This post was written by Laura Straub, our Campus Ambassador from Ohio University in Athens.
You worst nightmare has come true. You thought you were perfect for your dream internship position but somehow the company passed you up. Before you spiral into the five stages of the mourning, take a deep breath. Calm down. This rejection is an opportunity for learning.
Sit down and look at your resume and cover letter. Does the way you present yourself really align with the goals of the company or the responsibilities of the position? Try and find things you can tweak to make them stronger for next time.
Try and contact other people who were up for the position, or if possible the person who got the position. Swallow your pride and ask to see if they will let you compare notes. Whether you would like to admit it or not, they did something right because they were being considered for the exact same position as you.
Next contact the employer. Tell them how thankful you were for the opportunity. Also ask them what you could have done better to make yourself stand out during the selection process. Try to arrange an informational coffee house interview, not for a position in particular, but to learn more about the company and talk about the industry.
If the don’t answer? Try again. And again. Not only will you eventually get your answer, but the company will not forget you and they will be impressed with your dedication and resilience. They might even keep you in mind for future positions.
Most importantly, don’t get down on yourself. This position may not have been the one for you but don’t doubt yourself or be afraid to put yourself out there again. Its easy to respond to successes, but what really makes a person is how they respond to failure.