So you’ve advanced past a few in-person interviews and you felt like you built a good dynamic with the hiring manager. You saw signs that your job interview went well. However, you have just received an email from the hiring manager informing you that you didn’t get the job. Now you have to figure out how to respond to a rejection email.
Getting turned down is difficult, especially when you’ve invested a lot of time pursuing a job. The last thing that may be on your mind is to send a response to the hiring manager. However, you should consider replying to the rejection email. Thanking the person who interviewed you for their time will prove to be a great investment in the long run.
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In this guide, we’re going to discuss how to reply to a rejection email for a job. We’ll walk through two sample rejection email responses to help you craft a good response and ensure all the important elements are there.
Should I Reply to a Rejection Email?
You should respond to a rejection email, even though it’s not required. Sending a response to a rejection email after an interview will keep you in good standing with the company, and it’s simply common courtesy.
The job application process can be quite informal at times, so it may not seem necessary to send a response to a job rejection email. There are, however, a few advantages of taking a few minutes to craft a follow-up email.
Even unsuccessful interviews are opportunities to expand your professional network. While you may not have landed the job, you can still use the job interview process as an opportunity to use your networking skills. You can start building connections with people who could be useful to your career further down the line.
In addition, if you send a response to a job rejection email, you’ll make a positive impression on the employer. This might just work in your favor. If the hired applicant declines the position or leaves after a month, you might still be a potential candidate.
There is also a chance that you weren’t right for a specific role, which doesn’t mean you weren’t a good fit for the company. If you send a follow-up to a job rejection email, you can maintain a strong bond with a potential employer. This may encourage them to reach out if they are hiring for a position that would be a better fit for you.
So, now you understand that responding to a rejection email is not just an act of common courtesy. A thoughtful response to a rejection letter after an interview could actually have a positive impact on your career.
Reasons for Replying to a Rejection Email
- You can reiterate your interest in the company. Let the hiring manager know the specific company values you admire and how they align with your career goals. Even if you weren’t a good fit for this position, remind the hiring manager that you would make a good fit in the overall organizational culture.
- It makes a good impression. If you can leave on a good note, you’ll have a better chance with future openings at that company.
- Ask for feedback. If you spent considerable time in the interview process, the hiring manager might be willing to give you feedback on why they chose a different candidate. They might point out a weakness in your resume or interviewing skills that you can fix.
How to Respond to a Rejection Email
Job rejection email responses don’t need to be elaborate. The email you send should simply thank your interviewers for their time, show your continued interest in the company, and ask for feedback. Keep in mind that the hiring manager might not reply to a rejection email response, but it’s still polite to send a professional response to show you’ve received the notification.
The most important thing to keep in mind when considering how to respond to a rejection email is to leave your negative emotions out of it. Don’t reply to a job rection until you can write a polite response. Here are the main elements you should consider including in your job rejection email response:
Write a Strong Subject Line
A strong subject line in your email reply for a job rejection will make sure your email gets seen by the hiring manager. You want the subject line to accurately and briefly describe what the email will be about, in this case, your response to a job or interview rejection email.
You should include the name of the job opportunity and a word or phrase that describes the situation, such as “Research Technician Decision” or “Product Manager Conclusion.” You could also give the name of the job role and your name.
Thank the Interviewers
If you made it to a second interview or a final interview, the employer has invested a lot of time in considering you. It’s professional courtesy to send a thank you email after not getting the job, especially if you have spent considerable time talking with the hiring manager.
In your thank you email after a job rejection, start by thanking the company for the time they have spent considering you as an applicant. Specifically, you should thank the hiring manager for considering you.
Also, mention that you were grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the company and its culture. Your thank you note only needs to be a few sentences. You don’t need to mention too many details.
Show Your Interest in Future Opportunities
You may not have gotten this job, but that doesn’t mean that your relationship with the company is over. In your email, you should make sure that you mention how disappointed you were to hear that you were not selected for the job. This will ensure the employer is aware that you were interested in working for the company.
Then, you may want to mention that you are still interested in working for the company if other positions open up in the future. This will make the interviewer aware that you are still available for professional engagement and have not taken a job elsewhere.
