How to plan your next steps after a job rejection

23rd September 2021

Rejection is never easy, especially if it was a role you really wanted and put a lot of effort into. Without the right mindset, this can cause great damage to your job search. Rejection is a very big part of job searching, some people get rejected more than others, unfortunately, it is natural and unavoidable, what makes the biggest difference is how we respond to it.

At Citrus Connect we like to look at rejection as redirection. We go through hundreds of applications per role, and the most important part is finding the right candidate for that particular company, when making a match that does not fit, is not only detrimental to the company but also to the candidate. Just because you didn’t get the job this time does not mean you won’t get the job next time. It is important to keep in mind that no success comes without failure, these are essential times in life that give us a chance to turn the experience into career development opportunities.

Here are some tips that will help you plan your next steps in your job search.

Develop the right mindset

Keep in mind that rejection is all part of the process, you didn’t get that job as it was not the right one for you, you are being redirected to the right job. Stay positive and whatever you do try not to take it personally. Take some time to sit with your feelings, don’t rush out your next application. Think back on the process and see if there was anything you may have done differently, this is a good opportunity for self-reflection.

Request some feedback-

Respond to your hiring manager, thank them for reviewing your application and getting back to you, then ask them if they have any feedback. It is always helpful to know as much as possible about what went wrong and what areas you may need to work on for future applications. Was it in the resume, your cover letter, the interview, or was it simply you were missing key points they were looking for?


After taking some time to accept the rejection and asking for some feedback, this is the time you can put them together and see what you have learnt and what you will do differently next time. There is always room for improvement, ask yourself the difficult questions; were there any questions I could have answered differently, did I do enough research and tailoring on my CV, and did I prepare myself as much as I could have? Also, take this time to think about what you liked and didn’t like about the job. Understanding what you want and need from a professional position will give you a clearer path to where you want to go with your career, this is a great way to develop more motivation to carry on.


Now that you have gotten all the information you need to continue your search with gained knowledge, you can now use this to refine your job search. Make any necessary changes to your resume and or cover letter, and make a list of what you have learnt and what you are looking for exactly. Use what you have to fine-tune your strategy and application process.

Get back into job searching-

It is easy to feel deflated and nervous after a rejection. But, you have done all you can, you have gained valuable knowledge that has paved a strong path for you to continue on. Try to broaden your search, and look at the skills you have that are transferable to other industries. Look for new and better opportunities. Get back into the habit of searching daily. After all, job searching is a full-time job!

There is nothing to lose when keeping a positive mindset yet everything to lose when keeping a negative one. There are some things in life you can control and some you can’t. Do not take anything personally. Shake yourself up and believe that there is another job that is perfect for you. Remember that you are only looking for one job, there are plenty more out there for you to apply for.

“Every job I was denied for… opened the door to new opportunities. Every relationship that hurt me… led me to my true love. Every mistake I thought would be the end of me… pointed me towards an incredible success.” – DR. Steve Maraboli

More Posts

Monthly Recruitment Insights: Navigating UK’s Tight Labour Market

As we approach the Easter weekend and look back on the first quarter of 2024, it’s been a challenging but ultimately enjoyable few months for us at Citrus Connect Recruitment. […]

A magnified glass over the word talent

Proactive Recruitment: A Winning Strategy for Direct Sales

Direct sales offers exciting opportunities but also unique hiring challenges. Many high-performing candidates are not actively seeking new roles, but they would be open to the right opportunity. Traditional job adverts […]

Monthly Recruitment Insight: Are Hiring Algorithms Leaving Humanity Behind?

As we step into the heart of February, this month, we ask a pressing question: “Are Hiring Algorithms Leaving Humanity Behind?” As AI’s role in recruitment grows, evidenced by a […]

Accelerate your recruitment

Let's work together

Recruit a sales team Find a sales job


    Keep updated with jobs in your area

    Get your name on the list.

      How did you hear about us?

      X Close