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You’ve gone through rounds of interviews and reached the final stages of the hiring process. The cordial interaction with your “potential new boss” has raised your confidence. All that’s left to do is wait for their feedback. 

When you finally receive an email, the first few words shatter your heart: 

“This was a really difficult decision, but we won’t be taking your application further…”

At this time, you might be tempted to send an “I wasn’t that interested in the job anyway” email. But just hold your horses, take a breather, and internalize the matter for a while. 

The truth is, you got really close. Whether you’re a college student looking for a part-time online job or a graduate seeking a full-time job. Thus, courteously responding to the email will benefit your career in the long run. 

But how do you get yourself to do it with a broken heart? Here are a few tempting reasons to send a follow up email after a rejection:

  • Portrays professionalism
  • Grows your network
  • Shows you’re still interested in the job offer
  • Increases your chances of replacing the hired applicant if they quit or are fired
  • Makes a good impression on the hiring manager

The follow-up email doesn’t need to be complex or lengthy—keep it positive, precise, and polite. 

Take a look at these four email template variations that could be a blessing in disguise.

Email Template 1: Show Your Gratitude

express gratitude for the interview
Source: Piqsels

Saying “Thank you” after a job rejection is not as simple as it seems: your ego will need to take a back seat. 

However, remember you’re not expressing your gratitude to the company for rejecting you. You’re thanking them for the opportunity to learn about them and for giving you feedback, despite not being the outcome you wanted.

The entire interview process costs a company a lot of resources, and they won’t just use them on applicants without potential. Thanking the company is a sign of appreciation and portrays a strong character. 

Additionally, employers are not obliged to send a follow-up email to candidates they’ve decided not to hire. Many don’t do so. So if you’ve received a rejection letter, it’s a sign of courtesy that needs to be acknowledged with a simple thank you. 

Here is a sample thank you email template to use after rejection. 

Hello (Name),

Thanks for taking the time to inform me of your decision. I understand you’ve hired another candidate for the job, but I’m very grateful you considered me for this opportunity.

I enjoyed interacting with (your interviewers’ names) and learning more about your organization. I appreciate the time they invested and the information they freely shared.

Thanks again for the opportunity, and I hope our paths cross again in the future. I wish (company name) all the best moving forward. 

Kindest regards,
(Your Name)

Email Template 2: Express Your Disappointment

If you were confident about the job, you’d feel disappointed for not securing it. This is the right time to express your disappointment to the company. It tells the hiring manager that you were genuinely interested in the job and eager to get it.

You could also let the employer know you’re sad the outcome was different from what you expected, but you still love the company.

Don’t be angry for not getting the job. Instead, express your disappointment briefly, in a sentence or two, while maintaining a positive tone throughout the email. 

You don’t want to sound like you’re victimizing, but let your objective—you wish you secured the job—stand.

Here’s a sample of a follow-up email expressing disappointment for not getting the job:

Dear (Hiring Manager or HR),

I hope this email finds you well. 

It was a pleasure meeting with you and interviewing for the (role title) at (company name). Thank you for taking the time to explain the job requirements and for considering my application.

While I admit my disappointment in not being selected for the role, I understand your decision and am grateful for this opportunity nonetheless. 

Thank you, once again, for your feedback, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.

(Your Name)

Email Template 3: Show Interest in Future Opportunities in the Company

Maybe the rejection letter has disappointed you, and your hope for working with the company is now gone. 

However, if you still wish to work for the company, show your interest by explaining to the hiring manager that you’re open to future opportunities. 

Doing so is crucial since it:

  • Lets the employer know you’re still available for professional engagement 
  • Shows your genuine interest in the company
  • Allows the hiring manager to keep you in mind in case of any vacancies aligning with your skills and experience

Related: 2 Online Editing Jobs That Don’t Require Experience

Sometimes, working for a company you’re passionate about takes a little longer than expected.  

Below is a sample of a follow-up email showing interest in future opportunities:

Hello (Interviewer’s Name), 

Thank you for letting me know your hiring decision.

While I’m disappointed to hear I wasn’t selected for the role, I appreciate the opportunity of interviewing me and meeting some of the company’s team members.

I’m still interested in (company) and will keep an eye on any future openings. Should another position that fits my skills and experience come up, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you, once again, for your time and consideration. I wish you and (company name) the best of luck in your future endeavors. 

Have a great day,
(Your Name)

Expert Tip: If you’re not interested in working for the company anymore, you don’t need to use this template. It’s an excellent idea to send a thank-you email, though because the recruiter may refer you to openings in other companies they’re in contact with.

Email Template 4: Request Feedback

request feedback after the interview
Source: Piqsels

Most unsuccessful job applicants are left wondering why they didn’t make the cut. The truth is that trying to find out exactly why you didn’t qualify for the job is a long shot. Employers often give vague reasoning or explain nothing at all.

But after receiving a rejection letter, requesting feedback will likely lead to a response. 

Keep a respectful tone throughout the email. It shouldn’t sound like you’re demanding or questioning the employer’s decision. 

If you ask politely and clearly, you’ll get useful feedback on why you weren’t the best candidate. 

Sometimes, your rejection has nothing to do with your skills or qualifications, but a factor like timing may have played a role. 

Let’s look at an example below: 

Hi (Hiring Manager or HR’s name), 

Thank you for informing me of your hiring decision. It was a pleasure meeting with you and your team members.

While I’m disappointed to hear I wasn’t selected for the job, I appreciate the opportunity to interview for the job and learn about the company. I learned a lot during the application process, and it raised my motivation to join the company in the future.

If you could spare a moment, I’d really love to hear your feedback regarding my application. It would be valuable as I keep on with my job search.

Thank you once more for your time and consideration. 

Best Regards,
(Your Name)

woman busy working using her laptop

Boost Your Interview Skills and Get Hired for the Job With These Skillshare Courses

Interviewing can be a nerve-wracking experience. Despite having outstanding qualifications, you’ll not stand out from the pool of interviewees if you lack essential interview skills.

But with proper skills, you’ll form an authentic connection with your employer and lower the chances of getting rejected.

Today, you can learn these skills from the comfort of your home. Skillshare, an online learning platform, contains thousands of creative courses with teachings from field experts. 

With over 260+ courses on interview skills, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are some of the best. 

CourseA Simple DescriptionCourse Link
Job Interview Skills Training Course | Successful InterviewsBy serial entrepreneur Mauricio Rubio It explains 10 steps to master the skills you need to excel at interviews and get your dream jobClick here
Job Interviews: How to prepare and answer common interview questionsLearn how to answer interview questions and succeed using real-life practical examplesClick here
Interview Skills for Graphic Designers – How to land the job of your dreamsIdeal for graphic designers and other creatives seeking to showcase their work in an interviewClick here

So there you have it. Acing your interview doesn’t have to be a challenge anymore. If you effectively prepare for your interviews, you’ll encounter very few to no rejection letters. 

Enroll at Skillshare today and boost your interview skills. Here’s what Dunkley says about the platform:

 For me, this is life changing. My approach to illustrating has improved immensely for the better. I highly recommend Skillshare.

The Dunkley Shop

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Katrina McKinnon

I'm Katrina McKinnon, the author behind Small Revolution. With two decades of hands-on experience in online work, running eCommerce stores, web agency and job boards, I'm now on a mission to empower you to work from home and achieve work-life balance. My passion lies in crafting insightful, education content. I have taught thousands of students and employees how to write, do SEO, manage eCommerce stores and work as Virtual Assistants. Join our most popular course: SEO Article Masterclass