How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email Sample
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Turning a "No" Into a Future Possibility
It’s never a good feeling to get a rejection letter from a company. However, you can use this experience for two purposes: to not only grow professionally, but also to keep a foot in the door of an organization that you would like to be involved with at some point in the future. Maintain a professional attitude in your response to increase your chances of staying on the company’s radar.
Give yourself a day or two to overcome your disappointment; then regroup and reach out to the hiring manager or human resources representative who considered you for the job. Start by expressing your thanks for the company’s consideration of you for the position.
While I was very disappointed to learn that I was not selected for this position, I wanted to reach out to you and thank you for taking the time to meet with me and consider me for this role. Everyone I met with was exceptionally kind and knowledgeable, and they demonstrated what a great workplace environment you have to offer. That said, while I was not selected for this position, I am still very interested in the possibility of working with you at some point in the future.
Resist the urge to send a negative letter that outlines why the company should have hired you or intimating they made a mistake. You’ll be memorable, but not for the right reasons.
Reference Other Job Openings
Scan through the company’s job posting website to look for other open positions similar to the one you applied for. Responding to a rejection letter gives you an opportunity to throw your hat in the ring for another position.
While I wasn’t selected for the sales director position, I see on your website that you’re also hiring for a sales manager position. I believe I meet all of the requirements you’re looking for in that role, and I would appreciate being considered for the opportunity, if you feel my background is in line with the criteria you’re looking for.
Be a Fallback
There’s always a chance that the person selected for the position won’t ultimately accept it, or it won’t work out. Consider offering yourself as a fallback as a way to express a genuine interest in the position.
Of course, if the candidate selected for the sales director position turns out not to be a good fit, I maintain my interest in the role. If, for any reason, the position becomes vacant again, please do keep me in mind.
Take the Volunteer Route
While it’s not always a practical scenario for a working mother to take on too much non-paid work, if you’re seriously interested in a position in the company, you might offer to work on a trial, consulting or volunteer basis for the short term. This approach gives you a definite foot in the door, as well as an opportunity to prove yourself as a potential full-time employee.
As a way to demonstrate my sincere interest in working for your company, I would be happy to discuss contributing in a consulting or contractual role, participating in an externship or even working on a limited-scope volunteer basis, simply to demonstrate both my enthusiasm and my abilities.
If the company takes you up on this offer, make sure specific parameters are in place that ensure you’re getting experience, making a good impression, and not being taken advantage of as a long-term unpaid staffer.
Make Regular Check-ins
If nothing immediately materializes from your response to the rejection letter, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Continue to monitor the company’s job postings and check in with the hiring manager every month to inquire about new opportunities to demonstrate your maintained interest. You’ll stay on the company radar, should a suitable position become available in the future.
While initially painful, a rejection letter doesn’t necessarily mean an end—it could be a beginning. Maintain a positive attitude and learn from each experience to improve your professional skills.
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Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.