"Thank you for your interest in the position, but..." Bummer.
Rejections are unfortunately a common part of every job search, no matter how qualified you are. Companies can't hire everyone that applies for a role and often need to reject incredible applicants because they don't have enough openings available.
When you receive a rejection email, you might just want to delete the email, forget about the entire application process and pretend like it never happened. Don't do this! You can absolutely turn the situation into something positive and beneficial to your career.
Before we dive into email templates you can copy-and-send to hiring managers, here's what you should keep in mind:
1) Don’t take rejection personally: It’s not uncommon for candidates to feel annoyed when they receive a rejection email. But, it's important to remember that in the current economic climate, it's an expected part of the job hunt. Always keep in mind that the company is not rejecting you as a person. They’re simply saying that they’ve decided to move forward with another candidate.
2) If you’re a candidate, reach out and ask for feedback: It’s a good idea to reach out and ask for feedback from the recruiter or hiring manager. If you know why you were rejected, you can make sure to avoid making the same mistakes in future interviews.
3) Say thank you: While you may not have landed the job, sending a polite thank-you for the interviewer and recruiters time is always a nice thing to do. Plus, in the off chance the employer's first choice falls through, you'll create a positive impression and may even end up being contacted.
4) Build a relationship: Stay in touch with the people you met during the interview process. The recruiters, hiring managers and interviewers are all potential business contacts in the field or industry you're in (or want to work in). Connect with them on LinkedIn, email them occasionally and build your network.
Remember this - if you have had one or more interviews, you likely were an excellent candidate that was worth interviewing, but just missed out on the job. You're someone the hiring manager wants to keep in touch with! In fact, they may even contact you down the road when they're looking to hire again or help you get connected with another company.
Dear Ashley [or hiring manager name],
While it's disappointing to see this opportunity go, I want to thank you for getting back to me and letting me know about the decision. I also want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me. It was such a pleasure to meet you and Rohan [other hiring manager, recruiter, etc] and learn about Resume Worded [company name].
After having the chance to speak with you and after doing my research, I'm confident that [your industry] industry is where I want to work. I know that I am not in a position to ask for favors, but if you have a moment to spare I would love any additional feedback. Please do not feel obligated to answer this question, but if there was something you noticed, it will help me in my job search and I would be so grateful.
I hope everything works out with you and your new hire!
Emails like this are extremely effective in getting replies. Notice how it's personal and not overly formal. It seems like it's coming from a real person who genuinely cares about the role, and as such encourages the hiring manager to respond.
What's also important to notice is that we state clearly that they are not obligated to reply. Never ever argue the rejection or try to get a decision reversed over email - instead, be professional and genuine about your request for feedback.
Dear Veer [Hiring Manager name],
Thank you so much for the update and for your time. While I wish the news was different, I wanted to say I appreciate you speaking with me about the position and I really enjoyed learning about Resume Worded [or Company Name].
I would love to be considered for any other matching roles that open up in the future as I really admire the way Resume Worded is completely changing the education industry. [or any specific description of what you're interested in]
Also - if I could impose so much as to ask a favor, I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to offer some criticism on how I have presented myself: resume, cover letter, interview, etc. Perhaps, for instance, there are weaknesses that I'm not addressing. Please understand that I’m asking for help here, not trying to rationalize or reverse the decision.
Here's another email you can consider sending. You can also connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn and send this as a LinkedIn message too!
One thing that's great about this email is that it's personalized to the company. Additionally, note how we are polite about asking for feedback - it's useful to let them know that you are not negotiating a hiring decision but just requesting feedback.
Dear Chamath [Hiring Manager name],
Thanks very much for the update. Although it's disappointing to hear the news, I really appreciate your time speaking with me about the position, and I'd be grateful if you could keep me in mind if something opens up in the future that you think I would be a good fit for.
I also wonder if you might be able to do me the favor of giving me some advice for the future: Is there anything you could share with me about what I could have done to be a stronger candidate? Are there any skills that you think I could improve for future opportunities? Please don't feel obligated to answer this question, but if there was something you noticed - maybe in how I presented myself on my application, resume or interview - that would be of huge help on my job search.
Thank you again! And keep in touch :)
Here's an email template you can send after a job to politely get feedback.