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The Antelope

Picking yourself up after rejection


After scouring LinkedIn for hours on an early Thursday morning, trying to start my day off right with getting job applications done, I get a notification about a new email.

The subject line reads: “Thank you for applying!”

Before I even open up the news, I can see the preview of the email and I start to feel myself getting sweaty and my shoulders start slumping.

My first rejection email.

Rejection is never easy, and I happened to receive that email at the perfect time as I was considering applying for my fifth job. I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit at the timing and how coincidental it was. Maybe this was a sign. For one day I could take a break from staring at the ginormous list of requested qualifications, skills and experience needed for the “entry level” positions on

If I am interested in the job after reading through the blob of that information, I am tasked right away with the documents that they require to help them get to know me better. Understandably so, I attach my resume and then one other section is marked with a red requirement asterisk: a cover letter.

As outdated cover letters are, most jobs require them. I will sit down at my desk for another two hours trying to come up with the best way to beg for the job, promising that I was put on earth to be their marketing coordinator. 

I have never been a good suck up and maybe that showed. 

I can’t specifically identify what issues or parts of my application the hiring team weren’t interested in. As much as I’d like to sit down and nitpick at what I think I did wrong, I decide it’s best to pick myself up again and click on the “apply now” button once more.

Although applying for jobs may feel like an endless or impossible task, there are ways I’ve found to make it easier. 

Take the time and network with any possible person in the industry you are looking to be a part of. Whether that be on LinkedIn, a professional conference or getting to know the people in your major/department. The opportunity you have been looking for may just be outside of your comfort zone. If you find someone who can connect you to a possible job or is in the same field as you, take a chance and invite them out for coffee to hear what they have to say and gain not only a relationship, but potential life changing advice.

Apply to every job you are remotely interested in. Regardless of the requirements listed, the worst thing the hiring team can tell you is no, which is always done professionally. While rejection can feel terrible, an even scarier feeling is not having any job at all

You have worked hard for your degree, in your job experiences and been a part of activities that can set you apart from the others that you are competing with. Be easy on yourself and keep pushing forward, and take each application one step at a time. One day the email notification will be exactly what you are looking for.

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JILL SMITH, Reporter
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