3 Ways To Minimize Job Rejection


So, you didn’t get the job. Or, you didn’t get the in-person interview after the phone screen. Or, maybe you didn’t even make it to the phone screen. They all share the same result: You got rejected… and it hurts.

One of the reasons I built CareerHMO was to help people cope with job rejection. Unlike professional salespeople, you haven’t had the opportunity to develop your ability to manage rejection.

Here’s why…

You Aren’t A Professional Salesperson

In other words, you don’t view rejection properly. You are a business-of-one who is “selling” their services to employers, right?

Well, the best salespeople have an incredibly high tolerance for rejection.

Actually, they don’t see rejection the way you and I do. They simply see it as a temporary “no,” that in time, with the right strategy and patience, has the potential to be converted to a “yes.”


The Right Strategy


Here’s What ‘No’ Really Means

Typically, when someone doesn’t understand what you’re presenting or selling, their natural response is to say “no” to the offer, disagree with you, or not believe you.

This is true whether you are asking them out on a date, trying to sell them a car, or trying to convince them to hire you!

They simply don’t have all the facts to support a “yes” response.

Good salespeople recognize the difference between not understanding and real “rejection.” Of course, successful people hear the word “no” just like everyone else.

But they understand “no” actually means: Give me more information.

Successful Job Seekers Face Rejection Less

Why? I’ll tell you…

To learn how to deal with rejection, it’s critical the potential employer clearly understands your value.

More importantly, it’s imperative YOU understand their needs, desires and problems in order to give them what they want. You can’t solve an employer’s problem if you don’t know what it is.


Having Problems With Your Job Search? We Can Help


Minimize rejection with these three tips…

1. Do Your Homework

Before you make your “sales pitch” (a.k.a. submit your application) research thoroughly the needs, desires and problems of your employer.

Successful salespeople understand it is critical to get to know their customer first.

Yet, most job seekers will just jump right in and submit their resume without doing any real homework. As a result, they typically get a “no” response or rejection pretty early (i.e. never get the phone screen).

2. Listen With Your Eyes, Ears And Brain

“Listening” goes hand-in-hand with doing homework.

It’s not enough to learn about your potential employer.

You have to use what you learn to internalize what they are about.

While you may not get to talk to someone directly, thanks to social media, companies often produce tons of material you can pay attention to to figure out what’s really important to them.

Better still, find someone who works there, or who has worked there and set up an informational interview so you can get a real feel for what matters to the employer. This will let you tailor your resume, cover letter and application so it stands out from the competition.


Listen To Our Experts


3. Customize Every Pitch

One size does not fit all!

Good salespeople heavily customize their pitches to prove they’ve done their homework and relate to their prospect.

If you’ve followed tips one and two above, you will have a good idea of how to shape your career tools so they really connect with the potential employer.

These days, tailoring your cover letters and resumes is expected. Talking about the employer in detail and relating back to your own experience is required.

You must also keyword optimize these tools and match them succinctly to the employer’s needs, or be prepared to to go in the “no” pile.

Sound Like Work? It Is!

That’s why so many people aren’t good at sales!

But, here’s the good news.

If you worked inside CareerHMO, you’d slowly be improving your skills and learning to minimize rejection.

In fact, without even realizing it, you’d be learning to be a better salesperson for your business-of-one!

Follow the tips above… and if you need extra help then check out CareerHMO. Together we can help you close the ultimate sale – a new job!

Your Next Step

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. You must invest time in learning the right way to job search.

I just finished four new training videos for you – they’re all about executing an easier job search in this economy.

My videos are completely free and I’m confident you’re going to find them useful. The link to access the first one is below.




Photo Credit: Shutterstock

J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. I am employed but transitioning. THIs justt adds another layer to the ssearch. There are so many factors on why someone could reject you anf and the key is to not take it personally. Take a day shake it off and start again. Isnt that what the key to life is? Rjection has barely anything to do with us personally unless you really made a bad first impression!

  2. I”ve learned that the purpose of an interview is not to get the job…but to get to the NEXT round of interviews. As you go further in, then the purpose becomes getting the job. I’ve taken that approach and am now under consideration for a really great job. I got to each round by doing extensive research on the company, on the position for which I was applying and yes, even on the people who interviewed me. I went in with a consultant’s mindset looking to see how I could add value and help them solve their problems.

    If I knew someone in that company with whom I had a good relationship, I asked them to put in a good word for me. If I knew someone outside the company who was linked to the HR or hiring manager, I asked them to do so as well. That’s how I’ve gotten into a lot of places for interviews and how I got into the interview for this current job opportunity.

    You must work it on multiple levels and stay in control as much as possible (that means doing good follow-up after the interview with your immediate email response, staying in touch over time if you don’t hear anything, etc.). It’s a total package to work.

  3. well its still not making any difference if you have incomplete qualification still doesnt help to get a job especially in finance indusry….. tired of applying as an under graduate maybe i’m not looking please help as well as to how do I make my CV stand out more without qualification but with banking experience on third year with my stidies …..

  4. This all is true but if the HR manager does not like you you will not be hired. Actually the same is in sales – if client does not see you as a likable person you will not be able to sell him anything. You can have the best skills on the market but any hiring manager is not choosing the most qualified person. Hiring manager is looking for a person he/she would like to meet every day at office, which is a totally different thing from qualification!
    Sometimes it makes me furious but we are human and that’s how this realm has been made!

    • If you are a female and very good looking that can go against you as well. Especially if you are interviewed by females or men that want to be females.

      • Agree totally. However, in the male dominated field, I have noticed prettier girls go further than well, matronly forty something such as myself. A male hiring panel doesn’t think with their heads when a pretty little missy interviews and me, I am about the same age as their wives, so yeah. I get the No and the pretty gets a yes.

      • However, if the field is male dominated, the prettier female WILL get the job. I have tried for a job with the same department for five years, a friend’s daughter who is pretty and in her twenties, got in on the first try. She is more favorable than a matronly forty something such as myself when it comes to men..

  5. Job rejection is never easy to go through. You can prep to the best of your abilities for the interview–including researching the company, matching your skills with the company’s goals, and answering all questions honestly and intelligently–but rejection can still happen. Job seekers should remember that sometimes rejection is simply meant to be. If a recruiter doesn’t think you’re a good fit for a company, well, you might not be! Don’t dwell on the “no’s,” and use your experiences to improve as you wade through your job search in the future.

  6. I believe RESUME play a vital role in you getting through the initial process.

    Then is the interview all those tips really matters but I will just add that today’s interviews are a little different from 20 years back.

    There are two kinds of questions to ask during your job interview: ones that get you more information (and prove you researched the company) and ones that get you the job. Do you know how to ask both?

    There are two types of questions that you should always ask in every interview. Both of them are strategy questions that help you hone in on what the hiring manager wants to hear and nudge him along toward making you the offer.

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