Not getting a job can be a heartbreaking experience. This is especially true if the role felt like a great fit, and you know you performed well in the process, only to be edged out by another candidate and left coming in second.
While, when you are overcome with disappointment, it may be tempting to put your job search on hold, that isn’t the best choice. Instead, by taking the right steps, it’s smarter to keep moving forward. That way, you can turn the loss into a win, all thanks to some effort and determination.
If you didn’t get the job this year and you don’t know what to do next, here are some steps to follow.
Pause to Grieve
When you get turned down for a job, it hurts. And it’s okay to pause for a moment so that you can grieve that loss. Give yourself a chance to feel your feelings and reflect on the experience. That way, you can avoid bottling up those negative emotions, increasing the odds that you’ll be able to move on in a positive direction.
Send Another Thank You Note
While it may seem strange to thank a hiring manager for not picking you, it can be a great idea. By letting them know that you appreciate their time and consideration, you can leave a positive impression at the end. Then, if another opportunity at that company arises, they will be more likely to have fond memories of you as a candidate, which may increase your odds of being selected the second time around.
Ask for Feedback
If you have the opportunity, consider asking the hiring manager for feedback. Let them know that you are trying to make yourself a stronger candidate and that their input could help you become more competitive and grow professionally.
By using that approach, you aren’t requesting that they tell you why the other candidate was better. Instead, you are asking for guidance that focuses solely on you politely and professionally. You’ll come off as humble, engaged, and proactive, and that reflects well on you. Plus, you might get some fantastic tips that allow you to excel the next time you are up for a job.
You could also ask if you can remain in contact, such as by connecting with them on LinkedIn. If you otherwise made a positive impression, you could also request that they reach out if an opportunity comes along that they feel matches your skills and experience. Then, you are turning the situation into a win, as you are expanding your network and might find out about other positions, including those that might not be publicly advertised.
Keep Up With Your Search
Getting back into your job search routine is essential. You’ll be following a path forward instead of stagnating, and that’s critical to your success. Plus, it ensures that you don’t miss out on a great opportunity, as pausing your search could mean not learning about an exciting role before it disappears from the job boards.