Community Manager
Community Manager

Rejection Letters - What Do They Teach Us? | USAA Member Community

Nobody likes to get a rejection letter. Receiving one kinda dampens the excitement you initially had for an exciting job posting. After all, you polished up your resume and made sure it positioned you as the clear choice. You even interviewed and nailed it.


Then, that dreaded email hit your inbox.


"We regret to inform you, blah, blah, blah..."


Not what you wanted to hear. Not the kind of email you like to see. But hey, these things happen. What to do?


You can learn a lot about rejection letters if you take them as an opportunity to improve your chances of getting hired.


Here are several ways to recover and learn from a rejection letter:


  • First and foremost, stay encouraged!
  • Remember, that if you got a rejection letter, this means that either human eyeballs or a computer screened your resume. Did you truly have many of the qualifications shown on the job posting? Be honest. Can you add up the actual number of qualifications you currently have? If you have a skill or experience that’s not accurately reflected on your resume, go back and add it now.
  • Reach out to people you know that work at the company. Find out who got the job. It could be they delayed the hiring decision due to some unforeseen circumstance. Maybe the current budget or company performance resulted in a hiring freeze. Maybe nobody got the job because they were told to wait.
  • Keep applying for jobs at this and other companies. As Michael Jackson sang, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” interviews and job offers!
  • Do an in-depth study on the job title. Using websites such as LinkedIn, you can quickly identify people who have experience in that specific job and at that specific company. Depending how detailed their profile is, you can read and learn about how they became successful. To start, take a look at any accomplishments they've listed.
  • After you find someone who has the job title you want to have, take a look at the endorsements section on their LinkedIn profile. Now mind you, anybody and everybody can endorse anyone. There’s no check in the system to see if the endorsement can be backed by actual first-hand knowledge of the person’s skills. That said, you’ll need to check the endorsements carefully in a couple of ways. First, check to see if the person who endorsed a particular skill appears to have some “street cred” in that area. You’re looking for enough evidence to determine if this person is outstanding at this skill. Overall, your goal is to validate the skill set and learn from what you read. Is this a person you could connect with and learn from? Are they in LinkedIn Groups that might help you?
  • If you have LinkedIn Premium, you can explore companies and view open jobs. When you click on a specific job posting within LinkedIn, you can compare your set of skills with other people who’ve applied for this position. Grade yourself. Did you have the same number of skills as others who applied? If so, you’re on the right track for similar positions. If not, you need to update your profile and include those essential skills that lead to being competitive.
  • Most importantly, stay encouraged in spite of the news! Remember, the person who got the job probably was one in the pool of possibly hundreds or thousands of applicants. Use this rejection as motivation to hone your interviewing skills. Use this as a chance to improve your online profile. Use this as a way to increase your personal connections to other people who have done or currently hold a similar job title. Join those Groups and expand your knowledge of the industry, the trends, the key opinion leaders, and all the things that can move you close to your turn to get an offer letter.

Learn all you can from this experience. Keeping a positive attitude during this time is crucial. You need to maintain a great outlook on things. Remember, your attitude can be sensed by others, so make sure you keep it in check and remain optimistic.


How have you remained encouraged in spite of receiving a rejection letter?


234566 - 0816