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Your Guide to Responding Graciously to a Job Rejection + a Sample Email

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 3 years ago

After going through several hiring rounds, not making the final cut can be discouraging. Rejection is part of the job-hunting process, but there is room to see it as a growth opportunity to network within your industry. 

If you have received a job rejection email, take this as an opportunity to respond to the hiring manager. Responding to the job rejection professionally in a courteous way may be beneficial to you in the long run.

Why You Should Respond to a Job Rejection Email

  • Keeps doors open for future positions with the same potential employer

  • Displays a professional and positive attitude

  • Acknowledges the courteous gesture of the sender that made it a point to update you

  • Gives you a second-best chance if the chosen candidate doesn't work out

  • Builds and maintains strong connections with a diverse corporate network

5 Steps for Writing a Rejection Email

  1. Reflect On Your Interview

With an open mind, reflect on your recent interview with the employer. Channel the energy you had going into the interview to place yourself in a positive frame of mind.

  1. Express Gratitude

Show your appreciation for the chance given to interview for that exciting role. Your grateful attitude highlights that you are appreciative of the opportunity to even receive an interview and that you value every opportunity.

  1. Avoid Dwelling on Your Disappointment

Expressing disappointment for not qualifying is an acceptable thing to do. Just make sure to keep it brief. A mention of your disappointment positively displays your interest in the open position. It also conveys your eagerness to be a part of their company. 

  1. Reveal Your Keenness for Upcoming Roles

It is important to let the hiring manager know that you are still open to working with them. Should a position open that aligns with your qualifications, skill sets, and experience, they are likely to reach out to you in the future.

  1. Request for Feedback

Make it known that you are seeking their honest opinion from the interview. The employer who officially rejected you from the position may be able to provide some valuable, constructive feedback.


A Sample Email

Subject Line: Your Name – Position Name

Dear {Name of Interviewer},

It was a pleasure meeting with you about the{position name}position at{company name}. I am appreciative and grateful for the time you spent speaking with me about the position,what your company has been up to, and the exciting opportunities available within your organization.

While I am disappointed that my experience isn't quite what you are looking for in this position, I am still very interested in your company. I would appreciate your further consideration should another position become available that you feel would be a better fit for my skills.

Additionally, if you are willing, I welcome any constructive feedback you may have for me. Any feedback will be of value to me.

Thank you for your time and encouragement.

Best regards,

{your full name}


Remember, the organization you interviewed with has nothing against you as an individual. They are looking for the most fitting candidate at the most fitting time. Instead of allowing job rejection to bring you down, you never know what other, more suitable opportunities could arise. See each interview opportunity as a growth experience, regardless of whether you land the job or not.

At Per, we want to collaborate with you so you can achieve your career goals. Our recruiters work each day to line up interviews for candidates that match their specific skills and expertise. They work hard to prepare you to succeed in your interviews. Sign up with us to find your next job!