4 Next Steps if You Don’t Get the Job You Initially Applied For


Not getting the job you applied for isn’t fun. You gave a company your time (maybe even a significant amount of it), hoping to become its newest team member. In the end, though, things didn’t go your way. 

This can be a discouraging place to be, especially if you really wanted to get that role. But don’t get too down about it; you’re not at the end of the road yet. In fact, if you handle this correctly, you could end up finding an even better fit at this company. 

Anderson Trucking Service’s (ATS’) hiring team extends hundreds of job offers per year to candidates around the U.S. Unfortunately, turning away those who don’t make the cut, by however slim a margin, is also part of this process. 

At the end of the day, every company wants to fill its halls with competent team players who are excited to be there and ready to make a difference. That’s why it’s not uncommon for excellent job applicants to receive secondary opportunities with a company

Getting the most from your job search and landing a role at an employer isn’t impossible — even if you weren’t the best fit for the position you initially applied for. 

To make this happen, here are your next steps when you receive word that the job you wanted has been extended to another:

  1. Don’t burn any bridges
  2. Touch base with your recruiter
  3. Stay connected to the organization
  4. Reapply in the future

1. Don’t Burn Any Bridges

Put plainly: your area business community is small. Like how local company leaders and salespeople get to know each other over the years, hiring managers and recruiters make connections across companies too. 

Years of competing over the same talent pool(s), attending hiring events and collaborating within their community forges connections between hiring teams. 

Like any other community of like-minded people, word travels fast in the hiring world. As such, it’s important not to burn any bridges when you receive a rejection notice. 

Instead, do everything you can to accept this news graciously, being careful not to disparage the company, its processes or its employees. If you handle this right, there’s no reason this employer wouldn’t give you future opportunities — they want talented people like you on their staff, even if this wasn’t the perfect job for you.

13 Tips for Crushing Your Next Job Interview

2. Touch Base With Your Recruiter

Reaching out to your recruiter is one of the first things you should do after finding out you didn’t get the job. Do this in any way you’d prefer (via email, phone call or text message). 

Usually, it’s best to reach out within the first 24-48 hours, thanking the recruiter for their time and effort. Ask your recruiter to extend this thanks to the hiring manager(s) you spoke with as well. 


This is also when you should express your interest in exploring future opportunities with the organization. Ask your recruiter if there are other positions they feel would align with your skillset and goals. 

Sometimes, this is all it takes to get the ball rolling toward finding you another potential job match. Most recruiters have a long list of jobs they’re required to fill. So, depending on the job market you’re in and the size of the company you’re looking to work for, there might be another role waiting just for you. 

3. Stay Connected to the Organization 

It’s never been easier to stay up to date with a company’s current job opportunities. So, if you’re committed to getting a job at a particular company, you’ll want to stay connected in multiple ways. 

Some ways to do this are:

  • Signing up for job alert emails (so you’re regularly notified about which roles they’re hiring for)
  • Connecting with company recruiters on LinkedIn
  • Following the company on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn (most new job openings are promoted there)
  • Regularly check open positions on their website pages for updates

Thriving companies consistently add to their ranks. So, make sure to stay connected to the organization through each of these channels. That way, when a potential fit pops up, you can be one of the first to apply.

Related Article: How to Find a Job on LinkedIn (3 Easy Steps)

4. Reapply In the Future

Most companies hold on to applicant information for future reference. And, if you’ve indicated your interest in future opportunities, you may hear from a recruiter when they come up. 

That said, in the majority of scenarios, you’ll need to submit a new application each time you want to contend for a job


So, when the time comes, touch up your resume, dust off your cover letter and apply at this company again. Your sticktoitiveness and ongoing interest in their organization won’t be lost on your recruiter. And, eventually, you’re bound to find a great role within their organization.

Here Are Some Tips for Acing Your Next Interview

Being rejected for a job you wanted can be very discouraging. As long as you don’t burn any bridges, touch base with your recruiter and stay connected to future opportunities with the organization, you’ll quickly find another position to apply for.

The company will also be familiar with your skillset and goals, which is good and might give you a leg up on other applicants. However, let’s make sure you get the next job you apply for by acing the interview

Often, job applicants struggle to get past various stages of the interview process (phone, video, in-person), because they don’t know how to prepare or what to expect. 

That’s why we developed this Interview Etiquette Guide, which outlines 13 tips for acing your next interview and locking down the job of your dreams. With so much at stake, it’s important to go into your next job interview with the correct mindset and strategy — use the Interview Etiquette Guide to help you. 

Finally, ATS is hiring in multiple locations across the U.S. If you’d like to start a career in a booming industry, check out our open positions page for more details. And, should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. 

Working in the transportation industry is a great fit for many people, are you one of them? Find out in this article which covers the pros and cons of a job in transportation.

Tags: Career Resources

Erika Boike

Written by Erika Boike

Prior to working at ATS, Erika spent 25 years in the hospitality industry in management roles. She joined ATS as a national sales representative in December 2020 and began building relationships with customers. In May 2022, Erika transitioned over to the ATS talent acquisition team where she enjoys helping candidates find rewarding careers in an essential industry.

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