Conquer The Fear of Rejection in a Job Search

By Martin Buckland - Executive Career Management Professional

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Fear is defined as the feeling of distress, apprehension or alarm. Not a word we like to acknowledge or accept. In a job search, when a lot is at stake, the word fear can strike hard and deep.

Here are some tips to help with handling rejection and bypassing obstacles to advance the job search in a positive direction.

Stay focused and strong

Don’t give up even when you are down and have received negative news. A job search is straddled with ups and downs but remember the more downs you have, the closer you are to an up and a win! As I follow many people through their search two characteristics or personal traits makes them stand out: resiliency and tenacity.

Express a positive attitude

Would a potential employer hire a person who displays a negative attitude? No, of course not! It’s perfectly normal to feel negative and lose your self-confidence on occasion, that’s just human nature, but it’s the last thing you want to portray to decision makers who could influence your future career. In short, try your best not to take rejections personally but view them as character building, assess if there is a lesson to be learned in the rejection and move on. Keep smiling and focus on the next opportunity, making a plan to exhibit your best and most persuasive interview performance to successfully convince the hiring decision maker why you are the perfect candidate.

During phone conversations or coaching sessions, I can sense the attitude or feelings of the other person by their voice inflections. It’s OK to share your feelings with a Career Coach but not out in the open; keep negative emotions to a restricted and private environment.

Exude confidence

Being rejected doesn’t mean it’s a strike against you. You are in a competition; a race to the finish. Realize the other applicants in that particular job race met the employers’ specifications more than what you offered. Show your confidence and fortitude by trying to reach out to the interviewer after receiving the rejection news and ask for an honest assessment of the interview to gain an understanding of areas requiring improvement. That action will hopefully be remembered by the interviewer and leave a lasting impression. You never know when other opportunities meeting your skill set might arise with that same employer and because of your fortitude, you’re given another chance to prove your worth.

The job search process itself is filled with rejection. Accept the inevitable, learn from your rejections and move on. Tomorrow is a new day filled with opportunities to promote your unique value add, uncover and secure your next career challenge.



Martin Buckland, President of Elite Resumes, is a leading resume writer, career coach and job search strategist with a global clientele. Martin currently holds the following certifications: Certified Professional Branding Strategist, Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Professional, Job and Career Transition Coach, Certified Job Search Trainer and Co-Pilot Executive Coach. Visit his website at:

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