How to Deal with Graduate Job Rejection

Let’s face it: being rejected is never a nice feeling. But, when it happens during your graduate job search, it can be even more painful.

You’ve worked tirelessly for three years only to be turned down for every job you apply for.  How do you cope with it?

Unfortunately, rejection is an unavoidable part of the graduate job application process, and trying to dodge it will likely mean missing out on potential future opportunities. It’s how you respond to it that makes the difference.

So how can you best deal with job rejection and plan your next steps? Our guide will take you through the process and help you turn rejection into a positive professional outcome.

Ask for feedback

If you want to use your rejection to progress in the future, it’s important you learn as much as you can about why it may have happened. After an unsuccessful interview or application, it’s always a good idea to ask for feedback.

By understanding where you’re going wrong, you will know how to prevent these mistakes from happening again.  Taking on other people’s opinions can help you progress over the course of your career – even if it hurts at the time.


Think over why you may have been turned down from the graduate job

Rejection can feel painful, so it’s understandable that you may want to move on and not think about the experience again.

But by doing this, you may end up missing out on some valuable insights on self-improvement.

Take time to look back over the application process, in terms of what went well and what could have gone better. This style of evaluation can help you finesse your application process and learn from it. At least this is one way to take some good from a bad experience.


Use it to clarify what you really want from a graduate job

While you may have faced rejection after rejection from different companies, it’s well worth spending some time thinking about what you’re truly looking for in the working world.

Remember, a job interview is also an opportunity for you to learn more about a position and the company.

Think about what you liked and didn’t like about the job –

  • Is it a role that you can see yourself doing on a full-time basis for years to come?
  • Were you happy with the company culture?
  • Are you passionate about the industry?

Figuring out your wants and needs from a professional position can help you gain a better understanding of which direction you wish your career to go in and therefore, stimulates an inner motivation to succeed when times are tough.


Refine your graduate job search

Once you’ve properly organized your thoughts surrounding your application and rejection, you can start to think about the next stages. If you’ve taken on all of the information from the process, you’ll be able to get back to the job search in a much more knowledgeable position. Use what you’ve learned to fine-tune your application process and strategy. Knowing the mistakes made before is the best possible way to ensure you won’t make them again, after all.


Stay positive And proactive

It’s easy to let a graduate job rejection get you down and cause you to have negative thoughts about yourself and your abilities. However, trying to maintain a positive mental attitude will serve you well in the search for future positions. Try to get back into the habit of searching and applying for jobs – and remember – every rejection will bring you one step closer to success!


Make the most of the graduate help available

If you’re struggling to find jobs on your own, you may find it useful to sign up to a graduate recruitment agency such as Inspiring Interns, where you’ll discover a vast range of graduate jobs and internships from employers all over the UK and beyond.