How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email (Perfect Examples)

Receiving a job rejection email from a prospective employer can be emotionally challenging to handle, especially if an applicant was sure about their prospects in getting the job. Rather than just deleting the hiring manager’s rejection email and moving on, an applicant should know how to respond to job rejection emails by sending follow-up emails after job rejection expressing their gratitude, and requesting consideration for future positions.

Learn more about how to respond to a job rejection email by reviewing this comprehensive article.

Why Should One Send Follow-Up Email After Job Rejection?

While taking the time to craft follow-up emails after job rejection and send them to a prospective employer may seem unnecessary during certain times, the act of doing so can be very beneficial to an applicant. It is a great way of demonstrating that the applicant was genuinely interested in the position and is disappointed that it didn’t work in their favor.

Most job seekers simply move on to making the next application for a potential job once they receive the rejection email after the interview. Not many people want to spend time thinking about the missed job opportunity or even trying to analyze why they were rejected. If you, however, find yourself in this position, you should consider writing a response to the rejection letter due to the following reasons:

It demonstrates professionalism

Writing follow-up emails after job rejection is an excellent way of demonstrating professionalism and courtesy. Many employers resolve not to hire a candidate and fail to send him/her a job rejection email. If an employer informs an applicant that they did not qualify for the job, they have shown a somewhat rare example of professional courtesy. Even though the employer’s decision doesn’t favor the applicant, reaching out to them to restate gratitude for the opportunity demonstrates professionalism. Therefore, maintaining this cordial and respectful demeanor is crucial as it helps the applicant to foster a strong bond with the hiring manager as it shows the corresponding professionalism of the applicant; which could also help the managers keep the applicant in mind for future positions with the company.

It leads to potential opportunities with the company

One fact that you should have in mind is that if you had a shot at securing an interview with a certain organization, then the interviewers are well aware of your being qualified. They may have different reasons for not hiring you, but that does not mean that your qualifications cannot secure you that position in the future.

Writing a polite and thoughtful follow-up email after a job rejection can move the applicant higher up on the list of the almost-hired candidates. This is a great place for the next job opening or if the new hire decides not to take the job due to reasons such as the job not being a good fit for them or if they find a better offer with another employer. When an employer disqualifies an applicant, it doesn’t mean that they are not suitable prospects. Instead, it means that the candidate was not suitable for the specific role at the time. Responding to a job rejection email helps a candidate maintain a good relationship with the employer, and this may encourage them to reach out to the applicant whenever they are hiring for a position that best aligns with the applicant’s qualifications and experience.

It allows one to gain feedback on their interview skills

When crafting follow-up emails after job rejection, the applicant should request feedback on their interview performance. The employer feedback obtained enables the applicant to learn what he/she is doing right and what interview techniques they need to master to help them ace future interviews.

It helps applicants to expand their network

Job opportunities- even unsuccessful ones are occasions where one can expand his/her network. While the applicant might not have secured the job, he/she can still use the interview process as an opportunity to build a robust professional network for their career down the line. Responding to a job-rejection email and thanking the interviewers for taking their time to get to know the applicant is one way of fostering such networking relationships.

Writing Follow-Up Emails After Job Rejection

Follow-up emails after job rejection do not need to be elaborate. The applicant should simply thank the interviewers for their time, express their disappointment, show their continued interest in the company, and request feedback on interview performance. And therefore, when writing follow-up emails after job rejection, consider including the following key elements:

Thank the Interviewers

The first paragraph of the follow-up email after job rejection should be a thank-you note to the interviewers. This is especially where the applicant made it to a second or final interview, meaning that the employer invested much time in considering him/her for the job.

While writing this section, consider touching on each of the following points:

  • First, the applicant can thank the hiring manager for letting him/her know the outcome of the search, even though they didn’t choose him/her
  • Secondly, the applicant can write a thank you note to the interviewers for their time, courtesy, and consideration during the interviewing exercise
  • Thirdly, the applicant can mention something they learned about the company that especially impressed them or mention a skill they learned from certain people working in the organization

Tip: The thank-you note to interviewers’ section should only be covered in one or two sentences and should be mentioned early in the applicant’s follow-up email after job rejection.

Appreciating the panel of interviewers and hiring managers may be the key to you getting a job in the future if you happen to meet them in the future. If you warmly express your gratitude for the opportunity, they provided you in letting you participate in the interview process, you will have created a lasting impression.

Mention the job position

Hiring managers are usually busy people. At any one given time, they might be busy coordinating with dozens of other candidates to fill other open requisitions assigned to them. For this reason, it is very likely for them to forget to send a specific job rejection email to a particular applicant. Therefore, the applicant should reference the job position for which they are writing the follow-up emails after job rejection to help the hiring manager remember the precise position and probably remind them of the exact applicant

Express the dismay

The applicant should briefly state their disappointment in not receiving the role using a few quick sentences. While writing this section, the applicant should try as much as possible to maintain a positive and polite tone throughout. Expressing dismay demonstrates to the hiring manager that the applicant was invested in getting the role and that they enjoyed their time in the company.

