Finding out that you didn’t get a job can be difficult. When you get a job rejection email, it’s tempting to simply delete it from your inbox and move on. However, sending a thoughtful response to this rejection is a better choice for your career in the long run.
In this guide, we discuss the important steps for crafting a job rejection email response. Use these tips to write a professional email that can build and maintain connections with employers.
Why you should respond
When responding to a job rejection email, it helps to think of your interview or application as a networking opportunity. Creating professional connections is a great way to advance your career. By following up after a rejection email, you can build a positive relationship with the employer.
While other applicants likely also received the same rejection email, most will not send a response. By sending a reply to any rejection emails you receive, you’ll stand out among the pool of applicants who weren’t selected.
A polite, gracious response reflects well on you both professionally and personally. Plus, it could be beneficial to you in the following situations:
- The applicant who was hired changes their mind and decides not to take the position.
- The applicant starts the new position but realizes it’s not a good fit and leaves after a short time.
- The employer has another opening for a similar or related position for which you would be a good fit.
In any of these situations, it’s much easier to choose from recently interviewed applicants than to start over to fill the position. After all, it takes a considerable amount of resources to post a job, review resumes, schedule interviews and discuss the candidates. Instead, many hiring managers first consider applicants from a recent candidate pool. If you’ve sent a thoughtful response to your rejection notification, it could help you to stand out when the employer is searching for new candidates.
How to respond to a job rejection letter
As you write your response to a job rejection email, consider including the following elements:
1. Thank your interviewers
You can show appreciation for several things when you write a reply to an interview rejection letter. Try to touch on each of the following points in your response:
- Thank the hiring manager for letting you know their decision.
- Express your gratitude for their time and consideration. You can directly mention contact you’ve had with them, like a phone or in-person interview.
- Tell them you appreciate the opportunity to learn about the company. You can also mention that you enjoyed the chance to meet certain people who work there.
Keep this portion of your response to one or two sentences. Showing your gratitude is a great way to start the email, so consider mentioning some or all of these things early on in your response.
2. Express your disappointment
Next, make sure the interviewer knows that you’re disappointed to hear that you weren’t chosen for the job. Expressing your disappointment can help demonstrate your genuine interest in the position and company. Keep this brief to maintain a positive tone in your email.
3. Show continued interest
Make sure the hiring manager knows you’re still interested in working for their company. The hiring manager might assume you’ve secured a position elsewhere or that you’re not open to hearing about other positions that may become available. Reiterating your interest helps the hiring manager to confirm that you’d still like to be considered for future opportunities.
4. Ask for feedback
One optional addition to your job rejection response is a request for feedback about why you weren’t selected for the position. Keep in mind that this type of reply is more acceptable for applicants who are still early on in their careers, such as student interns or recent college graduates. If you’re experienced in your industry or if the job rejection email already included details about why you weren’t selected, you can leave this part out of your response.
If you decide to inquire about the hiring manager’s feedback, be sure to ask respectfully. This request shouldn’t come across as a demand or an implication that you’re questioning their decision. If you’re wondering how to ask for feedback after job rejections, a polite appeal is the way to go. Also, you should keep in mind that they might have simply selected someone else for a reason that had nothing to do with your qualifications or personality, such as timing.
Example job rejection email response
Below is an example of an email response to a job rejection notification. Be sure to include specific details so that your reply does not seem like a generic letter:
“Dear [Hiring Manager Name],
Thank you for getting back to me about your hiring decision. While I’m disappointed to hear that I was not selected for the [Job Title] position, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to interview for the job and meet some of the members of your team. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about your organization and would love to be considered for any future job openings that may become available.
If you have a moment to spare, I would be interested to hear any feedback you have regarding my application and interview. I’m sure any details you can provide would be helpful to my job search.
Thank you again for your time and consideration, [Hiring Manager Name]. I hope our paths cross again, and I wish you and the rest of the team at [Company] all the best moving forward.
Use the tips and examples in this guide to write a job rejection response to support professional connections in your future. Sending a polite and professional email is sure to reflect well on you professionally and may potentially lead to other opportunities at the company.