7 Tips on How to Respond to a Rejection Email (with examples)

job rejection email

How to Respond to a Rejection Email

Nobody likes getting rejected, so if you’re reading this, you might be a little upset right now.

Maybe you really needed the job you were rejected for or it was going to be your big break into the field you love? Take a few moments, breathe, and understand that it happens. 

Now, it’s time for you to respond to that rejection email. Yes, while not the most fun thing to do, it must still be done.

Not only does it show you are mature and professional, but it also leaves room for the employer to give it a second thought, as well as give you valuable feedback as to what you can do next time. 

So, once you’ve had the chance to get that bumped feeling out of your system, follow this guide on how to respond to a rejection email with grace and professionalism.

Why You Should Respond Graciously to Job Rejections? 

When you’re rejected, whether it’s by a potential employer, someone you’re attracted to, or anyone else in this world, it doesn’t feel good. 

Your first response, unless you are the most emotionally mature person on the planet, is to want to fight back a little bit or take it personally. However, that doesn’t do you any good. Especially during a job hunt. 

Yes, it’s tempting to snap back with a sarcastic remark or just ignore it entirely, but if you take the time to respond graciously to job rejections, you might open up other opportunities down the line. 

As the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. So, it’s in your best interest to maintain your composure, be grateful for the opportunity you were given, and ultimately keep the pathway of communication open without any hard feelings.

7 tips On How To Reply To A Rejection Email

Of course, telling you to respond graciously doesn’t help if you don’t know how to properly do it. Here are seven tips to help you respond accordingly along with some examples you can use to craft your own rejection response. 

1. Thank them for their time

Even if you didn’t land the job, you were still given an opportunity. A lot more goes into that than you might think. 

First, the hiring manager had to sift through hundreds, or even thousands, of applications. They chose you as part of a very small few to invite in for an interview. Then, they spend time away from everyday work tasks to give you a shot at working with them. Again, that opportunity probably only went to a dozen out of thousands of applicants. Time is expensive in business.

On top of that, they were nice enough to follow up and tell you about being rejected. If you’ve applied for jobs in the past, you know most employers don’t do that (even though they should). You can often sit around for weeks hoping for a phone call or an update. 

It’s tempting to see it as a total loss and take it for granted, but you should open your response by showing gratitude. Both for their time and for showing you courtesy by letting you know their decision.

2. Show appreciation

Showing gratitude for the opportunity and the time they spent with you is one thing. Showing appreciation for the overall experience is another. 

Immediately after thanking them for informing you about the rejection and spending time with you, you should let them know how great it was to visit the company, getting to know the team, and seeing how they operate.

3. Reiterate your enthusiasm and interest

The main purpose of a follow up email/call is to make sure you leave a good impression with the person hiring for the company. 

Mentioning how great you think the company is and your continued interest can only help with future opportunities. Being straight forward with this step is important. If they know you are still interested in opportunities, you might be first in line next time a similar role opens up.

4. Make Yourself Available

Let the employer know you are always available to chat and hear about additional opportunities.

Again, don’t leave the conversation before expressing that you’re still interested. Businesses lose employees all the time for a variety of reasons and the hiring process is often complicated. 

The hiring manager might not have brought you on because you weren’t a fit for the specific position that was available. But like me mentioned before, a different position might be open in the future that you are a better fit for.

5. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool for keeping connected with colleagues, companies and other workers within your industry. If you haven’t already, look up the recruiter or hiring team on LinkedIn for the company you are applying for. Send them a connection request and see what happens.

There are two major advantages to this connection request. 

First, you make a connection within the company. That individual you connect with might reach out if any future opportunities open up. 

On top of that, you gain a way to further impress the organization That contact will see the content you post and how you evolve over time; potentially sparking interest despite not seeing what they wanted in the interview for this initial job.

6. Take notes 

There are a countless number of reasons why a company might pass on a candidate. But regardless of the reasoning, you should always take note on why it happened. After getting turned away for a few jobs (we hope this doesn’t happen but will for most) you might start to see a trend on why it’s happening.

Maybe there’s a specific skill that you lack or you aren’t asserting a sense of confidence that’s required for the job. Whatever it may be, writing it down and revisiting those rejections is a great way to learn and grow. 

7. Ask that they keep you in mind then Keep Searching

If you nail all of the other tips when responding to a job rejection this will likely already have come across, but you should close your email or letter by letting the hiring manager know you are interested in future opportunities.

Simple and straight forward is your best strategy here. “If anything fitting my skillset becomes available, I would love to hear more about it”.

If a company is hiring that means they are likely growing. With growth comes the need to continue to hire. Once you’re in the organization’s pipeline, you could be up for a similar role down the line. 

In the meantime, just keep searching – that next opportunity could be around the corner

keep job searching meme

“Today, it takes anywhere from 100 to 200 applications for the average job-seeker to receive a single job offer. Making things even harder is that, on average, every corporate job opening in the U.S. receives approximately 250 applications.”

— Zippia

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I ask for future job opportunities?

You can ask about future job opportunities by telling the interviewer that this is one of your dream companies and that you are interested in other employment opportunities if they come up. 

How can I ask for feedback after rejection? 

The best way to ask for feedback after a job rejection email is to be straightforward with your follow up request. If you want to know what you can improve on, ask it. Be direct but remain polite and positive. 

How can I turn a rejection into a job offer?

If you’ve been rejected for a potential role, there’s no one specific way of turning that rejection into a job offer. However, your follow up response to that email could potentially set yourself up for future opportunities though. 

How long does it take to get a rejection letter after an interview?

Most rejection letters or emails come within a couple weeks of the interview. There are a variety of factors in play though like the number of applicants, company size and level of the role they are hiring for. 

You might get a response in as little as a few days but other times it could take weeks or even months. Remain patient but if you haven’t heard back after a week, reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter for a quick update.

Is it normal to be rejected from jobs?

It’s completely normal to receive job rejections, especially if you are applying for many jobs. It’s common for job seekers to apply to multiple jobs and receive multiple rejections before finding a job.

It is important to remember that receiving a rejection does not necessarily mean that you are not qualified for the job or that you are not a good fit for the company. There could be many factors that contribute to a job rejection, such as the number of applicants, the qualifications of the other applicants, or the specific needs of the company.

Wrapping Up | Job Rejection Response 

Responding graciously to job rejections isn’t an easy task but it demonstrates emotional maturity and allows you to walk away from a missed opportunity with your dignity intact. To recap our 7 tips to help with your response:

  • Thank them for their time
  • Show gratitude
  • Remain enthusiastic
  • Make yourself available
  • Use LinkedIn
  • Take notes
  • Ask to keep you in mind 

Take the high road and make sure you craft a simple, yet effective rejection response. Those doors you are keeping open with the organization might garner future opportunities down the line.

We hope this helped and wish you the best of luck in your job search!

Title: How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email

Category: Job Search

Tags: how to respond to a rejection email, job rejection email response, job rejection email, hiring manager, job search, interview process, job rejection letter, job rejection response, responding graciously to a job rejection, how to respond to a job rejection without interview, reply to rejection email

Author: Reid is a contributor for theJub. He’s an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author. | Author Profile

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