So as some of you may have seen, I'm not too happy with the company I'm currently employed at, and have begun searching for a new job in earnest.

I've been applying to places, but haven't received any sort of interviews as of yet. What I have been receiving is rejection e-mails, in some cases relatively quickly, and if I'm being honest it makes me doubt my skills and experience.

My life was falling apart around me when I got my current job, when I was at what I honestly consider one of the the lowest points in my life. I don't want to experience that sort of low once again, but it's incredibly disheartening when I'm overlooked but (by job description) am seemingly overqualified for the position. It's worse when I'm overlooked, seemingly overqualified (see above), and the position hasn't been filled after I've been rejected abnd not even

What are some techniques I can use to reduce the dejection that comes from a "Thanks, but no thanks" e-mail from these positions?

  • 3
    I'd start with a less pragmatic approach. Rejection is never easy but it is a chance for you to assess where do you want to go and what do you need to get there. So what can you do to deal with it? Don't give up on your search is a good starting point. Moving forward the best thing you can do is keep your mind busy learning new skills and let time do its thing, if you're constant and patient you will eventually get there or even better (or more ironical), you will find out this wasn't what you really wanted. So keep trying, and try not sticking to the same position/idea, it's just not healthy
    – user49901
    Mar 3, 2017 at 3:54
  • 2
    Quick rejections are usually a sign that you're applying for the wrong jobs. Don't waste time and energy applying for jobs that you are not a match for. Both being underqualified and being overqualified are a problem! More on the latter here. This question has some advice on applying for jobs below your experience level.
    – Lilienthal
    Mar 3, 2017 at 11:37
  • No, and No. I've been careful to review the positions to ensure that the qualifications fit in with my existing work experience and education (No college, so I tend to look for the "Combination of education/experience), just to make sure.
    – Anoplexian
    Mar 3, 2017 at 18:03
  • Have you ever read Ask A Manager? Alison has a ton of great advice about resumes - askamanager.org/category/resumes
    – Mel Reams
    Mar 4, 2017 at 6:01
  • 1
    "and the position hasn't been filled after I've been rejected" - The fact that you even know this means that you're focusing too much on one opening. Focus on getting a queue of 15 openings that you're applying for. If a rejection comes in, now you have 14 openings that you're applying for.
    – Brandin
    Mar 4, 2017 at 8:09

5 Answers 5


What are some techniques I can use to reduce the dejection that comes from a "Thanks, but no thanks" e-mail from these positions?

A few thoughts:

  • Don't make it personal. A rejection doesn't mean they rejected who you are as a person. It means they didn't think you were a good fit for the position. How you frame this in your mind is incredibly important - if you think they rejected you as a person it will affect you far more than thinking of it as "not a good fit for the position."
  • Make sure you are applying to the right positions. You mention you seem overqualified, that might be why you are getting rejections. Most companies won't consider someone who appears to be senior if they want to fill a junior position. That's just how it is.
  • Have some people review your resume/applications. If you find that you are continuously being rejected, particularly without interviews, have someone look over your resume. It's possible this isn't clear/great in the first place.
    • Focusing on a proactive thing normally helps minimize feelings of dejection (though it's definitely not easy to do)
  • Take a break. Maybe it's 5 minutes or a day, but just take a break. There are a few comments joking about alcohol... or board games or running or whatever you want to do. Basically distract yourself for a while. Don't sit and dwell on things, particularly if you have trouble separating the job from you personally in the above point.
  • Set your expectations appropriately. If your assumption is "I will get every job I apply for" that will make not getting one even harder to deal with. Make sure you are appropriately setting your expectations when applying for jobs.

Ultimately, getting rejected will not be fun - if this is causing you significant emotional stress I would recommend reading up on how to overcome grief. There are tons of resources about major grief, this all applies in situations like yours when it's perhaps not as major as losing a loved one - similar techniques can be used.

It might be worth talking with a doctor too as what you are describing sounds fairly similar to a mild depression, though I'm not at all going to make the assumption it is.

