Director’s Tips: Dealing with Rejection

1. Remember that particularly these days, rejection is part of the job hunt.  We’ve all been there.  It means you are putting yourself out there, which is a very good thing.  Don’t give up.   

2. Don’t necessarily assume the employer or the interviewers disliked you.  They may have gone with someone else to fill a specific anticipated need, because they were unsure of your level of interest, or because another candidate was one that all persons could agree on (even if you were one of the interviewer’s favorites). 

3. Particularly if you interviewed with an employer before you were rejected, you might email or write a note to the interviewers to thank them, let them know your interest remains strong, and that you hope to have the chance to run into them again.  Graciousness in the face of rejection is both professional and something unique, and may set you apart in the interviewers’ minds.  Not that this happens regularly, but this Spring OCI, we have had a student get added as interview largely he sent a sincere, specific and gracious email to the hiring attorneys who initially rejected him.  Continuing communication can also simply be a way to make a new professional acquaintance.  I remember that when I interviewed with Parsons Behle & Latimer during Spring OCI my first year, the hiring attorney told me to call him if I ever had a question—then the firm rejected me.  The next summer, while working at my other firm, I had an issue arise which he had dealt with in a prior case, so I took him up on his (perhaps unintended) offer to call him.  We became friends, served on a Board together, and he served as a professional reference for me when I sought my current job.   

4. If you are continually not getting an interview, please ask someone else to review your application materials—particularly before you submit them for a job you really want.  PDO is happy to do this for you.  Sometimes, something on your resume or cover letter is just a little bit “off,” and this might be preventing you from progressing in the hiring process.

5. Similarly, if you are getting numerous interviews but haven’t landed a job, consider doing a mock interview with PDO.