This post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Ji Hwan Kim ’18.
Most upperclassmen at Babson know what it feels like to be a part of the job-search process. From the numerous resume critiques to the countless networking and informational sessions we attend, it’s certainly a significant investment of our personal time. While the process may seem extremely time-consuming and energy-draining, we all partake in it with the hope of one day having an opportunity to work for our dream company. However, what happens if we don’t receive an offer from that dream company?
“Does this mean I can’t succeed the way I envisioned?”… “Am I not good enough to work for this company or in this field?”… “Am I a failure?”
These are all some of the questions that may be running through a candidate’s mind upon hearing that they will not be offered a position with the company. While rejection and disappointment may be tough to handle, it is important to be able to recover quickly and move on in order to not hinder the rest of the job-search process.
Rejection is a Part of the Process
As is with any type of rejection, not being offered a position is tough to handle. However, it is important to understand that rejection is just part of the process. Some people may be luckier than others and receive an offer from all of the companies/firms to which they applied; however, this is extremely rare. Most students will face some type of rejection throughout their job-search process: not being invited back for an interview, not hearing back from an employer, or not being offered a position. The best students aren’t the ones with the fewest rejections; rather, the most successful students are ones that can bounce back from one and move on to the next best opportunity.
Analyze, but don’t Over-analyze
Because there are so many factors that go into a company’s decision to hire an individual, it is impossible to know exactly why an applicant may have been rejected. However, it is important that you analyze the situation to gain an understanding of the things you may have done better to improve your chances. These improvement areas can be as simple as fixing a typo on a resume or as complicated as not having the right technical skills for the job. While it is important to self-evaluate and analyze your performance throughout the hiring process, it is even more important that you refrain from over-analyzing. As mentioned before, there are so many factors that influence a decision—meaning there are several factors that you have absolutely no control over. With this in mind, it is crucial that you think about the things you had agency over and try your best not to dwell on outside factors. Over-analyzing will only lead you to question your own qualifications and create self-doubt; something you definitely want to avoid when trying to present your best self to employers and recruiters.
As humans, we are programmed to react more dramatically to rejection than acceptance; therefore, it is okay to feel disappointed and discouraged. However, you should not let this prevent you from maintaining your professionalism throughout the process. Regardless of the decision, you should always be sure to send a follow-up email to the recruiter thanking them for their time and for allowing you an opportunity to learn more about the company. Not only will this reinforce your professionalism, but it will also leave open the possibility for reconsideration of the position at a later date. In addition, it is perfectly fine for you to ask the recruiter for feedback regarding your performance. While the recruiter may not always provide a detailed response, they may provide valuable advice that you can apply to future applications.
As I mentioned before, the most successful candidates are the ones who are able to learn from their rejections swiftly and move on with the process. If you’re facing a recent rejection, keep in mind that everybody’s career path is unique and not getting the dream job doesn’t mean you will fail to have a successful career. In fact, some of the most successful people have faced rejection at some point in their careers. So throughout your job search process, remind yourself that rejection is normal and refrain from overreacting and overanalyzing so you can exhibit the best version of you.