Remind Them Why You Would Be a Good Addition to the Company
When considering how to respond to a rejection email, remember that you were being considered for one or more rounds of selection. Think about what skills and experience made you a strong candidate for the job in the first place.
In a courteous tone, explain how your values make you a good culture fit with the company. Mention any connections you built with the employees who you met during the interview process. Give the hiring manager the strong impression that you are someone who would be a good fit for their team, even though you weren’t a good fit for this particular job.
Ask for Comments and Feedback
“I thought I was a great fit. I did a great job answering that question about my strengths and weaknesses. Why didn’t I get the job?”. This may be a sentiment echoing in your mind right now. If you want to know more about why you didn’t land the job, ask the hiring manager in your rejection email.
It can be hard to know how to ask for feedback after a job rejection, but it is an excellent chance to improve your job hunt prospects. Ask for feedback respectfully, and be mindful of the fact that the hiring manager is busy and may have many people to interview. If you ask clearly and simply, you might get some useful feedback on why you weren’t the best candidate for the job.
Stay in Contact
Use the end of your email to let the recruiting manager know that you would like to stay in contact with them. If you and the hiring manager both have LinkedIn accounts, you can send an invitation to connect, but don’t be pushy. You can also restate your contact info when you close out the email or list your contact details in your email signature.
Another way to stay in contact is to set up a job alert for future job openings at the company in question. You can do this on a wide variety of job boards and job apps. You can also follow the company on LinkedIn to stay in the loop.
Sample Responses to Rejection Email
Now you understand what you need to include in your response to a rejection email. But there is still one step left, actually writing the letter. Here’s an email template to help you out:
Reply to Rejection Email Sample 1
Subject: Product manager hiring decision
Thank you for informing me of your hiring decision. While I am disappointed I was not selected for the position, I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with you and learn about your company. I am excited to keep following your work, and I would appreciate it if you could keep me in mind for future positions at your organization. If you have time, I would also be interested in hearing any feedback you have about my interview. This would be valuable as I continue on my job search. Again, thank you for your time and for considering me for the position. I wish you and [Company] the best of luck. Sincerely,
While I am disappointed I was not selected for the position, I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with you and learn about your company.
I am excited to keep following your work, and I would appreciate it if you could keep me in mind for future positions at your organization. If you have time, I would also be interested in hearing any feedback you have about my interview. This would be valuable as I continue on my job search.
Again, thank you for your time and for considering me for the position. I wish you and [Company] the best of luck.
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In this email, the candidate has covered all the core elements of a response to job rejection. First, the candidate thanked the interviewer. Second, the candidate asked if they can be kept in mind for future positions. Finally, the candidate has sought feedback. This is optional, but it’s a good way to learn more about why you were not chosen for a job.
The follow-up email should be no more than a few sentences long to maximize the chances of the hiring manager reading your email.
Reply to Rejection Email Sample 2
Subject: Sales Manager [Your Name]
Thank you for informing me of your decision for the Sales Manager position at [Company]. I appreciate the time you spent considering me for this role. I am glad you found a good fit for the role, though I am disappointed to miss out on working with such a great team. During the interview process, I was glad to learn that [Company] values professional development and investing in their employees. As a lifelong learner looking to commit to a company for the long term, I will look out for future opportunities at [Company]. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there are any suitable roles for my skillset.
During the interview process, I was glad to learn that [Company] values professional development and investing in their employees. As a lifelong learner looking to commit to a company for the long term, I will look out for future opportunities at [Company]. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there are any suitable roles for my skillset.
I hope our paths cross again in the future. In the meantime, I plan to send you an invitation to connect on LinkedIn so that I can stay up to date on any upcoming roles.
This example strikes the same professional, courteous tone and uses a similar set of key elements. First the writer thanks the interviewers for their time. Next, they wrote about specific aspects of the company culture that they valued and how they would be a good fit for the company. They also ask to be contacted about future openings.Conclusion
Finally, the writer of the email mentions that they plan to send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn as a way to stay in contact. This is especially important if you sat through several rounds of interviews and made a good personal connection with the recruiting manager.
What’s Next After Sending Your Reply to the Rejection Letter?
