You polished your resume and sent it to the right person, along with a stellar cover letter. You got a call. You aced the interview. You were brought back in—twice! You sent thank you notes after each interview, to each interviewer. Your follow-up was polite and appropriate. You were told you were a finalist. The HR person thought it was looking good for you…yet, they gave the job to someone else.
Unless you've been really lucky, you've probably discovered this simple fact about the job search process: It's not easy.
The process is littered with ups and downs, small victories, and brutal defeats. By the time you achieve the ultimate victory — earning your dream job — you're probably ready for a nap.
It can be a hard thing to recover after not getting the job, especially after all of that time and effort you put into your research, application, interview, and follow up. (Psst! Can't get hired? Watch this free tutorial.) The good news is that, even if you didn’t get the job, you can still come out on top Instead of getting falling victim to your frustration, you can turn this situation into a positive. But how? Here are a few tips for recovering from not getting the job:
This is probably the least favorite part of any recruiter’s job. Nobody likes to deliver bad news. Disappointing someone who took the time to go through your hiring process isn’t fun. And yet, how we choose to let a candidate down says a lot about our recruiter brand. Notice I said “choose.” That’s because you really do need to be intentional about how you contact and share this news with a candidate. They will always remember how you made them feel. Your treatment of this situation will determine what they think about the company going forward. That's why it's essential that you tell candidates they didn't get the job in the right way.
After weeks of going back and forth with an amazing company about a job that would be absolutely PERFECT for you, they tell you the position has been filled. Wait, WHAT? Excuse me? What was all of that talk about how “you've really impressed us," “you'd be a great asset to our company," and “we think you'd be an ideal fit"? Were they all lies? Filthy, stinkin', rotten LIES?
Being rejected totally sucks. You went all in for this job only to leave with nothing. You felt lead on and used. And worst of all, you didn't feel good enough. Unfortunately, the hiring process can be complicated, and there are a lot of factors that could've contributed to this less-than-satisfactory result (i.e. internal candidates, office politics, requirements, etc.).
But the best way to get back at an employer who let you down is to use your frustration as fuel to go grab a better, HOTTER opportunity (like these professionals did). You deserve an employer that's going to treat you right, value your contributions, and maybe even take you out to lunch once and awhile. So, how do you do that? What can you do to make employers fight over you? Try this…