Pathway from rejection to acceptance


Whether it’s being picked last during P.E. at school, watching as your new puppy runs into your brother’s arms rather than yours, or getting those four big red Xs on Britain’s Got Talent, we have all had to deal with rejection at some point.

When it comes to job applications, rejection can be difficult, especially when you have spent hours deliberating about what exactly they mean by ‘IT literate’. Unfortunately it happens to most of us at some point. So what follows is a pathway on how to turn that rejection into success!

(You can also always sneak a few dog biscuits into your pocket next time you’re in competition with your brother.)


‘We regret to inform you but on this occasion you haven’t been successful’

The phone call arrives a few days after the interview. You listen for signs in the employer’s voice as to the outcome, hoping that you have got the job. And then those dreaded words. You slump into your chair and half-listen as they carry on talking.

Maybe it’s an email or, even worse, nothing at all. So what do you do?


Feedback – Don’t take it personally

At this stage the last thing you may want to hear are negative comments about why you didn’t get the job. The feedback will often contain positive comments as well as areas for improvement. So do listen to the feedback and make notes so you can reflect on them later. Try not to take the feedback personally. It will focus on the evidence you demonstrated in application and interview in relation to the job and not be an attack on your personality. Feedback may be given on the phone or you may need to request it. Always, always ask for feedback following an interview. It isn’t often possible to get feedback following an application, however you can still request it. If you have applied to UniJob you can ask for feedback whatever stage you get to in the application process.



Now it is time to look through your application and think about the interview again. There may be a few moments when you cringe remembering how you answered the tricky questions but it is a useful time to assess your own strengths and weaknesses. As you go through the answers to each interview question, think about the feedback and see if you can figure out how the interviewer may have got that perception. If feedback wasn’t available, look through your application and think critically about sections you could have developed further. Or ask someone else to look through it with you. Think about areas you could improve on in future applications.



Once you have assessed your application and interview, remember to celebrate your strengths as well as looking for ways to develop those areas for improvement. If you have missed out because your computer skills aren’t up to scratch, look for a computer course such as ECDL or similar. Find situations through work or your social life where you can develop your organisational skills if that is what held you back. Read up on the topic or speak to an industry expert by arranging a work shadowing visit. Or maybe, if you think you have all the skills and experience needed, you should focus on whether you evidenced it properly at the time. Attending an EYE training session on applications, CVs or interviews could be the answer.


Take a deep breath and continue on the journey

Remember you have survived. Learn from your mistakes, take a deep breath and focus on the next application. Prepare, research the company and continue on the next step of your journey towards a successful career. Good luck!


How to write a good covering letter

Great covering letters are a really easy way to stand out from the competition when you’re applying for jobs. Many applicants won’t bother including a covering letter and others will write their letter as a bit of an after-thought. So a well-written letter is crucial.

Here are some hints and tips to help you write a winning letter to accompany your CV or application.
Blog 24.06
General tips:

  • Keep to a maximum of one side of A4.
  • Paragraphs should be clearly laid out.
  • Use a font that is easy to read, such as Arial.
  • Writing your letter in a direct and simple way will help you save space and get your message across more easily.


  • Always address your letter to a named person: check online, check LinkedIn or ring the company and ask who would be the best contact
  • Use their title and surname only, eg Dear Mrs Smith rather than Dear Mrs Eve Smith (always best to play it safe)

First paragraph

  • Use this to set the scene.
  • Clarify what you are applying or looking for, and what you’re currently doing.
  • For example, ‘I wish to apply for the position of xxxxxxxxxxx. I am currently a final year xxxxxx student at the University of Chester.’
  • Add a reason for your interest in the vacancy, eg previous time spent in a similar organaisation, relevant options during your degree.
  • Mention you are enclosing your CV.

 Second paragraph

  • Address why you are applying to that organisation
  • Then widen this out to anything special or unique about the employer (online research will come in useful here)
  • You need to demonstrate that you have researched the employer and area of work
  • Make links to any experience that has helped you come to your decision and avoid vague generalisations such as ‘top class training programme’ or ‘international reputation’.

Third paragraph

  • This is where you need to convince the employer that you are right for them and for the role. If you are responding to an advertised position, address each of the selection criteria.
  • Don’t expect the reader to turn to your CV to evidence this; lay it out for them to read and
  •  If you don’t have much relevant experience, explain why you think you could make a contribution, e.g. team player, fast learner, good people skills.
  •  Refer to points on your CV that you want the reader to note without repeating too much information.

Fourth paragraph

  • This is for any other relevant information such as mitigating circumstances for poor academic results, or details of extra qualifications that are relevant to the job, e.g. languages.

 Final paragraph

  • Use this space to sign off and indicate your availability for interview.
  • Use ‘Yours sincerely’ where you have written to a named individual and ‘Yours faithfully’ if you have had to use ‘Sir/Madam’.

Exams looming? Already graduated? Either way, don’t forget Careers and Employability

Are you struggling to get started with job searches, wondering about internships or confused about your prospects? With the world of work beckoning, summer can feel like a difficult time. But it doesn’t need to be. Whatever your circumstances, we can help!

We’re open all summer and with fewer students on campus and more appointments available, summer is the perfect time to get help from Careers and Employability. Contact us and book a guidance appointment with one of our Career Consultants or come along to one of our drop-ins.

Whether it’s advice on interview technique or getting the experience to start out in your chosen field, we can help. If you’ve moved away from campus, don’t worry – we can offer help via Skype, email and telephone.

Some of the issues we’ve helped graduates with include:

“I’m still in the part-time job I started at uni but want to move forward with my career.”

“My current job seems a bit ‘dead-end’. I’ve got an interview for another job which offers a lower salary but seems to offer more potential.”

“I’m not getting interviews despite several applications.”

So, if you’re struggling to get to grips with job sectors or need help finding the right role, either call in if you’re around, or ring us on 01244 513066 (Chester) or 01925 534235 (Warrington).

Find out more:

Twitter: @chestercareers

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