Note That: You are required to express yourself as politely as possible, without showing any hint of negativity.

Writing out your disappointment in the right manner will go a long way in showing that you were quite interested in working for that company.

Request for future opportunities

The fourth element of the follow-up email after job rejection should be a statement expressing the applicant’s continued interest in the company. This section is essential since it shows that the hiring manager that you would like the organization to consider you for future opportunities.

For example, the applicant can briefly state that they had a good time learning about the company and would like to be considered for future opportunities. This reminds the hiring managers to keep the applicant’s resume for later and reference it when a position comes along that aligns well with the applicant’s skills, qualifications, and experience.

Ask for feedback

one optional addition to an applicant’s follow-up email after job rejection is a request for feedback about why the applicant wasn’t selected for the position. While including it, bear in mind that such replies are more acceptable for candidates who are still early on in their careers, such as graduate interns. However, if the hiring manager’s job rejection email contains details of why the applicant was disqualified, there is no need for requesting feedback. The same applies to candidates who have lots of experience in the specific job industry as they can easily know where they went wrong judging from their interview performance

Given that the applicant decides to request comments and feedback from the employer, he/she should do so respectfully and in a manner that doesn’t come across as questioning the employer’s decision. Besides, the applicant should be mindful that the hiring manager is busy and may have many other candidates to interview. If the applicant asks clearly and politely, they might get some valuable insights into why they weren’t the best candidate for the job and what they can do to improve their interview skills.

Job Rejection Follow-up Email Template – Text Version

If you want to capture all the above elements, you should consider using the following job rejection follow-up letter template:

Dear [Hiring manager’s Name],

Thank you for giving me your feedback on the hiring decision. I am also grateful to the panel of interviewers for the time they offered to not only interview me but also to educate me about the many things I did not know about your company.

Whereas I am disappointed that my qualifications did not quite enable me to fill up the position, I would wish to express my continued interest in working for your company. I am open for consideration should a position, which you perceive as being suitable based on my skills, arise.

I wish you and your company all the best in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]

Free Templates

Following are samples letter and templates for you to better understand the sentence structuring and the format of a follow-up letter or an email:

Job Rejection Follow-up Email Examples

Follow-up Letter After Job Rejection Example

Sample Follow-up Letter After Job Rejection

Follow-up Letter After Job Rejection Template

Sample Thank You Letter After Job Rejection

Sample Follow-up Letter After Job Rejection 05

    Job Rejection Follow-up Email Templates






      Things to Avoid in the Follow-up email

      When writing a follow-up to a job rejection email, there are certain things that the applicant should refrain from asking about or mentioning. These include:

      Asking about what you should have done to be selected for the job

      Follow-up emails after job rejection are not the place to question why an applicant has been turned down for a job or to solicit feedback about what the applicant could have done to be selected for the position. Instead, they present a perfect opportunity for the applicant to thank the recruiters for considering him/her in the first place and demonstrate the applicant’s genuine interest in working with the company for future positions. Therefore, when writing the email, an applicant should avoid asking such questions.

      Asking why the recruiter saw another candidate as the best fit

      Most employers are not always willing to discuss the details of their hiring decisions with other candidates, and their decision is final. On the other hand, follow-up emails after job rejection shouldn’t be an opportunity to deliberate one’s grievances with the recruiter for not seeing how much of an asset the applicant would be compared to the selected new hire. Furthermore, asking why the recruiter chose another candidate may imply that the applicant is questioning the recruiter’s decision-making skills, which may leave a lasting negative impression of the applicant on the employer.

      Trying to find out more about the hiring manager’s candidacy

      While writing follow-up emails after job rejection, the applicant must refrain from inquiring about the candidate that the employer selected. This does not show professionalism, and it negatively reflects on the applicant. Therefore, while writing the emails, the applicant should keep in mind that the recruiter might have selected someone else for reason that had nothing to do with their qualifications or personality, such as timing, and hence finding more information about the given person may not be worth it.

      You should be well aware of the fact that writing the response or follow-up to the rejection letter or email is not an opportunity for you to express your negative emotions. On the contrary, it is an opportunity for you to show your commitment to professionalism, which is the reason you should stick to writing a professional response, and one that creates a lasting impression. If you do this, then you may be lucky enough to secure yourself a position with the organization in the future when an opportunity arises.


      Responding to an employer’s job rejection email by writing them follow-up emails after job rejection is a good way of maintaining a positive relationship with a company. In addition, the follow-up email after a job rejection is a great opportunity for an applicant to show appreciation to an employer for considering them for a job and a better way of seeking helpful interview feedback from a professional.

      By following this article’s guide and writing tips, an applicant should have no trouble writing a professional and gracious follow-up email after a job rejection.

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