Career Coach, Professional Resume Writer, Freelance Writer
Glassdoor estimates that, on average, there are about 250 applicants for every job vacancy out there. If you’ve ever applied for a job, the odds are that you’ve received the dreaded job rejection email.
While rejection is part of success, it can be a hard pill to swallow after you’ve invested so much time and effort in the application process. The job search alone could have taken you weeks, not to mention the numerous interviews and assessments you had to go through. No wonder you’re tempted to close your email and move on to the next thing. That, however, won’t be in your best interest.
If you’ve received a job rejection email, especially if it’s a personalized one, it’s very likely that the hiring manager values you as a professional. Just because they said no this time, it doesn’t mean that the door is fully closed for future collaboration.
So, here we will look at how to respond to a job rejection email and how to make the most out of the rapport you’ve already built with the company.
Should I Reply to a Rejection Email?
Replying to a rejection email isn’t mandatory. The hiring manager certainly doesn’t expect you to do so. However, that one email can have a ripple effect on your career as it can help you build your network and leave a lasting positive impression.
Why It’s Important to Respond to a Rejection Email?
Hiring managers deal with hundreds of candidates at any given time. Not all candidates will respond to the rejection emails, so this is your chance to stand out from the crowd and make a good impression for future opportunities.
Don’t forget that hiring managers are people as well who might move jobs and companies. If you’ve built a good rapport during the interview and maintain that professionalism in your response to their rejection email, they can become part of your professional network and introduce you to other opportunities down the line.
Finally, you can use your reply to ask for feedback on how you did during the interview process. This can give you insights into areas you need to improve on and fare better in future interviews.
How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email?
When deciding how to respond to a job rejection email you’ve received, just remember that your response should be short, clear and respectful. Here’s how.
Reflect the Interview in Mind and Start to Write
Job rejection emails can be real mood killers. So, before you draft your response, reflect on your interview performance. Think about all the good things you did during the interview and the good conversations you’ve had with the hiring manager and other members of the team. This can put you in the right frame of mind and help you draft a positive response.
Be Thankful to the Interviewers
Part of being professional is to express your gratitude to the hiring manager and everyone else involved in the recruitment process. Depending on the type of role you’re applying for, you might have gone through several interview stages and assessments. All of that takes an enormous amount of time and effort from the company. Expressing your gratitude here means that you appreciate their investment in taking the time to consider you.
Express Your Disappointment for Not Receiving the Role
Use your last communication with the company to express your disappointment at not getting the job and leave the door open for any future opportunities. They might not have given you an offer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t see you as a great candidate for any future roles. In fact, many companies keep a roster of former candidates that they can dip into next time they have an opening.
Show Continued Interest for Upcoming Role
Make it obvious that you don’t see this as a farewell. Use this opportunity to showcase your interest in the company and not only the role you applied for, and ask to be considered for any future openings. Companies love when candidates understand their corporate culture and like their brand, not only the job they’re applying for. This can certainly score you more points.
Ask for Feedback on Your Interview Performance
You might be pushing your luck by asking for more feedback as hiring managers tend to be very busy, but you never know who’d respond back. Use your reply to the rejection email to ask for more details on your interview performance. What could you have done differently? Any specific areas you need to improve on? Just a few replies on these questions can reveal patterns or areas you can work on which in itself can be invaluable career advice.
What Not to Say When You Didn’t Get the Job?
Knowing what NOT to say is a big part of learning how to respond to a job rejection email. This isn’t the place to air your frustrations or negative emotions. Keep your tone positive and professional, despite how you may really feel. If you don’t feel like you can manage your tone, give yourself some time to calm your emotions and then draft your response. You don’t want your reply to backfire and close off any chance for future collaboration altogether.
Examples of Job Rejection Email Response
Here are some examples you can use as a starting point to help build a complete email.
First, express gratitude and thank them for the opportunity.
Hi [Name], Thank you very much for letting me know of your decision. While I’m disappointed I wasn’t selected for the job, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to interview for the position and learn more about [company name] and the exciting things you’re doing in the [industry] space.
Next, request to remain in the loop for future opportunities and feedback on your performance.
I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations and I’d love if you could consider me for any future openings. In the meantime, if it’s not too much to ask, I would love to hear your thoughts on my application and interview performance. Any advice would be welcome.
Then, be cordial and keep the door open.
Thank you once again and I wish you and the team at [company name] all the best. I hope our paths will cross again and we will get to work together in a different context. I’d love to stay in touch and connect at a later time. Kind Regards, [Your Name]
If you decide that you’d like to connect on social media (ie. LinkedIn), then here is an example message to request to connect.
Hi [name], I really enjoyed our conversation during my interview for the [job role] at [company]. I thought I’d reach out so that we can stay in touch here as well. Thank you, [your name]
Frequently Asked Questions on Job Rejection Email Response
How Do You Respond to a Job Rejection Politely?
First, rein in any negative emotions you might be feeling. Even if you think you were the best candidate for the job, keep your tone positive and professional. Show gratitude for the opportunity and ask to be considered for any future roles.
What Should I Say in a Rejection Email?
Keep your answer short and sweet. Here are the things to include in your reply:
- Thank them for taking the time to consider you;
- Express disappointment at not being selected for the role;
- Ask to be considered for future opportunities;
- Request feedback on your performance;
- Ask to stay in touch either via email or LinkedIn.
How to Respond to an Internship Rejection Email?
Internships are a stepping stone to a successful career, so being rejected for one can be really be deflating. Either way, maintain the same professional tone you had during the interview process and ask to be considered for any future internships or entry level jobs. The good news here is that you don’t have much experience. So, if you’re really keen on the company you could ask to be considered for different roles.
Getting rejected is never easy. It can have a massive impact on our confidence, self-esteem and, ultimately, the type of jobs we go after moving forward. Still, don’t forget that job rejection emails are never personal. Companies have only so many roles to fill with hundreds of incoming applications.
Instead, use the job rejection email as a stepping stone to a long-term relationship with the hiring manager and the company by showing your professionalism and asking to be considered for future opportunities.
Now that you’ve responded to your rejection email, it’s time to get back on the hunt. Here are some of the latest jobs in these industries to help get you started.