OCTOBER 2023 – EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN – The Hardest Part of the Job Search: Handling Rejection

Dear Joanna

I have been applying to tons of jobs as an software application tester and am receiving generic emails stating that  I am not a good fit, that my resume will be kept on file just in case! How frustrating and upsetting this is!  I’m not even getting interviews. I’ve reached out to my Reena job coach to get help with my job search. Please can you offer some tips of how to handle rejection in the job search.

Signed: Almost giving up

Dear AGU,

Do not despair. According to Dawn’s fantastic  2021 article at, “the internet is saturated with more jobs than we can fully consider, more applications than a company can realistically process and more garbage than we’ll even realize”. Today, candidates who apply for online jobs have a two per cent response rate from recruiters! Deering, another great blogger, offers seven strategies to help you deal with the hardest part of the job hunt – REJECTION – at

1) Don’t take things personally. Don’t lose help. There are many reasons why an employer rejects your job application. Maybe they can’t afford the salary you are asking for, or maybe another candidate has a better skill set than you do; maybe there is an internal candidate who has been selected for the role even before the posting was advertised. There’s another job opportunity out there, so move on.

2) Share your disappointment privately. It’s frustrating to be rejected, and one of the best ways to let out your frustration is through venting and sharing with your Reena job coach, family and friends. This helps you get over it much quickly. Do not vent on social media.  You’ll come off as unprofessional, and you never know who’s reading your tweets or posts.

3) It’s a great learning opportunity. Treat each rejection as a learning opportunity to improve your resume, cover letter, interview skills, networking and even your online application.  Ask the employer for constructive feedback on your application or your job interview, if you’ve had one and didn’t get the job offer. Linkedin is a great site to find the recruiters and reach out or even call the staff directly. Some employers may not offer you any feedback when you don’t get the job, but there is no harm in asking. Their feedback might offer some tips on how to improve your job hunt and/or job interview.

4) Review your job search process. Whether you receive any feedback from an employer or not, you should reflect on your experience. Review your process to see what you can do better. Take a look at the job description again. Are you missing some necessary skills? If you were the hiring manager, would you hire someone with your skill set.

5) Take a break. If you’ve been looking for a job for quite some time without success, it may be a good idea to take a break to regroup. You don’t have to go on a vacation. It could be as simple as going offline for a day and head to the beach. This will clear your mind and give you the rejuvenation you need.

6) Move on. Job hunting requires resilience and persistence. There are still many opportunities out there. Pick yourself back up and look for the next best opportunity. There more resumes you send out, the greater your chances of finding your dream job.

Signed: Joanna

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Joanna Samuels, M.Ed., CMF, CTDP, RRP,  is the Employment Resource & Summer Employment Transitions program Supervisor at Also, Joanna is a certified Life Skills Coach, and Personality Dimensions Facilitator who offers job development, job coaching and workshop facilitation with persons with disabilities and barriers. She also helps employers with diversity recruitment and creating an inclusive and innovative workforce.