How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email for Job Seekers (+ Samples) [2020]

As a job seeker, it’s inevitable that you receive a job rejection email indicating that your potential employer decided to move forward with another candidate. This is commonplace in the job search process. While disappointing, job seekers should stay cordial, professional, polite, and enthusiastic while responding to the hiring manager or HR manager’s rejection email.

Employers may attach a rejection letter along with the email indicating to you the reasons why they chose to move forward with another candidate. This could be a lack of experience or simply a better fit with another candidate. If you received a letter of this kind, it’s important not to badger the potential employer asking for more feedback. Accept constructive criticism and move onto another opportunity.

If the employer didn’t provide a job rejection letter or insight into their decision for why they moved onto another candidate, you can request additional information into their decision. But it doesn’t necessarily mean the employer will provide it. It’s better for employers to simply state it wasn’t a good fit and to keep your information in the HR system for a future job opportunity. It’s better to simply reply to the rejection email with appreciation and sincerely thank you for the consideration of the role.

Tip: If you received a rejection letter right after your job application, without any interview, it’s best not to respond using the template below. As a job seeker, you’re receiving a boilerplate rejection letter and there’s no reason to reply.

Here’s what to say in a job rejection response email:

  • Thank the hiring manager for the job interview and time spent in the interview process or recruitment process if you spoke with a recruiter. Show your appreciation for the time spent with you.
  • Show your interest in the company and the position by asking to be informed of any future opening or future opportunity that the company might have.
  • Express your level of disappointment but clear understanding. You can express this was your dream job and you’re sad the opportunity didn't flourish. But there's no reason to emphasize any more than that.
  • Leave a lasting and good impression on the interviewer or hiring manager by being kind, understanding, and professional in your email response.
  • Ask if there is any constructive feedback they have for you as the job seeker to help you on future interviews.

Job Rejection Email Response Sample

Dear John —

I am really disappointed in hearing about the desire to move onto another applicant for the open position. But I completely understand how another job applicant might have more experience in this area than myself. I am so thankful I received the opportunity to interview with XYZ Company and I can’t thank you enough for your time.

If there’s a future position that opens up which you feel I might be a better fit for, I would sincerely appreciate your further consideration. And I know I’ll be able to go into the next interview with more experience in the future as I continue to move forward.

If there’s any career advice you have for me, especially as I continue to interview, I would love to hear it as I aim to continue to be a strong candidate in my future interviews.

Thanks so much,
Keith

Job Rejection Email Response Template

Below is an email template to build your response email.

Dear [Interviewer’s Name] —

I am really disappointed in hearing about the desire to move onto another applicant for the open position. But I completely understand how another job applicant might have more experience in this area than myself. I am so thankful I received the opportunity to interview with [Company Name] and I can’t thank you enough for your time.

If there’s a future position that opens up which you feel I might be a better fit for, I would sincerely appreciate your further consideration. And I know I’ll be able to go into the next interview with more experience in the future as I continue to move forward.

If there’s any career advice you have for me, especially as I continue to interview, I would love to hear it as I aim to continue to be a strong candidate in my future interviews.

Thanks so much,
Keith

Additional Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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