  • 6
    Have some people review your resume/applications I wish I could upvote this paragraph even more than the others, and if it wasn't here I would have posted it as an answer. If you know you can do the job and you're getting rejected based on your resume then the way your resume is presenting you is letting you down and you need to improve it.
    – Player One
    Mar 3, 2017 at 8:07
  • 3
    The one thing I would add is that sometimes it isn't you, it is just that other more suitable candidates also applied. More suitable could be better skill set or it could be business domain experience or former employee we would like to get back or it could be CEO's cousin. You have no control over who else appies.
    – HLGEM
    Mar 3, 2017 at 18:07

You Still Have a Job

I wrote that in big bold letters because this situation puts you in a far better position than all the other job-seekers who don't currently have one.

Q: How do they feel?
A: A darned sight worse than you do

You have time on your side to find a job that fits your skill-set and personality. So swap your focus from finding any job, and take your time to find the job.

In the meantime, find something outside work that you really enjoy doing - being happier in your home life often brings more of a sense of fulfilment into your working life.

Many people are depressed at work because they're stuck in a rut that that feel they can't get out of.

Guess what? You're in a better situation than them because you're finding ways out of that rut.

You have no idea how good you have things.


As a contractor this is something that I have had to deal with a lot more than most people in a permanent job, and I have to say that it doesn't get easier for me each time I have to move onto a new role and the process of applying for jobs, talking to recruiters and fronting up to interviews can wear you down regardless of how experienced or seasoned a professional you are if there are no roles suitable for you out there.

Along with the advice and suggestions already provided here, I think the most helpful piece of information I have been given by a friend is that you should try to think of applying for jobs in the same way that actors audition for roles. Sure, the process isn't always fair and the people picking the candidate can be subjective to their own personal preferences, but at the end of the day they are looking for a particular type of actor and if you don't fit the bill then you don't fit. It can be easy to take the rejection personally, but on the flip side when you do land a job it is easy to forget those that have also applied for the same role and missed out.

As for the rejection emails, you can either try to fine-tune your applications to try and tick the boxes that recruiters are looking for, or you can stick to who you are so that when you do get the call up for an interview you can be confident that the job is more likely to be a good fit for you. There is no right or wrong answer, because at the end of the day it is how you choose to react to these rejections that will ultimately determine how well you will do in your next application.


What are some techniques I can use to reduce the dejection that comes from a "Thanks, but no thanks" e-mail from these positions?

For me the worst part of getting rejected for a job is feeling worthless, like I'm not good at anything. To fight that specifically, I recommend spending time with friends. If you feel comfortable directly telling them that you're having a shitty time and could use some encouragement, definitely do that.

If you can, do something nice for someone. Email a friend you haven't seen for a while and ask how they're doing, volunteer for something if you have the opportunity - this doesn't have to be in person, if there are any communities for newbies in your field, join them and answer questions, heck, just offer to help someone with their bags. The idea is to remind yourself that you have something to offer.

If you like doing anything creative, do that. If you can create something, whether that's a meal, a blog post, a set of shelves, a knitted scarf, a painting, that proves that you matter because now there's something where there used to be nothing.

Like other commentors have said, distraction is a good idea too. Take a break and do something fun. With friends if everyone's schedules allow, if not it's totally fine to spend an evening watching netflix, playing games, whatever works for you.

And you know, sometimes you just need to feel your feelings until you're done. Rejection sucks, it's okay to feel bad about it. Maybe you need an evening watching sad movies and eating icecream and just being sad until you get bored of it (being sad is actually really dull, it won't take as long as you think).

Don't forget that the people rejecting you for jobs have tons of applicants for every job and they're not judging you personally, they're judging your resume/cover letter by taking a quick glance at it. I help review resumes at my work and I'm sure I've rejected good people who just had bad resumes. Even if your resume is great, someone else's might be fantastic and just happen to be perfectly suited for that particular job. A huge part of job hunting is luck and numbers. Heck, maybe your resume is amazing but the hiring manager wants to hire a friend of theirs, or doesn't like the school you went to, or you just happened to use their least favourite buzzword.


The most important thing you can do (in addition to enderland's entirely reasonable suggestions) is to keep your head up.

Time and time again, a theme that pops up in how to teach people to do sales is to keep the conversation positive - and when you're interviewing/applying you're trying to sell yourself. If you don't stay positive, you don't stand a chance.

So hold that head up high - something will come up. You're a candidate who is capable of getting the job. Obviously, because you already have one. So stay positive.

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