How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email (+ Samples)
As a job seeker, you inevitably 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 could request additional information into their decision. But it doesn’t necessarily mean the employer will provide it. Employers should state it wasn’t a good fit and keep your information in the HR system for a future job opportunity. It’s better to reply to the rejection email with appreciation and sincerely thank you for considering 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 for you as the job seeker to help you with future interviews.
Job Rejection Email Response Sample
Job Rejection Email Response Template
Below is an email template to build your response email.
- How to Decline a Job Interview
- How to Turn Down a Job Offer
- How to Turn Down a Job Offer After Accepting
- How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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