Coping with Job Search Rejection

Have you experienced job search rejection?  Disappointment and rejection are realities every job seeker faces at some point. How do you avoid becoming discouraged and feeling like a loser, until you find the hiring manager who recognizes that you are a winner?

First, put your feelings about job search rejection and discouragement in perspective.  We all hate rejection. It’s embarrassing and it feels very personal, but it isn’t. Job search is a numbers game and you only lose when 
you stop playing.

Productive strategies for coping with  job search rejection
Productive strategies for coping with job search rejection

The most productive thing you can do with the inevitable rejections that come with a job search is to create new activity.

How to turn dead ends into live leads

When the rejection comes during a job search telephone call, you have the opportunity to turn those dead ends into live leads. Every conversation during your job search should have multiple goals.

Your primary goal is always to arrange an interview, and your secondary goal is to develop leads on alternate opportunities. Do this by asking specific questions during the conversation – questions that will generate job leads. If you are talking to someone and there isn’t an opening at that company, you can still make the call a success by asking a series of questions similar to these:

“When do you anticipate new needs in your area?”

“May I send you my resume and keep in touch for when the situation changes?”

“Who else in the company might have a need for an _____?”

“Do you know who I could speak to about _________ opportunities?”

“What other companies can you think of that might have a need for someone with my background?”

If the response is positive add:

“Thanks, I appreciate the help. Do you know who I should speak to?”

If the response to that is positive add:

“May I mention your name?”

If the response is negative, you can mention a company you plan to call:

“Do you know anyone I could speak to at _____?”

This is the same sequence of questions that headhunters ask everyday, so you know it must generate results; you will get leads and introductions, and this enables you to open that next call with:

“Hello, Mr. Jones? My name is Martin Yate. Chuck Harris gave me your name and said to tell you hello . . .”

When you structure your networking and interview pitch calls calls with these “lead generation” questions in mind, be short, to the point, and entirely professional. The person on the other end was and will be a job seeker, so you so will find that the overwhelming majority of contacts will try to be helpful if you give them the right leads.

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