4 ways to handle employer rejection on social media

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employer rejection social mediaBy Joshua Waldman, career expert and author of the Jobjuice Social Media Job Search App

The sting of rejection is not pleasant, and as a job seeker, you need to be able to deal with the letdown. As easy as it is to find and connect with employers on social media, it is just as easy for them to react in a negative, undesired way.

With social media, you have access to hiring managers and recruiters that you’ve never had before. But, not every LinkedIn message or tweet on Twitter is going to get a reply. Even worse, you may receive a negative response. Don’t get discouraged. Knowing how to handle this situation is important in order to keep your job search prosperous.

There may be a variety of reasons why you were rejected, but not all of them are always deserved. Whether the rejection is valid or invalid, putting a positive spin on this negativity will only make you a better job candidate in the future.

Consider the following four tips for how to handle employer rejection on social media:

1. Don’t take it too personally. You may have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time. As long as you were respectful and made it clear that you did your research before reaching out, you are not to blame for their negative response. Keep your head held high, and turn your rejection into motivation to get a better outcome next time.

2. Jot down this mental note. What many human resources departments fail to realize is the damaging impact their own negativity has on the company. The undeserving rejection or harsh response from the employer may actually facilitate a change of heart. You may want to reassess your fit with the organization and find a position with a more welcoming team.

3. Learn from your mistakes and make necessary changes. This is the most beneficial step for your own job search success. Being able to conduct a self-analysis, discover your mistakes and make the necessary changes will make you a highly desired job candidate in the future.

If you failed to get a response altogether, consider the following:

  • Change your message strategy. Be sure you’re addressing their needs up front and explaining to them why you would be a great fit for their company. Because these individuals are so busy, it is important you get to the point in the most respectful manner.
  • Update your personal profiles. Refining your LinkedIn headline and summary and changing your picture in ways that are consistent with the message you want to share will put you in a better position for a more desired response.

If you received a negative response, you can make changes as follows:

  • Change your communication style. Sometimes your way of reaching out may be delivering an unintended tone. Be sure you are coming across in a genuine way.
  • Ask the opinion of a third party. Stepping back from your own methods and letting someone else analyze them may provide you with a new perspective.

4. Make your persistence pleasant. Persistence is key in the job search, but being a nuisance can be a deal breaker. You never want to be a pest; therefore, it is best you limit yourself to three communications before calling it quits. Here is how to respond with your first and last communication:

  • First: Follow up by acknowledging and considering the fact that they may be busy and may not have had the time to read your email.
  • Final: Use your last communication as an open invitation for them to get back in touch with you when they find the time.
    Remember, the most successful job candidates continue their job hunt despite the rejection they endure. Do your best to stay positive, motivated and learn from the process.

Have you ever dealt with a harsh rejection from an employer or hiring manager? How did you bounce back as an even better job candidate? Share your story in the comments section below.

Joshua Waldman is the author of the Jobjuice Social Media Job Search App, which is now available for download for iPad and iPhone in the App Store. Connect with Joshua and Jobjuice on Twitter and Facebook.

5 Comments
  1. @CareerBuilder
    SM causes many employers and candidates to say things they never would offline. Pretend your offline to avoid this

  2. Great tips on how to handle rejection on social media. Social media can give job seekers a platform to connect with hiring managers and recruiters like never before. But it can also make it easier to mess up and go negative. Make sure you’re persistent in your positive attitude. If a recruiter hasn’t looked at your profile or watched your video resume yet, just continue to let them know how interested you are in the company. Not every job will be for you, but how you handle yourself on social media can sometimes make or break your job search.

  3. I think every so often we encounter rejection personally or on social media. I think social media rejection is much easier to handle since you don’t get to exert so much effort when submitting your application because everything is done online.

  4. Yes, I was told that I was over qualified for a part time position at a local newspaper. I didn’t take offense to it, despite the nasty tone in her voice.  (I called a few days after I sent her my emailed resume).  They’re still looking to fill the position to this day.  Sometimes, it’s best to not apply to every job available especially if they leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

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