The World Won’t End if You Don’t Get the Job – Five Tips for Next Steps

So you’ve found your dream job posted with the perfect organization. You’ve worked hours on your resume and cover letter. You got the call for an interview and even two more callbacks for final round selections. The interviewers seem impressed and laud you for being a very strong candidate. You’re anxiously awaiting an offer when you see this e-mail in your inbox:
Worker ImageDear Mr/Ms. ________, Thank you for interviewing with our company. The selection process was very competitive, and it was difficult selecting the right person with so many qualified applicants. UNFORTUNATELY….
We’ve all seen that email before, and it feels an awful lot like what the Mayans predicted would happen today - the end of the world. It really stinks not to get the position, and it can be hard to see what can be gained from the situation. Here are some immediate next action steps you can take to alleviate some of the stress:
• Breathe! – Take a deep breath and let the reality settle in. It can be a hard pill to swallow and discouraging to know that you didn’t get the dream position. Most importantly, REFRAIN from posting any negative comments on social media about the organization turning you down. As perfect as you may have seen the job, know that the decision was made with the assumption of what was best for both parties’ current situation. There’s definitely something even better awaiting you in the near future!
• Reply Politely – Like sending a thank you note after your interview, send a quick thank you e-mail letting the organization know how you appreciated their time in considering you for the position. Wish them well with the other candidate and highlight a lesson you may have learned from the interview process. Your reply can help to build a bridge between you and the organization beyond the application process.
• Ask for Feedback – Within your thank you note, ask for feedback about how you did during the interview process. You'll learn about what you did well and what you can improve on. Since you didn’t get the position, you really don’t have anything to lose from the question, and it shows that you are invested in improving professionally.
• Keep in Touch – At the end of the note, mention that you’re interested in future openings and opportunities with the organization. If it’s a nonprofit, see if they have volunteer opportunities that you can help with – maybe within the department that you were applying for. This gesture shows that you’re still invested in the mission of the organization and in your own personal professional development.
• Continue Applying! - As we know in the nonprofit sector, things can shift quickly within organizations, so it’s important to not “put all your eggs in one basket,” no matter how appealing that “dream job” was. There may have been other factors within the organization that may not have suited your working style, or the position already had an internal application considered. No matter the case, continue seeking positions, and don’t get discouraged by the rejection. Seek opportunities for growth in the application process and know that you WILL find that dream job!
Happy hunting, and may the odds be ever in your favor!
- Kenneth Tran, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member