What to Do After a Startup Rejected You

Nobody likes being rejected, especially by some startups with uncertain success path. But, this startup is the perfect company for you. You like both of their vision and mission, you think you nailed the interview. Yet, you only got the rejection email that says the position you have applied for has been offered to another candidate.

So, what to do now? Try to overcome the rejection AND be a go-getter at the same time. Here are the tips:

  1. Keep your chin up

Always remember that you are not the only one getting rejected. Plenty of successful people got rejected first, such as J.K. Rowling and Walt Disney. Also, realise that it is not just about you. Just stay focused on the goal.

You need to be optimistic in order to get the job. You are the only one person who can stop your own tracks. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you can or can not, you are right.”

  1. Have some winning mentality

After you realise that people are busier than ever now, you need to keep moving to the next opportunity. Nothing happens until you do something. You will only hear the one “yes”, it’s only a matter of time!

Yes, almost nothing valuable is easy. Thus, you should push the envelope. In the end, everything can be practiced. Do more, hear some feedback, and improve the practice. Do that on repeat.

  1. Chase the perfect job at the dream startup

Of course, you want to delete the rejection email, immediately. You want to move on, and try to look for other jobs. However, if you admire this startup so much, why don’t you give them another shot?

Follow up with the hiring manager, and ask him/her for feedback. If the startup is really as cool as you think, he/she is obviously happy to provide pointers. Or at least, let you know why another candidate was chosen for the role. Their feedback would be crucial for the next interview you will conduct at the same startup when the next opportunity arise.

  1. Or look for another position at the dream startup

Most startups are growing pretty quickly, which means they will be hiring again soon. You didn’t get the first position, yet they might be offering another interesting position. Since you’re already building a good relationship with the hiring manager, tell him/her about your huge passion towards the startup. As much as you admire the startup, you also have interest to explore other roles (only for this special startup).

  1. Keep in touch

You heard that the startup is getting a new funding, send over a congratulatory email. You know a friend who may fit the role they are currently looking for, make an introduction. Being passionate about the startup is not only related to your job hunting. If you’re this active and a friendly acquaintance, the startup is going to be friendly to you too!

This kind of kindness might not get you the job immediately. However, you have already ‘stolen’ a piece of the startup’s heart. If they are looking for anyone with your skills, you will be their first option, and eventually join their team.


Don’t waste your time to be wistful after a job rejection. Move quickly, so that you won’t miss another opportunity.


Next read: Applying for a Startup? Ask These Questions during The Interview!

Article contributed by Startup Jobs Asia‘s Team.

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