Example of a Follow-Up Email to Send After a Job Rejection

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Getting turned down for a job you really wanted can be painful, especially if you have made it through multiple rounds of interviews and feel like you have been a leading candidate for the position. However, if you want to make a good impression on the employer who rejected you, consider sending a follow-up email that expresses your gratitude for the opportunity and mildly states your disappointment with the rejection.

Believe it or not, many job applicants who've been rejected by a company go on to eventually land a job with the company that initially passed on them. In other cases, hiring managers who have been impressed by second- or third-place candidates often will network on their behalf with other employers or clients they know are seeking strong candidates for current job openings. 

Here’s an example of a follow up letter to send when you have been turned down for a position.

The letter thanks the hiring manager for his or her time, reiterates your interest in the employer, and asks to be considered for other openings.

Sample Follow-Up Letter After Job Rejection

Email Subject Line: Your Name – Sales Manager Position

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

It was a pleasure meeting with you about the sales manager position at ABC Enterprises. I really appreciate the time you spent speaking with me about the position, your company’s climate and history, and the wonderful opportunities available within your company.

While I am disappointed that my experience wasn'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.

Thank you for your time and encouragement.

Best Regards,

First Name Last Name

What Not to Say

A follow-up letter is not the place to air your grievances with the company or insult the representatives who interviewed you for not seeing how much of an asset you would have been to them.

Remember to keep your tone professional. If you feel that you cannot rein in your negative emotions, it’s better not to send a follow-up email at all. In this day and age, the job application process has never been so informal. Indeed, a significant number of employers don't bother to tell applicants that they have been turned down for a job, so it's certainly not necessary to send a follow-up email unless you really want to make a good impression and be considered for jobs with that specific employer in the future.

Follow-up letters are not the place to inquire why you have been turned down for a job or to solicit feedback about what you could have done better in an interview. Unfortunately, you may have little idea why a certain employer rejected you. They may have already had a leading candidate in mind when they interviewed you and simply went through the motions when they interviewed other candidates. They may have hired internally or brought someone on board whom an existing employee referred to them.

You may simply not have had the experience and background they were looking for. The best way to determine why you didn’t make the cut is to look back at the job description the company posted and to honestly analyze how well your experiences lined up with the qualifications they sought.

Try to remember the interview itself. Did you do a good job? Did you answer their questions in a forthright and knowledgeable manner? Did the interviewers seem friendly or cold? Asking these questions won't necessarily tell you why you didn't get the job, but it can help shed some light.

Wrapping Up

If you want other examples of effective follow up letters, please review these tips on how to follow up with an employer and compose your letter in the best way possible. To improve your chances for getting the job next time, these sample cover letters and sample job letters may come in handy in helping you build your professional network and apply for new job opportunities.