When Life Gives You Lemons…


Such a simple solution to make something positive out of something negative.   Every job seeker needs to know how to make their own lemonade when they don’t get the job.

There is a plethora of advice available on how to “get the job.”  But what happens when you’ve taken all the proper steps and you still don’t get the call asking you when you can start? Rejection is disappointing, but turning a negative into a positive is the best thing you can do to move forward.

Handle rejection with professionalism to protect your reputation and your brand:

  • Express gratitude: After hearing back from the hiring manager, thank them for their consideration.  Asking for feedback can help you gain insight into whether there were any particular skills or examples of work that would have had a more positive impact. Check out “How to Ask Why You Didn’t Get the Job” for advice on this tricky conversation.
  • Don’t be defensive: It’s easy to get offended and flash your defensive side, but conducting yourself in the most professional manner possible when you don’t get the job can leave the door open and won’t damage your reputation (remember, it’s a small world).
  • Utilize the experience and feedback: Think of rejection as a chance to improve. This is a great time to refine your resume, portfolio and job expectations.

Remember, you will bounce back, and thinking of this temporary setback as a learning experience can make you a better job candidate, and ultimately, a better employee.

4 responses to “When Life Gives You Lemons…

  1. Gee, wouldn’t that be awesome if it were true. Unfortunately hiring managers are too busy to call back after a phone or in person interview, and certainly too busy to acknowledge a job seeker’s calls and emails when they follow up. Guess what? Even the recruiters are guilty of the same lack of response.

  2. Deborah, thanks for your comment. Your frustration is felt by many – and we find that many people in hiring positions do not extend the courtesy of honest, timely feedback. It’s unfortunate but true. It not just that they are busy however, many do not want to give negative news and that leads to silence as well. In my experience the best thing job seekers can do is to take the high road. If no feedback is given post interview (phone or in person), then make sure to close the loop with a professional email to either the recruiter or the hiring manager. State that you understand that you are likely not the candidate they are moving forward with, and your sincere feelings about that. Then make sure to leave the door open in your closing sentence and end on a positive note. – Kristin Zwickau, Director of CM Access

  3. Pingback: Twelve Tips for 12/12/12 | CMAccessBoston's Blog

  4. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new
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