You went through the numerous rounds of interviews. You got that positive vibe with your potential new boss. You reached the final stages of the hiring process and you knew it. All that was left to do was to wait for the offer. But when an email finally appeared in your inbox, you skimmed the first couple lines, and your eyes stopped on that one sentence: “Unfortunately, we decided to move ahead with another candidate.”
You have a lump in your throat. You feel like screaming or throwing something.
You really thought you got this one!
Before you send an “I didn’t want this job anyway, so joke’s on you email, take a deep breath and try to read the situation for what it is: You got really close. Final-round interviews typically mean you’re competing with only one or two other people. The hiring manager likely remains very impressed with your skills, but for some reason- which may or may not even be related to you – they hired someone else.
Why you should respond to a job rejection email.
I know, It’s tempting to slink off into a dark corner and pretend that the whole thing never happened. Getting the old, “ Thanks, but no thanks, “ is humbling enough, without having to swallow your pride, paste on a smile and write something friendly and professional in return. But it’s important that you do indeed respond.
For starters, it’s a great way to demonstrate your professionalism and establish the grounds for a continued relationship. Plus, maintaining your professionalism can even open the door for future opportunities. Don’t throw away all the effort you’ve put into this company by ghosting now.
Alright, you get it. But now comes the hard part: actually drafting the email.
How to respond to a rejection
As you respond to a job rejection remember to always:
Say Thank you: Hosting a candidate for an interview takes time, effort and a surprising amount of coordination. You may not have landed the job, but that doesn’t mean the interviewers didn’t try to be courteous hosts throughout the process- so you need to be courteous in response. Thank whoever emailed you for the chance to interview, learn more about the company, and meet the team. Did anything stand out to you in particular as a positive memory? Mention it. Just a sentence or two will do.
Keep the door open: Reiterate your interest in the company and their work. You should ask that the team keep you in mind for future opportunities.
Respond promptly: As with all thank you notes, you’ll want to send it quickly. It’s OK to be bummed out about not getting the job, but don’t let it hold you back for long!
I have several clients that after being rejected for the job, the candidate that got the offer TURNED DOWN THE JOB.
Yes, who do you think the hiring manager called next.
No need to give attitude that you were their second choice!
With that, here’s an easy template to help you along:
Hello [ Name],
Thank you for letting me know about your decision.
While I’ll admit that I’m disappointed I won’t be able to work as part of the [Company] team, it truly was great to meet you and learn more about the great work that you’re doing.
I’m excited to keep following [Company} as the team [pursues a specific current company goal], and I’ll keep an especially close eye on [project/development you discussed in your interview]
Thanks once again for the opportunity, and I hope our paths cross again in the future. I’m wishing you and [Company] all the best moving forward.
Nobody wants to receive a rejection email, much less respond to one. But sending this email could pay off down the road. And whether your efforts lead to something in the future or not, you’ll at least know that you handled the bad news well and did your best to keep the lines of communication open.
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