How Do You Manage Referral Rejection?

Powered by AI and the LinkedIn community | LinkedIn | 9/27/2023

1. Acknowledge your feelings

Referral rejection can be a blow to your confidence and self-esteem, especially if you had high hopes for the opportunity. It is normal to feel disappointed, frustrated, or even angry. However, you should not let these emotions overwhelm you or affect your performance in other aspects of your job search. Acknowledge your feelings, but do not dwell on them. Instead, try to focus on the positive aspects of the experience, such as the feedback you received, the skills you demonstrated, and the network you expanded.


2. Thank your referrer

Your referrer did you a favor by vouching for you and putting their reputation on the line. They may also feel bad about the outcome and wonder if they could have done more to help you. Therefore, it is important to thank them sincerely and let them know that you appreciate their support. Send them a personal note, email, or phone call and express your gratitude. You can also ask them for any advice or insights they may have on how to improve your chances for future opportunities. This will show them that you value their opinion and that you are eager to learn and grow.


3. Analyze the feedback

If you received any feedback from the hiring manager or the recruiter, you should analyze it carefully and objectively. Feedback can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and improve your resume, cover letter, and interview skills. Look for any patterns or gaps in your qualifications, experience, or fit for the role. Ask yourself what you can do to address them and enhance your profile. You can also seek input from other sources, such as mentors, coaches, or peers, to get a different perspective and learn from their experiences.

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By MIT Sloan CDO