How To Respond To A Job Rejection Email

how to respond to a job rejection email

We’ve all been there when applying for jobs, you get back an email that looks promising enough as it’s from the job you applied for, and then we read the heartbreaking rejection.

A lot of us would just want to simply read the email, close our laptop and go grab an iced tea as consolidation. However, sometimes writing back to a rejection email could prove beneficial, and look very professional from your end too!

Replying to a rejection email can give you a great chance to receive some feedback on how the hiring process went and why you haven’t got the job.

You can then use this feedback to help you with other jobs that you are applying for and speed up the process of gaining employment.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of replying to a rejection email and giving you a guide on how to professionally respond to your professional rejection.

how to respond to a job rejection email

Why Should I Respond To A Rejection Email?

This is a good question, why respond to someone who doesn’t even want you? I must admit, there have been a number of times where I’ve gotten a rejection email and left it on read.

It could feel like there’s nothing more you can gain from the extra email and communication, and you maybe just want to forget about it. But it can be very beneficial and even open up further opportunities when you reply to a rejection email.

Networking is a common buzzword used throughout any business, and can sound quite scary, however, even receiving and replying to a rejection email counts as networking.

Replying to a rejection could be a great opportunity to make contact with a potential employer or recruiter, you could develop a positive relationship and because so many people will leave a rejection email on read, you’ve already stood out from the crowd.

The chances are, that company will have many more employment opportunities in the future, the candidate they choose for this one could be rubbish and the same job could open up in no time.

If they aren’t happy with what they have, instead of having to go through the application process all over again, many employers will reconsider hiring applicants that they have rejected, and if you form a positive relationship with the employer, your name is on the top of that list.

How Do I Respond To A Rejection Email?

There are four things you need to keep in mind when replying to a rejection email before you even start to structure your email. These four things are to be polite, professional, relevant and concise.

  • Polite – This should go without saying, but emotions could be quite high if you’ve just been rejected by a job that you really wanted. You’re going to be asking for some feedback from the interviewer, and this will take time and effort on their part, so make sure you are as polite and friendly as possible when doing this.
  • Professional – Remember, this is still a potential employer that you are talking to, if things change in the near future then they want to know that you are professional. The most important thing to do is be respectful about their decision and understand why they made it.
  • Relevant – Make sure they know that you are replying to the rejection for the job in question. Mention the position you applied for, the company that the position was with and the name of the interviewer or the recipient of the email.
  • Concise – Any professional is going to be more likely to read a shorter email than a longer one, make sure to use simple wording and be as straight to the point as possible. Don’t babble on for too long.

Now that you have the four most important aspects of the email in your mind, here are some tips on structuring your reply and some important things to include in your email.

Address The Recipient By Their Name

When you start off your response email, make sure you are addressing the recipient by their name, you can’t start a professional relationship with Sir/Madam.

Addressing them by their name shows that this is a letter you have written solely to them, and not something you copy and paste for every rejection email you get.

Thank Them

You may not want to thank someone who didn’t give you what you want, but they still took it out of their time to assess your application and interview you.

Thanking them for taking the time to meet with you and interview you will show that you are polite and respectful of their time.

Also thank them for letting you know that you didn’t get the job, many jobs out there only send emails out to successful candidates and leave the unsuccessful ones to ponder what if.

Communicate Disappointment

You don’t want to sound too cheerful, you’ve just been rejected for a job at their company, after thanking them, be sure to mention your disappointment at being rejected. This shows that you genuinely wanted to work there and aren’t just applying for jobs for the sake of it.

However, as much as you should let them know you’re disappointed, make sure this is only a brief part of your email as the tone of the email should be light and positive.

It may be a good idea to end this section wishing them luck with the candidate they did choose and making sure they know you understand and respect their decision.

Let Them Know You’re Still Interested

This isn’t goodbye, what you want out of this email is a professional relationship and the possibility of a job in the future, so make sure that they know you are still interested in the position you applied for and are still interested in working at the company in any regard.

Not only is the recruiter much more likely to think of you if another position comes up, they could also have another role that they would be happy to interview you for in another part of the company.

Companies would much rather hire someone who is genuinely interested in their company as a whole.

Request Feedback

While ultimately you want a networking opportunity from this email, it isn’t the only benefit that may come from it. You could also get some feedback on your application and interview process, this will help you in future interviews to try and go a step further.

When asking for your feedback, make sure you do it respectfully and understand that this is something that they are going to have to spend their time doing.

Be very polite and understanding of their time, and if they refuse to give you feedback, be respectful of that too!

Remember, they may have rejected you simply because someone else was better, and not because there was anything wrong with your application process.

Closing The Email

After you have gone through all of these steps, reiterate your interest in working at their company and thank them again for their time.

When ending the email, ‘yours sincerely’ is the standard, however, analyse their emails and how they close them, if they are more relaxed you can use phrases like ‘all the best’.

Make sure to proofread your email and take out any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, professionalism is key.

Finally, don’t expect a reply. Sometimes the recruiter or employer won’t reply to your reply and that is ok, they are likely rushed for time, it doesn’t mean they didn’t get your email and you haven’t influenced their later decisions on employment.

Just a brief email could help you land a job in the future by showing that you are a professional candidate that loves the company.

Jamie Willis