After sending your reply to the rejection letter, there isn’t much left to do. If you received any constructive criticism from the hiring manager, think about how you can use that to improve for next time. You can add your interviewer on LinkedIn after a job rejection, particularly if you made a strong personal connection or if you have any colleagues in common.
If you are interested in future roles at the same company, you can set up automatic job alerts on an online job board or you can set a calendar reminder to check the company’s website every few weeks. Otherwise, it’s time to move on with the job search process and send in your application materials to other job openings.
Why You Should Respond to a Job Rejection Email
Once you know how to respond to a rejection email, writing a job rejection response email is a good way to maintain a positive relationship with a company and keep the lines of communication open. The follow-up email is an important opportunity to show that you appreciate them considering you for the job and to seek potential feedback.
By following the tips in this article and building on our email templates, you should have no trouble writing a professional and gracious response to a job rejection email. Replying to a rejection email isn’t fun, but it is an important part of the interview process.
How to Respond to a Rejection Email FAQ
How can I ask for future job opportunities?
When replying to a rejection email, think of your email response as a networking opportunity. Let your interviewer know that this is one of your dream companies to work for and that you are interested in other employment opportunities at the company. State that you will keep the company on your list for future job searches, and ask that they keep you in mind for future positions.
How can I ask for feedback after rejection?
The best way to ask for feedback after a rejection is to send a professional email with a clear request for feedback. Ask your interviewer what was missing from your application materials or interview responses. Be direct and polite. Hopefully, you’ll receive a thoughtful response with information you can use in future interviews.
How can I turn a rejection into a job offer?
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for how to turn a rejection into a job offer, and it is pretty unlikely that you’ll be offered the job you were rejected for. However, if you write a great rejection response letter, you could set yourself up for subsequent openings.
How long does it take to get a rejection letter after an interview?
It can take anywhere from a few days to a month to get a rejection letter after an interview. It depends on company size, the number of potential candidates, and company policies. If you make it to the later application stages, you should get a job rejection letter when you are no longer being considered for the job. However, sometimes you won’t get a notification of your application rejection.
I hope that you'll consider me in the future for positions you feel that I could succeed in. As someone committed to continuous self-improvement, I'd like to ask for some feedback. More specifically, I'd like to know if there were any skills or qualifications that I lacked for this role.Do you respond to rejection letters? ›
Summary. After getting a job rejection email, it's important to respond with a thank you email or letter. Showing gratitude shows your professionalism and it allows for a door to be open if you are open to future opportunities within the company.Should you respond to a rejection message? ›
Responding to a rejection email is one way to show you are still interested. If you don't respond, the employer will never know how you feel about their company or may not think to consider you for future opportunities. Or they may think you have moved on to another company and are no longer interested.How do you send thank you email after rejection? ›
Hi [name], Thank you for following up and informing me of your decision. Although I'm disappointed to learn I wasn't selected for the [position title] opening, I truly enjoyed meeting you and the other members of the [company name] team.How do I give feedback after rejection? ›
Point out their strengths and tell them what you value about their experience. As with constructive criticism, give specific examples of what you were impressed by. This sets the tone of the conversation and lowers defenses, opening the candidate up to really hearing your feedback.What should I do immediately after rejection? ›
- Acknowledge the pain and grieve the loss. Rejection is the loss of something or someone you had or hoped to have. ...
- Don't blame yourself. It's natural to want to know why you were rejected. ...
- Strengthen your resiliency. ...
- Keep putting yourself out there.
Sample Thank You Letter After Job Rejection
Hi [name], Thank you for following up and informing me of your decision. Although I'm disappointed to learn I wasn't selected for the [position title] opening, I truly enjoyed meeting you and the other members of the [company name] team.
- They Acknowledge Their Discomfort. ...
- They Give Themselves A Reality Check. ...
- They Celebrate Their Courage. ...
- They Refuse To Allow Failure To Define Them. ...
- They Practice Self-Compassion. ...
- They Learn From Rejection. ...
- They Move Forward With Confidence.
When you're writing to follow up after being rejected for the job, keep your message simple. All you need to include in a brief email to the hiring manager is: A thank-you for considering you for the job. Your disappointment that you didn't get an offer (but don't go overboard).