Employment Advice Column: Handling Rejection in Your Job Search

 Dear Joanna, 

I am so frustrated. I am eager to find a job in a safe workplace during the pandemic, and have applied to countless office clerk positions. Yet, I have received very few invites to job interviews. And when I am finally have a job interview, I get rejected! How much more can I take of this? Any suggestions on how to move on?

Signed: Pain of Rejection

Dear PR

Welcome to the club! Doyle in and Reena’s SET and Channels’  Job Coaches offer some excellent suggestions to handle this way too common situation in the job search. To expand, Doyle advises that “to succeed in your long-term goal of finding that dream opportunity and getting hired, you need to learn to cope with being turned down. Otherwise, it’s easy to let a momentary setback turn into a major career roadblock.” It’s important to recognize that the job market is competitive and often rejection is due to this factor. And sometimes, if you aren’t hired because the hiring manager doesn’t think you are a good fit, you are better off.

Here are six ways to approach this rejection:

  1. Getting over the rejection by a potential employer. Talk to a friend or family member and share your feelings in a confidential setting. The best person to share this with is someone whom you trust and will not be your future boss or co-worker. Venting can help sometimes to get over the anger and frustration of not getting the job offer. But then it’s important to move on. Consider mindfulness workshops and other stress-reliever activities being offered virtually in the community.
  2. Don’t burn your bridges. Don’t share anything negative at the job interview. You never know whether you might want to apply to the organization again in the future. More often than not, you will never know the truth why you were rejected. And I’ve known cases when the hiring manager came back to the candidate at a later date with a job offer!!!
  3. Follow up the rejection with an email. This is a pro-active way that might open the doors with the hiring manager to consider you for other positions with the organization.
  4. Improve your job search skills. Job search rejection happens to everyone. It’s what you do next that counts. Use this opportunity to continue to get feedback on your techniques. This could include practicing your interviewing skills, revising your resume and cover letter, increasing your social media presence and professional networking as well as keeping busy with your hobbies and  learning new skills. Consider participating in employment centres that are operating virtual employment support services for persons with disabilities during Covid.
  5. Ask the hiring manager for “constructive criticism” on your application. Although this rarely happens, sometimes an employer will offer valuable feedback on your candidacy including your resume and cover letter as well as the job interview. It doesn’t hurt to ask – but remember, this is their choice.
  6. Don’t give up. Keep the momentum of your job search going even if you are waiting to hear if you got the job! Always continue looking until you have a serious job offer in writing that you have accepted!



To submit your questions and comments to this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email Joanna Samuels, Employment Resource Supervisor, REENA at


About Joanna Samuels

Joanna Samuels, B.Ed (in adult education), M.Ed, CMF, RRP, is an employment resource supervisor at She has over 12 years of frontline experience in providing supported and customized employment/career coaching, job development, and workshop facilitation to unemployed and underemployed job seekers from diverse communities and fields who are individuals with disabilities and multi-barriers. She also helps employers with building an inclusive workforce through innovative recruitment programs, as well as offers “train the trainer” courses. Also, Joanna is a certified Life Skills Coach, and certified Personality Dimensions Facilitator. She is a published author, and employment advice columnist as well as a guest speaker on issues related to employment and careers at conferences and podcasts as well as being featured on Kelly & Company, and