After polishing your resume and cover letter, practicing for the interview questions, and going through rounds of interviews, not receiving a job offer can feel brutal. While it might be true that there were a lot of candidates vying for the same position, it doesn’t take away the sting of not being chosen or having a job offer rescinded.
How can you learn from the job-seeking process and interview experience and better prepare for the next one? Follow up with the hiring manager!
There are ways to do this that make you come across as a whiny or angry reject, so One Tech Staffing has compiled some more professional-sounding follow-up responses.
Why Following Up After a Rejection Email Is a Good Thing
You may have come out of an interview thinking you did a great job, responded with flawless answers, and felt confident about receiving a job offer. When the rejection came, you may have thought, “What did I do wrong?”
Though it’s hard to take rejection, especially if it was a job you were really hoping for, it’s important to remember that the hiring process is still undergoing changes, but following up with an employer can be a saving grace.
Sometimes the hiring manager or interviewer can provide you with the feedback you need to understand why you didn’t get this job and how to better prepare for the next one.
Here’s how to write a professional follow-up email.
Start With Thank You
Show your gratitude by thanking the hiring manager for their time and consideration and that you appreciate that they got back to you with their decision. Some companies don’t send you anything unless you receive a job offer, so even a rejection email may be better than being in the dark, anxiously waiting or trying to decide when to send a check-in email.
You can also thank the interviewer for the opportunity to learn more about the company, meet other employees there, or for providing more insight into the industry.
Share Your Disappointment
Express to the hiring manager that you are disappointed to hear you weren’t chosen. Keep this to a brief one or two-sentence statement that shows your genuine interest in the job and company, and maintain a positive tone.
Express Continued Interest
State your hope to still work for the company in the future (if you really do want to). Interviewers often assume unchosen candidates will move on and find positions elsewhere, but you can let them know that if another position opens up, you would be interested in it.
Follow-Up Questions & How to Phrase Them Professionally
Now you can move into the heart of your follow-up email and ask for feedback. These questions need to be asked respectfully, with no demanding undertones or implication that they made a bad decision.
Try phrasing questions like this:
● Was I missing any relevant skills or experience? If you had felt confident in your interview but didn’t get the job, it might have come down to needing more experience. Knowing this can encourage you to take an additional class, get an online certification, or volunteer in a relevant capacity to build those skills.
● Do you have any feedback on my cover letter or resume? Both of these documents can be challenging to write, and knowing where there are problems will help you draft better ones next time. Here are some quick cover letter tips and resume pitfalls to avoid.
● In case there’s a future opportunity with your company, could you offer me one or two pieces of advice for future applications? This question flips the reasoning for an interview: instead of thinking about your specific past performance, they can provide you with more general, forward-thinking advice.
They’re more likely to answer this type of question while you can learn more about what they are looking for.
Know When to Move On
Employers struggle with giving feedback sometimes. In fact, a 2018 survey from the Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report found that nearly 70% of interview candidates received no feedback after their interview process.
There are many reasons for this, including lack of time, not wanting to upset applicants, and, in the case of positions that received dozens of applicants, a hiring manager may not remember the details of every person they interviewed.
However, legal concerns are at the top of the list as to why your interviewer might not get back to you. In order to avoid discrimination lawsuits, attorneys may advise hiring managers not to respond or to give more general feedback.
While difficult, if you don’t hear back, try not to take it personally. Recognize that you did everything you could do with good, polite intention by sending a well-worded follow-up email, and move on.
When you do receive helpful feedback, own it and use it to improve your odds of successfully pursuing the next job opportunity.
Job Seeking? Take Advantage of One Tech Staffing!
When it comes to technical and engineering career paths, few other recruiting centers offer the resources, connections, and assistance that One Tech Staffing can. Whether you need advice from our professional recruiters or need to connect with more possible employers, our team is ready to help you.
Submit your resume to us anytime, check out our job board for postings, and contact us with questions or to talk about the steps you need to take to break into the career of your dreams!