer
You’re likely going to apply to many, many internships and entry-level jobs but receive only anywhere between one and a handful of offers. Depending on how far along you get in the hiring process, rejection might come in the form of a letter, e-mail or phone call. Regardless, not receiving an offer you were truly hoping for can be extremely difficult.
To be honest, I personally feel rejection doesn’t get any easier after the first time. For me, it always stings. But, there are ways to cope with rejection and move on afterward.
1. Don’t give up hope. Just because you are rejected by one organization does not mean they will all follow suit. I always say, everything happens for a reason. Don’t let one—or even many—rejection get you down!
2. Send a thank you note. Even if they don’t offer you the position, you should still thank them for taking the time to review your application or interview you. You never know when your paths might cross again.
3. Ask for feedback. In your thank you note, ask for feedback. Is there anything you could have done differently or better? Or was the candidate they chose simply more qualified than you? Treat this as a learning opportunity.
4. Keep a job journal. Take notes about all of your experiences—the number of applications you turned in, e-mails you sent out, feedback you received, etc. Again, learn from the entire process and continue improving your “presentation.” (Note: A helpful, free software you can use to organization yourself is JibberJobber.)
5. Join a job group. Whether online or in-person, joining a group of other young professionals seeking internships and entry-level jobs can be extremely helpful. Bounce ideas off one another. Share “best practices”—what worked, what didn’t. If nothing else, it will help you know you’re not in this alone!
~ Heather Huhman, Job Search Expert, Campus Calm