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How to Handle Rejection during your Nurse Practitioner Job Search

Being ghosted, that dreaded email notification, or checking the application status…all ways to find out that you were not the selected candidate (insert sad face emoji).

It’s disappointing, I get it. And to be honest, we have all been there at some point in our professional career. It truly feels like rejection means failure. Especially repeated rejection.

So what do you do? Rather, it should be treated as a time for reflection and review. And I have 3 relevant tips to keep in mind regarding handling rejection during the job search process.


First, Tip #1

rewind and look at the expectation versus reality. As a new grad, did you apply for a job that was seemingly out of your league? I’m not saying don’t go for that dream job. On the contrary, I’m saying make sure your resume highlights that you are *the* one for that position. If you need some help on what to include, use this checklist.

In this reality check mode, take a moment or two to acknowledge those feelings. Are you feeling a little down, depressed, or defeated? Maybe inadequate? Or how about overwhelmed, like the job market is (dare I say) over-saturated and you’ll never find a job because of it?

Take note, I said acknowledge your feelings. Meaning, say ‘hey (insert feeling or emotion), I see you. I know you’re there.’ But don’t let it cripple your goals or direct your plans.


Which leads us to Tip #2:

Re-evaluate your job search strategy. If you’re able to receive feedback from your interviewer, that’s a plus. Think back, at which point in the interview process are you getting stuck? Wherever that spot is, bring in the reinforcements and concentrate your efforts around that stage. Also think about the fit of these potential jobs. If you’re getting some bad vibes about the job from the get-go, you may tend to check out. But don’t lose heart. Stay professional all the way through that leg of the interview.

Then as a follow up, kindly let them know that you’d like to withdraw from the position or that you’ve decided to pursue other positions. So often, as job seekers, we tend to exude a sense of desperation willing to take any job for the sake of getting an NP position.


For Tip #3

let’s talk about regaining momentum. In this stage, you want to adequately plan, prepare, and practice. Outline the steps you’ll take to where you want to go. Prepare yourself, your resume, and other supporting documents. Then practice with earnest expectation. Practice questions you expect to be asked. Likewise, practice questions that you anticipate asking to learn about the role and convey your interest in the position.


If you need a little cheat sheet to make sure you’re headed in the right direction, download my free resume checklist.


About the Author

Josie Tate is a successful nurse practitioner, visionary nurse leader, and inspirational career mentor. She is the creator of Clincepts, a professional development resource that helps bridge the gap for nurses transitioning into advanced practice.

Nurse practitioners across the industry get and stay happily hired using strategies from Josie’s proven framework. At its core, Clincepts empowers and equips nurse practitioners to stand out, shine bright, and speak up as the best candidates for the job.

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