How to handle rejection in your job search: A unique approach

Writing a LetterLet’s face it. Rejection is part of the job search game. They say if you get every job you apply for – and who in this economy possibly could – you’re not aiming high enough.

Being able to handle rejection is crucial if you’re going to make it through what may be an extended search for employment. First of all, remember that it’s just a numbers game. At one point the No’s you hear will turn into a Yes. It’s only a matter of sticking to your game plan and keeping going.

But then there’s that stumbling block known as rejection. It can get you down, slow your search or even make you want to quit. Instead of succumbing to rejection depression, try something recommended by author Daniel Pink in his new book “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.”

Among many good pieces of advice in this book – which was released late last year and rocketed to #1 on the Business Bestseller lists of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post – is a rather unique and unorthodox means of dealing with rejection.

Pink recommends writing yourself a rejection letter.  You can’t do this every time you make a cold call, but if you’re actually sending in your resume for an open position, write a rejection letter first.

Spend about an hour thinking of all the reasons that the hiring manager might not want to hire you. Make a list of the reasons why they might turn you down. And, writes Pink, may sure you include such phrases, as “after careful consideration,” and “we had many qualified applicants.”

When you read what you’ve written it might seem a bit funny, but it will also show you where your weak points might be, so you can work to correct them. And reading the rejection letter that you so carefully targeted to yourself may make you more resilient and help harden you to the pain of any real rejection letters you receive in the future.

The self-discovery process that this exercise promotes might even help you avoid your next rejection letter altogether.

Give it a try, and let us know what happens.

For more information about Daniel Pink, his ideas and his books, check out his website at


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