4 Ways to Respond, Overcome and Deal with a Job Rejection Email
Receiving a painful job rejection email is all part of a normal job hunt, but if you want to get hired it’s so important to know how to deal with one.
Whether you just got your first or your thirtieth job rejection email, it really does sting. I must have received hundreds of rejection emails before I got that magical job offer letter in my inbox, so I really know how it feels to face them day in, day out.
Knowing how to deal with a job rejection email is crucial. It will help you stand out to that employer letting you down and improve your job hunting game for the future.
1 – Take Some Time to Grieve
If there’s one thing I believe, it’s that you really don’t have to reply to emails right away.
If the employer wanted an immediate reply they would have called you. So please take an hour, a day or a week to form your response.
Like I said, job rejections can really sting. And when you’ve just made it through multiple interviews and gotten to the stage where you can imagine yourself in the role, a rejection is tough to deal with.
I’d really recommend taking some time to relax and gather your thoughts after a painful rejection.
I used to think that I had to spend every day applying for jobs or I would miss my chance, but this really isn’t the case. You can afford to take some time off!
2 – Now Ask for Feedback
If you’ve been around the blocks a few times you know to ask for feedback. But do you know how to properly ask, or do you do it reflexively?
Sometimes asking for feedback is an awful process – especially when you really wanted the job. But it’s so important.
Here’s how you can ask for great feedback after a rejection – sample response
Hi [hiring manager/interviewer name],
Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me.
Although I’m disappointed to hear your decision, I would like to thank you for taking the time to interview me.
Would you be able to give me some detailed feedback, please? I would love to know where I fell short so I can improve for my next interview.
I’m available through this email address or over the phone at [phone number].
There are a few key things in this email that I want to touch on. Firstly, the courteous thank you is so important for keeping the door open to future opportunities with this employer.
Secondly, the direct request for detailed feedback is key. Hiring managers and employers are very busy people, so a simple request for feedback could result in your getting a generic response. But asking for detail invites them to take a few minutes to reflect on their decision and give you actionable tips.
And thirdly, the invitation to give you a call back. A phone call is much more useful than an email as it makes feedback into a conversation. You’ll be able to ask questions and get to the bottom of why you didn’t quite make the cut.
But please don’t be too upset or pushy in a call if you get one back!
3 – Reflect on that Feedback
Hopefully after requesting some good, detailed feedback you’ll actually get some!
I would usually hear that the company went with a candidate with more experience which was so frustrating when applying for entry-level roles. But now that I work in recruitment I know more about what this rejection actually meant.
So here are some common things that could come up in your feedback and what they mean for you
- Your attitude – did your feedback mention things like ‘enthusiasm’ or ‘confidence’? The interviewer probably felt that you wouldn’t quite fit in with the company culture. Next time be sure to read up on the company values and mention them in your answers!
- Your experience – sometimes it does just come down to whoever has more experience. But there are always ways you can position your experience so that it sells your skills. Try to learn how to pitch yourself and your skills for your next interview.
- Something you said – does your feedback mention something specific that you said? Perhaps a comment about your previous workplace or where you see yourself in the future? Just one sentence can ruin all of your hard work, so consider not mentioning this next time!
4 – Pick Yourself Back up Again
A job rejection email can feel like the end of the world. But please know that you will find a job soon!
If you got on especially well with your interviewer don’t be afraid to connect with them on LinkedIn. Odds are that they will be hiring for similar roles soon, so staying in touch is never a bad idea.
But if you didn’t get along with them at all and now have a bad taste in your mouth post-rejection, you might need to blacklist this company. Don’t go crazy and post something on social media, but don’t apply for any jobs at their company again.
If you don’t want to bother asking for feedback and get it automatically, sign up to DigitalGrads. We always give you actionable feedback to help you improve.