Secrets of Turning a Job Rejection into an Offer

Nancy Anderson
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After perfecting your resume, acing the interview and waiting for a call, you finally receive a rejection letter when you were expecting a job offer. This happens to many job seekers, and it can be a tough pill to swallow. However, with careful interview and follow-up strategies, it is possible to turn a potential job rejection into a new career.

Ask the Hard Questions

It is important to ask good questions during the interview, such as inquiring about the key challenges of the position as well as any issues that the company has faced in regards to the role. Be prepared to provide the interviewer with a plan as to how you will address the company's needs. In addition to these questions, ask the interviewer how you compare to other candidates, and what, if any, reservations he may have about hiring you. This information comes in handy if you don't receive a job offer, and you will have the necessary information to try and change the interviewer's mind.

Follow Up

Sending the hiring manager a thank-you note after an interview is common practice, but if you end up not receiving a job offer, sending an influence letter might be a better strategy. An influence letter is designed to address any reservations the company may have about hiring you. In your letter, discuss your success and accomplishments in previous positions, the ways in which you can meet the company's needs, and key points that were discussed during your interview.

Keep in Touch

It is important to keep in touch with the hiring manager or recruiter after you receive a rejection, especially if you've had a face-to-face interview. If another candidate narrowly beat you out of the coveted position, consider yourself among the pool of qualified runner-ups. If the chosen candidate doesn't work out for whatever reason, the hiring manager has a ready-made shortlist of preferred candidates to choose from, including you. Your chances of a potential job offer are greater if you stay at the top of the hiring manager's mind.

Stay Focused

If you've done all you can and the rejection sticks, don't take it personally or doubt yourself. If the hiring manager gave you feedback, use that information to improve your profile for the next new career opportunity. Dedicate the time to improve your resume, cover letter, wardrobe and interview skills. Reach out to others in your industry through networking events, seminars and trade shows. Whatever you do, don't give up.

It takes work and dedication to transform a job rejection into a job offer. By anticipating a company's needs, being prepared to ask for feedback and keeping in touch after the interview, you increase your chances of a future job offer, even if it doesn't come as easily or automatically as you might have hoped.

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  • sonia ivonne c.
    sonia ivonne c.

    Very helpful. Thanks for the information.

  • Flora I.
    Flora I.

    Thanks for opening up my mind with the advice given


    Thank you for the great advise. It is a good idea to follow up, especially if someone took the time to interview you.


    Thank you. Please keep me posted. Eugene

  • Hector S.
    Hector S.

    great advice, thanks, usually we don't follow up after a rejection...

  • Jacqueline W.
    Jacqueline W.

    Very Helpful. Thanks

  • Debra W.
    Debra W.

    Thanks for the great advice!

  • MARY S.
    MARY S.

    This was the most helpful article I have read so far. Thank you.

  • crispina d.
    crispina d.

    Thanks a lot, It's great. . .

  • Robin L.
    Robin L.

    Thanks for that tip...came right on time!

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Carlo it sounds like you would be better off looking for a position at another company. I would say that your application has probably hit the round file and will continue that way. Best to cut your losses and look for other employment. @Christopher so very nice to offer to help Yehleen out. It's always great to have another person or two take a read of your resume and see what they think. We have resources out there to assist. What about your college's career services office? What about in your local area? There are so many places that you can go to get help on your resume including here @Beyond as we have a resume writing service also. Wishing all of you the best.

  • Christopher E.
    Christopher E.

    Yehleen, You are in a very multicultural area there in San Francisco. Perhaps you are not applying to the right jobs or your resume may need some tweaking. Have you had someone look over your resume and give you some honest feedback. Where I live to be perfectly frank, it seems the other way around like all the foreigners and persons of different cultures are getting hired first, so I'm sure all things considered common HR practices are being followed and they're hiring according to skill set and company culture. What market are you in out there? Can I help you in any way? By all means let me know if you need someone to give you some fresh neutral feedback on your resume.

  • Christine B.
    Christine B.

    Great Advice!

  • Byrin Bratcher
    Byrin Bratcher

    Great advice for managing your image and next steps.

  • Carlo  B.
    Carlo B.

    Nancy, I have been applying to a company that bought out a former employer of mine. I have all of the qualifications but I am never offered an interview, nor do I even hear back about the application. My ex-husbands wife is part of the hiring team and I strongly feel that she has a lot to do with my not getting the job. Are there any suggestions as how to go forward with this situation?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks again for the great comments. Your comments help others so they are greatly appreciated. @Carlo don't give up on the position. You may get a rejection letter but then you may get an offer letter. Just do NOT be sitting there waiting for them to get back to you. Keep applying and interviewing. If another position becomes a great possibility for you, then you can contact HR and tell them that you are entertaining another offer and would like to know if they are ready to make an offer. Sometimes you win doing it this way but sometimes you lose. Personally, I would rather take a swing and miss than not take a swing at all. @Sergio you are correct in stating that sometimes companies will do interviews just because the law requires it when in actual fact, they already have the person for the position. Sad but true. @Yehleen don't give up. Not all companies are like that. True it is difficult to work with someone who has a thick accent - hard to understand and things can get lost in translation. @David - best of luck to you. It is totally different being on this side of the interview table! Just make sure that you don't steal the show - let that be on the interviewer. Best of luck to all of you.

  • David Vega
    David Vega

    Good,sound information.seems very logical.I have researched various advice sites to help myself be better prepared.Its ironic just a few months ago I was on the other side of the table,doing the interviews,asking the questions.But it was my decision to leave.And I'm confident I will be in that role again,if I choose.I Have to remind myself not to come across to confident in the interview process.But I do enjoy the challenges.Thanks for the information.very helpful.

  • Yehleen  Habitan
    Yehleen Habitan

    I've been discourage a lot. I got discriminated twice. I am tired looking for a job. No matter what how high or what kind of degree do you have if you have accent you won't get the job. Even though your over qualified for the job.

  • Yehleen  Habitan
    Yehleen Habitan

    I've been in that situation for so many times.


    Same case or similar, but, it is very easy to detect when you are being interviewed "just to complete a goal established by high management". In my case I followed the pattern that have been established by the hiring organization or company, which is the newest method to obtain applicants into interviews. When you fill an application your name is detected and after several interviews a "file" is created whose record Id is brought into action, and, after two rejections, justified or not, a sequence is created for future applications. This is the time to quit and try to explore companies not related to the hiring source. It works!

  • Carlo  B.
    Carlo B.

    I recently interviewed for a job. They told me that I would have a reply in two to three days. Well, we are into week 2. I called the HR manager that interviewed me and she assured me that she will contact me with her decision. I am still waiting and it is very difficult. I fear I may receive a rejection letter and this article has helped me. Thanks.

  • Lisa E.
    Lisa E.

    This is wonderful information thank you for posting it


    This is an insight, tell me more

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Mary thank you so very much for the comment. We try to tell job seekers all of the time that they never know what a company is looking for so apply. Yours is that case. The company made a mistake in hiring and realized it very quickly. Congrats on the great job!

  • Saadat H.
    Saadat H.

    Such a nice note to enhance my career

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