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How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email

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Read Time: 9 min

Have you just gotten rejected for a job you were hoping to get? Are you wondering what the next step is after receiving the rejection email? After getting rejected, it’s tempting to delete the email from your inbox and move on. But you can benefit your career by sending a professional and thoughtful response.

You can benefit your career by sending a professional and thoughtful response.You can benefit your career by sending a professional and thoughtful response.You can benefit your career by sending a professional and thoughtful response.
You can benefit your career by sending a professional and thoughtful response. (Image source: Envato Elements)

This article covers why you should respond, how to respond, and some example emails. Use this article to write a professional email that can create connections with companies.

Why You Should Respond

Responding professionally to a rejection email could open you up to other opportunities.Responding professionally to a rejection email could open you up to other opportunities.Responding professionally to a rejection email could open you up to other opportunities.
Responding professionally to a rejection email could open you up to other opportunities. (Image source: Envato Elements)

It can be hard to craft a rejection email response, especially if you thought you did well in the interview. When you respond, you need to be professional because even though you didn’t get hired, you still could be a potential candidate for another job. Here are some reasons you should send a follow-up email after rejection for a job:

  • Shows professionalism. When you send a rejection email response and thank the interviewer for their time, it shows that you're polite and professional. Your politeness and professionalism can impress the hiring manager and cause them to remember you the next time an opportunity comes along.
  • This could lead to potential job opportunities with the company. In addition, reaching out with a thoughtful and polite response can remind the hiring manager of how professional you were during the interview. This can mean they'll save your resume and keep you in mind for future opportunities.
  • Allows you to get feedback on your interview. When you send a follow-up email after rejection politely asking for feedback, it can benefit any other interviews you do. You'll learn what you should and shouldn’t do for future interviews through feedback.

If the applicant doesn’t take the job, quits after a short time, or a similar job opens, the hiring manager can choose from recently interviewed applicants. Most people don’t send an email after getting rejected. So, by sending an email, you’ll stand out among other applicants.

How to Respond to a Rejection Email

It can be disappointing to receive a rejection email. Especially if you were excited about the job or thought you did well in the interview. So, here’s how to reply to a rejection email:

1. Thank the Interviewer

Thank the interviewerThank the interviewerThank the interviewer
Thank the interviewer. (Image source: Envato Elements)

One response you can consider when thinking about how to respond to a rejection email is to thank your interviewer. First, you should thank the hiring manager for the email letting you know of their decision. Thank them for the time they took out of their day to interview you. Also, thank them for their consideration and the opportunity to learn about the company. Showing you're thankful is a great way to start the email, and it’s best to keep this portion of your email short.

2. Express Disappointment

In your rejection email response, you should let the hiring manager know that you’re disappointed to receive the rejection email. Expressing your disappointment shows the hiring manager that you were genuinely interested in the job and the company. Even though you’re expressing disappointment, you should keep a positive tone in your email. This section should be brief as well.

3. Show That You’re Still Interested

Show that you're still intrested.Show that you're still intrested.Show that you're still intrested.
Show that you're still interested. (Image source: Envato Elements)

In your follow-up email after rejection, you should ensure that the hiring manager knows you’re still interested in working for the company. The hiring manager could assume that you've gotten a job somewhere else and are no longer interested in the company even if another position becomes available. Showing the hiring manager that you’re still interested confirms to the hiring manager that you want to be considered for any future opportunities.

4. Ask for Feedback

An important part of your rejection email response is to request feedback on why you weren’t selected for the job position. If the rejection email states why you weren’t selected for the position, then it’s okay to leave this section out of your job rejection email response.

When asking for feedback from the hiring manager, it’s important that you ask in a respectful way. You shouldn’t demand or imply that you're questioning their decision. Remember that sometimes it's got nothing to do with you. They simply chose another candidate.

5. Emphasize Your Skills

Emphasize your skillsEmphasize your skillsEmphasize your skills
Emphasize your skills. (Image source: Envato Elements)

In your rejection email response, remind the hiring manager of your skills and what roles you desire. Since hiring managers look through many resumes and could forget or mix you up with another candidate. Reminding them of your skills clears up any potential mix-ups. Remind the hiring managers of your top two or three skills.

