How to Respond to a Rejection Email: Complete Guide

Finding a job and going through the job search process while trying to figure out the best job search strategy can be agonizing!

Last update:
01/01/2024
How to Respond to a Rejection Email: Complete Guide

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You may keep wondering how can I get a good job day and night when you don't have any offers on the horizon.

While this job hunt is going on, you may receive job rejection email and it may leave you overwhelmed and confused and disappointed. Sometimes it may be so overwhelming you might consider giving up!

So that's what we are here for! In this article we talk about how to respond to a rejection email and why and everything in between! So let's dive in!

Benefits of responding to rejection emails

First, let's talk about why a job rejection email response is a good idea!👇

Good impression

Leaving a thank you note makes for a loving and nice relative and just like that, responding to rejection email leaves a good professional impression. You need to address the specific feedback with positive attitude, write with formal greeting and politeness while using the hiring manager name to make it genuine.

how to respond to a rejection email

You can also leave contact details in case of future new position. This will also reflect continued interest and professional reaction. These finer habits make your career path easier and provide you a learning opportunity to find other jobs easily.

Grow the network

With the rejection email response, you can ask to keep in touch and contact in case of future possibilities. You can send connection request on LinkedIn and ask them to keep in touch because you found them a valuable person to connect with.

This will help you grow your professional network with the professional connections. If you have written a positive note it will be greatly appreciated and the hiring manager will keep you in mind as someone who may not have been the right person for particular role at the time but a good professional worthy of connection nonetheless.

Reevaluation chance

Responding to rejection emails means you might have a small chance that your resume and job application are reevaluated in case the hiring manager finds your response intriguing and thought provoking. You need to send a thoughtful response that makes them question whether they made the right decision.

Responding to rejection email

Responding to rejection email may seem like a small task however it can cause a lot of internal turmoil! So let's talk all about how to respond to a rejection email.

Politeness & gratitude

While you may feel some angst and disappointment for the rejection email, you need to reflect positive mindset and use the positive tone throughout the response email. You need to maintain the professional politeness and also mention that you are grateful.

how to respond to a rejection email

You can say that you are grateful for the consideration of your profile for the position. If you gave the interview, you can mention how you are grateful that they gave some time and consideration to your application and how nice it was to talk to them.

Reiteration of what you offer

You may want to reiterate what you bring to the table, the diverse exposure and experience, your skills and knowledge. However when you are describing these, make sure you are not pushing more than necessary, maintain the politeness and try to highlight the important aspects that may the potential to change the hiring manager's decision.

You need to focus on this part more especially if you are responding to an interview rejection email because it means that they haven't given you a chance to pitch your candidacy and they have made their decision based on your job application alone.

As job seekers, you need to grab every chance to highlight and emphasize your capabilities to pitch for the job position. Hiring decision should be made based on your skills and experience, which are present on your resume however it may not be presented in the most efficient manner.

In such case, your response mail may just make you the final candidate among other qualified candidates! While writing the response to the rejection notification or email, there may be parts where you think may be you will get the job still, while that is true in some cases because hiring managers may change their decisions at times, you should not build up high hopes as they will be more disappointing.

Feedback

When it comes to feedback, there may be two kinds of scenarios 👇

  • They provided the feedback: If they have provided the feedback or constructive criticism, you may want to respond to that with positive reaction. You may showcase gratitude and let them know that you have taken the feedback into consideration and you are going to work on it.
  • They did not provide feedback: If they did not provide a feedback, you can ask for feedback. You can ask if they can provide the feedback so that you can work on it and improve to increase your chances of getting good opportunities. When you are requesting feedback, make sure that you sound genuine and polite, not rude or challenging their decision.

Sometimes, there are misunderstandings and you lose a good opportunity, this part of the response mail may remedy that. Moving forward, you will be able to improve your chances of getting hired as well. A simple thank you note can go a long way for you.

Future opportunities

After talking about the feedback, you need to talk about future job opportunities. You can suggest that they keep you in mind in case there are any future roles that may be suitable for you and they want to hire you.

You should reflect your genuine interest in working with the particular company to convince the hiring manager of your worth for the same company and business. A job opportunity is worth a lot when it comes at the right time, sometimes you are going through agonizing job search and suddenly you find the right job opportunity.

how to respond to a rejection email

This happens often when you have your resume kept safely with the hiring managers, sometimes they come up when you need a job, with just the right opportunity. Sometimes, you may have a job and someone may come up with a better offer and you will be able to go on to better jobs.

You can also ask for any references they may have, any fellow hiring managers or companies and jobs they may be aware of, which may be suitable for you. This may contribute to your networking as well as developing positive relationship.

