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Is it normal to get rejected from a lot of jobs?

Quick Answer

Yes, it is completely normal to get rejected from many jobs when you are searching for a new role. Job searching can be a numbers game, and most applicants will face rejection the majority of the time before landing a new position. Getting rejected does not mean there is anything wrong with you or your qualifications. It simply means you weren’t the right fit for that particular role at that particular company. The key is to keep applying and not get discouraged.

What percentage of job applications result in rejection?

Research shows that on average, about 75% of job applications result in rejection. This means only 1 in 4 applications will lead to an interview or job offer for most candidates. According to studies, the typical job seeker submits about 16 applications per new job landed. So expect to face a lot of rejection as the norm during your job search.

Why do most applications get rejected?

There are a few key reasons most candidates get rejected from the majority of jobs applied for:

  • The applicant is not a good match for the role’s requirements
  • Another candidate was a better fit and got the job
  • The company had too many applicants and limited openings
  • The application was incomplete or contained errors
  • The company halted the hiring process for that role

Most of the time, rejections happen through no fault of your own. It’s simply a matter of the company deciding to go with another applicant over you, even if you met the qualifications. There can be 100+ applicants per opening, so competition is often fierce.

How many rejections are normal before getting hired?

Again, research indicates you can expect around 16 rejections for every 1 job offer. So in the course of a full job search, it would not be uncommon to face 50+ rejections before landing your next position. Some high-level statistics on typical rejections faced:

  • Management roles: 27 rejections per offer
  • Sales roles: 24 rejections per offer
  • Engineering roles: 18 rejections per offer
  • Accounting roles: 15 rejections per offer

So no matter what field you are in, having dozens of rejections is very normal even for the most qualified candidates. As long as you get that one “yes”, that’s what matters in the end.

How to handle rejection during your job search

Rejection never feels good, but it’s vital to take it in stride when job searching. Here are some tips to deal with rejection professionally:

  • Remember it’s a numbers game – focus on applications sent, not rejections received.
  • Review what you can improve for next time – but don’t take it personally.
  • Follow up politely to get feedback if the company offers.
  • Take breaks when needed to clear your head and boost motivation.
  • Celebrate small successes like landing interviews along the way.

Also focus on parts of the process you can control, like networking, seeking referrals, and better targeting roles and companies suited to you.

Should you give up after a certain number of rejections?

It’s understandable to get discouraged after facing rejection after rejection. However, giving up completely after a set number of rejections is not advisable. Instead, reevaluate your approach and keep pushing forward. Here are some tips if you’re facing mounting rejections:

  • Take a break – pause applications for a few days to reboot.
  • Consider gaining new skills via classes to improve qualifications.
  • Make sure you didn’t miss red flags in your application materials.
  • Ask a mentor or career coach to review your resume and approach.
  • Expand your search criteria and types of roles or companies.
  • Gain experience via internships or non-permanent roles.

With some strategic tweaks and perseverance, you can overcome a string of rejections and land the right opportunity. Be patient, keep learning, and don’t give up.

When is it best to settle for a backup option vs. keep looking?

At a certain point in a lengthy job search, you may need to consider backup options instead of holding out for your dream role. Here are some signs it may be time to take an option that isn’t perfect:

  • You need employment urgently due to finances or other factors.
  • You have faced rejections from over 50+ roles in your field.
  • You have significant gaps in your resume you need to fill.
  • A bird-in-the-hand option has potential for growth longer term.

However, if you are financially stable, gaining good experience in your current role, and receiving interest for roles in your target field, you may decide to keep searching for a better fit. Set a timeline, and if you still have no offers by X date, consider taking an option just to get working again.

When should you seek help with the job search process?

If you have sent 100+ applications with little to no response, it’s a good idea to seek outside help improving your approach. Reach out to a career coach, resume writer, recruiter, mentor, or job search agency to troubleshoot. They can assist with:

  • Optimizing your application materials
  • Finding suitable openings not listed publicly
  • Preparing for challenging interviews
  • Developing your networking and messaging strategy
  • Improving your personal brand and online presence

Investing in your career success can pay off with the right guidance. Aside from professionals, also utilize your personal network for referrals and advice.

Key Takeaways

  • Expect 75% or more of job applications to end in rejection – it’s the norm.
  • Keep persevering through rejections and focus on improving your approach.
  • Take constructive steps like seeking guidance if rejections mount.
  • At a certain point, consider backup roles, but don’t give up on goals.
  • Let rejections motivate rather than discourage you.

Rejection is part of the process. Stay resilient, learn from mistakes, and keep networking and applying until you land the right opportunity. Patience and persistence pay off.