Don't take rejections personally.

If you've never seen the other side of the process, it's easy to take it personally. But, I promise, it's almost never just about you.

Many systems track all candidates. When a position is closed it gives the option to send a mass communication to all candidates that they were not selected. Lots of times these emails are written as if it were not a bulk message. The message will feel personal. It's not.

Not convinced?

What if I said that often your application was simply not reviewed? 

Maybe there were simply too many candidates. 

Maybe the position was cancelled. 

Maybe the hiring team already had a candidate in mind, but were still required to post while never intending to review candidates.

Maybe you were reviewed, but a different candidate was already further in the process.

Maybe you were seen but the hiring manager has a bad sense of the skills they are looking for...and after seeing many candidates, the hiring manager is realizing their own ignorance.

Maybe they cast a wide net, only to filter out candidates based on a very particular criteria that caused you to be excluded. Maybe, had their original posting aligned to their actual criteria, you'd never have applied.

Maybe you are the right fit. But so are 50 other candidates, and it's just an odds game.

Maybe you're the right fit, but due to economic circumstances the position has been flooded with everyone from highly overqualified to severely underqualified candidates...not to mention candidates who have no qualifications at all, have no clue what the role is, but have just spammed the application system.

Maybe you are the right fit, but the company is on a shoestring budget and in promoting their job post they were spammed by so many non-relevant applicants that they extinguished the budget and have no practical way of reviewing actual applications.

Or, maybe you were seen. And in these instances, …yes... maybe you were rejected. 

And while these would be the ones to take personally, the truth is you can't tell these rejections apart from any other.

There are many more reasons why you're getting rejected and most of it, truly, has nothing to do with you. None of these are necessarily excusable, and I don't want to justify them. But, ultimately, you'd be surprised - really surprised - at how many unrelated reasons there are.

So rather than take any of the rejections personally, try this: focus on why you are awesome. Look at your resume and your LinkedIn as a statement about your awesomeness. That's inherently a tough message to get across. It takes time to get it right.

Refine the message. Iterate regularly.

Try to feel reenergized each time you find something new which further improves your message because it's now one step closer towards establishing how great you are.

Like I said, rejections are never personal … they're just missing the message.


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