The Rejection Reversal Technique

You go to your mailbox, hoping for mail. And there it is. A thin envelope bearing the return address of the company you interviewed with last week. A rejection letter. Not exactly the kind of mail you were anticipating. Rejection can be difficult to bear, especially when it comes from the employer you were interested in pursuing. However, you can use this as an opportunity to grow, learn, and possibly reverse the rejection.

We all love to get mail. Except for the kind that begins with "In spite of your excellent credentials…"

Upon receipt of a rejection letter, immediately call the person who wrote the letter and request feedback. "What was I lacking in meeting your needs?" Then listen closely. If you are provided with a valid area of lacking, take note of it and politely thank the manager for taking time to speak with you. However, if the answer is based on an incorrect assumption, you may have an opportunity to correct the error. For example, if the manager states that you did not have a high enough GPA for their requirements and you simply failed to put your GPA on your resume, you have the potential for a turnaround.

"No" does not always mean no. Sometimes it means "not yet."

A recent example of a turnaround occurred when a student friend of mine received a form letter rejection after the company-site interview. She was very interested in the company and had been certain that an offer would be made. When she called to inquire as to the reason, she was told that the position required that the person be available for travel in the first two years. "But I am available to travel. In fact, I would love to travel." Her contact seemed puzzled, but promised to get back to her. When the contact called back, he explained that one of the managers had written on an interview form, "Will not travel or relocate." She explained that while she wanted to remain in the metropolitan area, she was more than willing to travel as needed for the position. What had been a simple interview misunderstanding had almost cost her the position. The company reassessed and made her the job offer by the end of the following day.

As difficult as this call may seem, it can produce excellent results. Minimally, you can learn about an area of deficiency which you can correct for the next employer. Maximally, it can provide you with the opportunity to reverse what would have otherwise been a dead end.