There are few things more frustrating than having your job application rejected by a potential employer. And it’s especially frustrating when you’ve made it to the interview stage of the process and felt that the interview was a success.
Sadly, however, most of us experience this frustration at different points in life. It’s a natural part of the job application process, since all but one of the candidates for any given job end up being rejected.
Of course, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to read that rejection email when it arrives. At that point, the question is how you should respond. Many experts agree that it’s important to send a message thanking the company for the opportunity.
We agree and have a template and some tips that will help you to write the perfect job rejection email response.
You can demonstrate your professionalism and graciousness--while building goodwill--by writing a well-crafted job rejection email response.
Why should I send a job rejection email response? They rejected me!
You might be wondering why you even need to send a response to a job rejection email. After all, the last thing job seekers probably want to do is sit around thinking about a missed job opportunity. Plus, rejection stings! Why spend more time on an opportunity that told you no?
You would probably rather move right to the next potential job than spend any time dealing with a company that just rejected you. There are, however, some very sound reasons for writing a great job rejection email response.
Future job opportunities. If the company gave you an interview, chances are that it knows you are qualified. You may just not have been the best fit at this time. That doesn’t mean that you’re not a great fit for the team; it just means that one of the other job applicants was viewed as a better option. That may not be true with a future set of candidates, so why not leave the door open to future consideration for the next open position?
It’s polite and professional. Your image matters, and employers and hiring managers do talk to one another. That’s why it is so vital that you pay attention to the little things…like showing gratitude and thanking someone who considered you for a job. The right job rejection response can demonstrate your commitment to professionalism and leave a lasting positive impression.
Someone took the time to let you know you're no longer in the running. Even automated template emails are generally sent by a recruiter or hiring manager. Not everyone does this, especially as more and more candidates are applying to each position posted online. Someone did you the courtesy of letting you know where things stand, and that should be acknowledged.
You might learn something. You can also write a response to a rejection letter, asking for feedback about your candidacy. That feedback not only demonstrates your commitment to getting better but can provide invaluable interview performance information to help you in your job search.
It only costs you a little time. There are many benefits to responding graciously to a job rejection, and no costs other than time.
It won’t take you much time at all if you use our job rejection response email template below.
How to respond to a job rejection email like a professional (example)
We have included a job rejection email sample that you can modify for your own use.
Hello (Decision-maker’s Name],
Thank you for taking the time to inform me of your hiring decision.
I am, of course, disappointed that I wasn’t selected to be a part of your great team. I had looked forward to helping [Company Name] continue its excellent work in the [Industry Type] industry. With that said, however, it was a true honor to meet you, and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to interview for the [Job Title] position at the firm.
I anxiously look forward to continuing to follow your team’s efforts and continued success. There is no doubt that [Company Name] will continue to be an industry leader well into the future! Please keep me in mind for any future job openings that you may have, as I would love to have an opportunity to contribute to that success.
Thank you once again. I wish nothing but the best for you and everyone at [Company Name] and look forward to seeing you again at some point in the future.
When you understand the reasons for your job application rejection, you can more effectively tailor your resume to help you land more interviews in the future.
Remember that you can still apply to other positions at the company even if you received a rejection email. Here is a good tip from Tomas Ondrejka, Co-founder of Kickresume:
If you haven’t given up on the company yet and hope to work there in the future, try to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn. This can be doubly effective if you actively use LinkedIn and post regularly. It’s an easy way to stay on the company’s radar and increase your chances of getting hired in the future.”
While it is important to know how to write the perfect job rejection email response, it is even more valuable for a candidate to know how to avoid rejection in the first place. Many rejections are the result of poorly-written resumes. Some resumes are cannot even pass through the applicant tracking system (ATS) process, and get thrown out before a human reads them.
When that happens, you’re likely to receive an immediate automated job rejection notice. So, if you haven’t been getting the interviews you need to land a great job, it’s probably time to refocus on your resume!
Good luck with your job search!
Steve Guntli, Editor & Content Writer
Steve started his career as an editor/journalist/photographer for a small weekly newspaper before joining Zipjob. Born in California, Steve has also lived in Colorado and Washington, and recently relocated to Austin, Texas. In his free time, Steve is an actor, comedian, and podcaster, and an avid long-distance runner.