6. Stay in Touch

The last paragraph of your follow-up email after rejection should include a sentence or two about staying in touch with the hiring manager. Tell them you’ll be watching their website for future job opportunities. Also, ask if it's okay to add them on LinkedIn.

What to Include in Your Job Rejection Email

Your follow-up email after rejection should be short because hiring managers are busy, and you don’t want to take up much of their time. The email should professionally and politely express your disappointment in not getting the role you applied for.

You should also express appreciation for them considering you for the position and gratitude for hearing back from them about the position. Here are some of the things you should have in your rejection email response:

  • formal greeting
  • a couple of sentences thanking them for their time and consideration
  • one or two sentences explaining your disappointment in not getting the role
  • a couple of sentences asking for you to be considered for any future opportunities
  • a professional closing with your signature

Rejection Email Response Examples

Now that you’ve learned about what a job rejection email needs to have in it and some tips, you’ll need to write the email. In this section, you’ll see what a rejection email response could look like. When writing your email, you’ll need to add in your details and anything else. Here are some rejection email response examples:

Example 1:

Hello Mrs. Jones,

Thanks for letting me know of your decision about the Product Design position.

I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to work as a part of the ABC Company team. However, meeting you and learning more about ABC Company was great.

I plan to continue following ABC Company as they expand their team for the fall product line. I’ll keep a close eye on the product designs that will launch in that line. I can’t wait to see what it will look like.

Thanks again for this opportunity. If there are any future opportunities, please keep me in mind. Again, I wish you and ABC Company the best.

Best Wishes,

Nia Jung

Example 2:

Dear Mr. Cooper,

Thank you for letting me know about the status of the Creative Director position for Extra Corp. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to interview and learn more about you, the company, and the position.

Even though I’m disappointed that I’m not the right fit for the role, I understand your decision. I would be thankful if you would keep in mind my skills and experience for any future openings with your company that you believe I would be a fit for.

If you have some time, I would appreciate any feedback you can provide for me about my application, resume, or interview. Any feedback you can give me will significantly help my job search.

Thank you again for taking the time to interview and meet me. I wish you and your team Good luck.

Best regards,

Ashley Madden

How to Move on After a Job Rejection

When you're rejected from a job it can be challenging to move on. Here are some tips to help you move one:

1. Remember It's Part of the Process

Remember it's part of the process.Remember it's part of the process.Remember it's part of the process.
Remember it's part of the process. (Image source: Envato Elements)

When you’re sending out many resumes, you won’t hear back about every position you apply for. That’s normal. Remembering this when you get rejected helps you to feel less down about the rejection. When you let go of a guaranteed outcome, you open yourself up to many other opportunities.

2. Don't Overanalyze

When you get rejected for a role that you wanted, it’s easy to replay the interview in your head. But thinking about the past only keeps you in the past and can mean that you’re useless in the present. So, pick yourself up and continue searching for a job.

When you’re rejected for a job, you really wanted, reach out to the hiring manager and ask how you can improve. It can be difficult and awkward to ask for feedback. But you can use the feedback to enhance your job search process and possibly get an even better job.

3. Help Others (Volunteer)

Help others (volunteer)Help others (volunteer)Help others (volunteer)
Help others (volunteer) (Image source: Envato Elements)

Volunteering at your favorite charity is a great way to help others rebuild your confidence, expand your skills, and work with others. Volunteer at a charity that you're interested in to motivate you. Volunteering can help you see your skills and what you've got to offer. Volunteer work is fulfilling and can add depth to your resume.

4. Network

Talking to people and building connections can remind you of your passion for your job. Tell your contacts what kind of job you’re interested in and ask for recommendations of positions you should apply for. It’s possible that a connection could have a job lead for you.

5. Keep Searching

Keep searchingKeep searchingKeep searching
Keep searching. (Image source: Envato Elements)

Just because you've been rejected by a job that you really want doesn’t mean there isn’t a better job. If you stop searching, you won’t find other opportunities that could be better than those you were rejected by.

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Send a Follow-up Email After a Rejection

Want to improve your interview skills? Send a follow-up email after a job rejection and ask for feedback. Also, if you want to improve your resume, try a premium template from Envato Elements.

Editorial Note: This content was originally published in July 2022. We're sharing it again because our editors have determined that this information is still accurate and relevant.

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