Resume

While mentioning the future opportunities, you may want to make the suggestion that they keep your professional resume as well as candidate profile for future reference.

Many hiring managers keep the resumes and profiles they receive in a collection of valuable and worthy resumes in case they have a future positions when they might need such a profile and candidate. You need to provide the professional resume that is updated and written well so that they may keep it with them and keep you in mind for future positions.

Dealing with rejection email

Dealing with a rejection email cannot be easy, it may make you feel bad, hurt, angry and many other negative emotions. The feedback or reason provided for the rejection may or may not be the truth however when we read it, it is not easy to deal with it.

There are two steps to dealing with the job rejection email. First is the reaction and the second is the action.

When you read the rejection email, you might feel angry, disappointed or really discouraged, sometimes you may even think that it is a failure. All these are reactions which are okay to have at first, however in a while you need to compose yourself with a deep breath and try to be rational.

how to respond to a rejection email

Remind yourself that the rejection email does not define you or your value and worth as a professional, rejection may not have anything to with you (sometimes if not always) and the hiring manager may have their own reasons that they did not let you know.

Next step is the action. What can you do further? The action is to address the scope of the improvement. Meaning you need to think of areas where you can make improvement to avoid future rejection emails. You can optimize your resume, you can prepare differently for interviews and provide different interview performance.

And of course, you should also respond to the rejection email once you have composed yourself well enough, we have already talked about this last step. Let's talk about the first two steps now.👇

Try to be rational

Dealing with rejection email can be difficult for anyone, what we read in the rejection email may be offensive or hurtful, it may make us question our competency or capabilities. What we need to keep in mind is that the job rejection email does not say anything about who you are or what you are capable of or how much worth you are.

⚠️ Job seeking process is tough, about 36% participants of a survey stated that they sought therapy because of tough job search process. About 63.8% even changed the type of jobs they were seeking! (July 2022, USA)

(Source: https://careerdesignlab.sps.columbia.edu/blog/2022/11/07/job-rejections-are-causing-gen-zers-to-seek-mental-health-treatment/)

While the hiring manager may not have hired you because of any particular qualifying aspect of profile, it is not necessary that the said aspect is a must have for you and lack of the same means you are less than in any way.

There could be many reasons such as the company's lower budget, their requirement of particular skill or experience which you may not have because of many reasons. There can be a number of reasons to not hire you but they might not have anything to do with you.

Many a times hiring managers do not give the real reason and provide a reason that may blame you for not getting hired, while the reason may have to do with the company.

You may want to try to focus on what you can improve in your resume, interview process and so on. Do not fixate on any flaws pointed by the hiring manager in the rejection email unless you genuinely think that the reason may be valid and provide a scope for improvement.

Optimize resume

When you receive a rejection mail, try to look for points and criticism that you can consider to improve your resume and interview process. You can carefully go over the feedback and think of ways that you can make changes in your resume and interview performance that would ensure you get hired the next time.

how to respond to a rejection email

📌 We have few examples for how to do this:

  • Feedback-lack of experience: Remove the years of education-graduation information, reflect the diverse exposure and job responsibility experience throughout the resume that your capability is reflected well.
  • Feedback-not suitable for the company culture: Research the employer you wish to work with, research their company and connect with the employees to get insight into the company culture, reflect how well you will fit in such culture on your resume (especially summary section).

You can also improve your resume with other aspects such as keywords, action verbs and so on. Ultimately, your resume can always make the difference for you and your job prospects.

Conclusion

In conclusion, responding to rejection email may be dreadful or difficult but it has many benefits and you should maintain the habit of sending responses to rejection email. Not to build false hope but in some cases, response to rejection mail may even change the hiring manager's mind. In addition, it is a great opportunity to build network and make a professional positive impression.

During your job hunting, you may come across many difficulties with the interview process, hiring process and the job search process itself. With the help of our resume writing guides and resume examples & templates collection, you will be able to make the process easier, so please check it out! And all the best for the job search.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I respond to rejection emails?

Responding to rejection email has many benefits such as building your network, giving a professional and positive impression of yourself, and reiterating your genuine interest in case they are open to changing their decision. You can read about reasons in depth in the article above.

How should I respond to a rejection email?

While responding to a rejection email you should maintain professional politeness and express gratitude for the feedback and attempt to build connections so that you may get any future opportunities.

Should I ask for future opportunities in response to rejection email?

Absolutely, after expressing gratitude and appreciation to constructive criticism, you can request them to keep your resume and profile in mind incase of any future opportunities. You may want to mention how you have genuine interest in the company and want to work with them.

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