4 Steps to Take if You Didn't Get a Job Offer

Nancy Anderson
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Job offers are never guaranteed, no matter how hard you work to impress hiring managers. It can take a long to time to notice any return on investment in a job search because most of the hiring process is beyond your control. Although it's hard to accept, rejection is a possibility whenever you take risks. Learn to gain strength from rejection, so you can bounce back when you don't get a job offer.

1. Confront Your Feelings, and Move On

Losing out on a job offer is hard. You probably feel as though you're getting nothing back after devoting so much time and energy to making the right impression. Confront those feelings of disappointment, and take time to heal. Just don't do it in a public way that could sabotage your future efforts. Avoid venting on social media or with anyone in your network who might be connected to the company. You also don't want to lose motivation and end up settling for the wrong job. To stay focused, give yourself a specific amount of time to grieve, such as a few days or a week. Commit to moving on afterward, instead of dwelling on the setback.

2. Let Yourself Off the Hook

Accept what you can't control. Any attractive job has an excess of applicants with great qualifications. On top of that, politics within a company often determine which candidates have the best chance. Many employers hire from within or get referrals from trusted contacts, and hiring freezes could halt the entire process. Looking at the whole picture, your chances of getting a job offer are often slim, regardless of your qualifications. You shouldn't feel like a failure when you aren't chosen, because you're beating the odds whenever you succeed.

3. Consider How to Improve

Try to gain insight from every experience in the hiring process, so you can keep improving. Think about how well you provided and gathered information. Did you ask enough questions about the job? Did you explain how you solve business pain? Did you clear up any misgivings the hiring manager had about choosing you? You don't want to get stuck replaying every moment in your head, but consider how you can strengthen your efforts going forward. If you skipped out on a thank-you note last time, commit to going the extra mile in the future.

4. Reinforce Your Goals

Thankfully, missing out on a job offer doesn't put you back at square one. Every interview you aced and connection you made brings you closer to landing a new opportunity. Stay in touch with hiring managers when you're serious about working for a particular company. Once you have a good rapport, employers are more likely to reach out again if another job opens up or the new hire doesn't work out. Otherwise, reflect on what you did and didn't like about the company, so you can refine your list of target employers. A competitor company may have a work culture that's better suited to your skills and personality.

Job hunting is rarely linear, which is why you should leverage relationships. Think of your search as a web with larger and larger circles of influence. The more you connect with people, the closer you get to winning the job offer of your dreams.

Photo courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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    From experience: "Staying in touch with hiring managers" is akin to cuddling the fox that just ate your golden goose...

  • raven williamson
    raven williamson

    Needless to say , I did not get hired ,even with a flawless interview. My agent said , after looking at my design book, they were threatned and in no way did they want you there. You could take their jobs ...both of them. They have and out ,...YOu are 'OVERQUALIFIED"????? In a job that is exactly what I do and they do. I just do it better. One even tried to steal ideas from my book. So please explain how do you combat ageism. the pep speech above is cute, but does not address the subject.

  • raven williamson
    raven williamson

    I dont see how this helps with ageism. Experience does not seem to mean very much anymore. It only means they would have to pay you more for experience,if you accept less, they don't trust you because they feel ,as soon as a better paying offer comes along ,you will leave. Ageism is a real thing that must be addressed.Its financial profiling,silent racism based on color, if your grey ,get out the way! There is a law for every other type of racism , why not ageism. An experienced person is worth 3 novices,but not even given a chance. I had interviews with department heads in which I was told by the divisional head," Dont mention that you were " Technical Design Director at XXXXX company , it will freak them out!!!"

  • William R.
    William R.

    Are Human Resource Recruiting software algorithms deciding our futures in the job market 2017? Are candidates' demographic ages 25-35 years old the only valuable target in recruitment? Why are there articles about age-ism in job search issues? Do the truly more experienced candidate, because of his or her age, get pushed aside because they are not 35 or younger? Ask Northwestern Mutual.Ask Brooke McLean or Danielle Gutierrez

  • Jessica S.
    Jessica S.

    Good tip.....but still leaves too many questions, guess never get answered.

  • Kelly S.
    Kelly S.

    Inspirational read

  • homer z.
    homer z.

    Great read

  • Gina D.
    Gina D.

    Great tip!

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