How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email – Tips and Examples

Navigating the challenging waters of the job search can be daunting, especially when confronted with understanding how to respond to a job rejection email.

At some point in their career, every professional will face the bittersweet taste of rejection. It’s an inevitable emotional setback when that email arrives, signaling that you weren’t the chosen candidate. It’s not just about missing out on a job opportunity; it’s the culmination of the effort, time, and hopes you invested in the interview process. Yet, within that disappointment lies an invaluable opportunity.

Responding to a job rejection email is not just a courtesy; it’s a strategic move.

A well-crafted response can leave a positive impression on the hiring manager, emphasizing your professionalism and resilience. Remember, just because you weren’t the right fit for this specific role doesn’t mean you won’t be better for another position within the same company. Companies often maintain databases of potential candidates, and your quick reply can flag you as a worthy applicant for future job opportunities.

How to respond to a job rejection email?

Start by expressing gratitude to the hiring manager or recruiter for the opportunity and their time. If you’re still interested in the company, express your desire to be considered for future roles. Politely inquire if they can offer any specific feedback to help you improve. Keep the tone positive, maintain a concise response, and avoid sounding defensive or confrontational.

At MatchBuilt, we’ve assisted numerous job seekers in refining their approach to such situations.

Our experience in the recruitment arena spans years, and we’ve seen firsthand the difference a well-articulated job rejection email response can make. Not only does it showcase your character, but it also keeps the door ajar for potential opportunities down the road.

Think of it as a bridge: while the immediate path may have reached a temporary halt, the foundation for future crossings remains intact.

If you’re aiming to elicit constructive criticism, express gratitude, or convey interest in future roles, the way you respond can set the tone for ongoing positive interactions with the company and its hiring managers.

In this post, we’ll delve deep into the nuances of crafting a response that resonates, one that encapsulates respect, understanding, and an unwavering commitment to professional growth.

Close-up of job rejection email on a screen

How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating a job rejection can be emotionally challenging, but your response can set the tone for potential future interactions and opportunities. It’s essential to communicate with grace, professionalism, and intention. Here’s a detailed guide to help you articulate a compelling and respectful response:

1. Start with Gratitude

Begin your response on a positive note by expressing your sincere appreciation. Acknowledge the effort to review applications, conduct interviews, and make decisions. Always thank the hiring manager or recruiter for their time and the opportunity. This initial gesture of gratitude showcases your professionalism and leaves a lasting, positive impression.


Thank you for taking the time to update me on the status of my application and for the opportunity to interview for [specific position].

2. Express Continued Interest

Rejections don’t always mean closed doors. If you genuinely feel connected with the company’s culture, values, or role, don’t hesitate to express your continued interest. Letting them know about your desire for consideration in future roles keeps the lines of communication open and demonstrates your genuine interest in the company.


While I understand that I wasn’t the right fit for this specific role, I am very interested in being a part of [Company Name] and would greatly appreciate being considered for similar positions or future opportunities that align with my expertise.

3. Seek Constructive Feedback

Growth stems from feedback. If the rejection email doesn’t already include specific feedback, it’s perfectly acceptable to inquire politely. You demonstrate your commitment to professional development and self-improvement by seeking constructive feedback.


I value growth and continually seek opportunities to learn and enhance my skills. If you have any specific feedback from my interviews or application, I would greatly appreciate it to better myself for future opportunities.

4. Keep It Concise

In your zeal to convey your sentiments, it’s essential not to overwhelm the recipient with an excessively lengthy email. Clarity and brevity are crucial. Stress the importance of being direct, genuine, and concise. Your response should encapsulate your feelings and intentions without becoming a burden to read.


Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the [specific position]. I appreciate your feedback and will keep it in mind for future applications. I remain interested in opportunities at [Company Name] and hope our paths cross again.

Individual crafting a response to a job rejection

Job Rejection Email Response Examples

Crafting a well-composed response to a job rejection can be a delicate task. To assist you further, here are five examples that encapsulate different sentiments and situations:

Gracious Thank You

Thank you for informing me about the outcome of the interview process. I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to learn more about [Company Name] and the valuable insights I gained. I hope our paths cross again in the future.

Express Continued Interest

While I understand the decision, I want to let you know that I’m still interested in [Company Name]. I felt a strong connection with the team and the company’s mission. I would be grateful for similar roles or opportunities that align with my skills and experience.

Seek Feedback

I appreciate your candid feedback and the time taken to consider my application. For my professional growth, I’d welcome any further insights or specific areas you believe I should focus on. Your feedback would be invaluable to my future applications and interviews.

Acknowledge Competition and Remain Hopeful

I understand that the selection process is highly competitive, and many factors are taken into consideration. I’m grateful for the chance to be a part of it. Please keep me in mind for any future roles where my qualifications might be a better fit.

Professional and Concise Acknowledgment

Thank you for updating me on the decision. I value the experience of interviewing with [Company Name] and will keep your feedback in mind as I continue my job search. Wishing the team success in all its endeavors.

These examples provide varied approaches, ensuring that regardless of the individual’s specific feelings or the nuances of the rejection, there’s a suitable and professional template to draw inspiration.

Job applicant receiving constructive feedback

Embrace Rejection as a Natural Step in Every Professional’s Journey

Every professional journey has its highs and lows. When you receive that job rejection letter, it’s essential to remember that you’re not alone in this experience. If you think the most accomplished individuals in your field have never faced rejection, think again. Even the most skilled professionals, from tech moguls to renowned scientists, have encountered rounds of interviews, only to be met with a ‘no’ at the end.

Rejection is not an indictment of your interview performance or an indication that the job title you’re vying for isn’t meant for you. Rather, it’s a testament to the complex variables that go into a hiring decision, many of which might be beyond your control.

To provide some perspective, consider this: A survey from the renowned career platform The Career Launcher found that a staggering 98% of job seekers faced at least one rejection before landing their desired position. Such a statistic underscores a pivotal realization: Rejection is an intrinsic component of the career path for many.

Therefore, rather than seeing that rejection as a closed door, perceive it as an invitation for reflection and growth. Your contact details were noted, your resume reviewed, and in many cases, you’ve had the opportunity to showcase your capabilities through rounds of interviews, be it via phone call or face-to-face interactions.

Now, what’s next?

Consider sending a follow-up email to the hiring manager. Express your gratitude for the opportunity, wish them best wishes in their endeavors, and highlight your interest in staying in touch for any similar position in the future. By doing so, you’re not only leaving a door open but fostering a positive relationship with potential employers.

Remember, every rejection brings you one step closer to a position where you’re not just a fit but a good match. The journey might be fraught with challenges, but the resilience and adaptability in the face of them will set you apart in the long run.

Not Every Job Rejection is a Firm “No”

At first glance, a rejection email might seem like the end of the road, but there’s more than meets the eye. Not every rejection is an outright “no.” Sometimes, the underlying message might be “not right now” or “not this particular position.” There are many reasons for rejections – from internal changes within the company to very close competition where another candidate might have had a slight edge.

Feedback is a treasure trove of insights if provided in the rejection email. While it might sting initially, such feedback is a direct window into potential growth and improvement areas. Constructive criticism can sharpen your focus, refine your approach, and elevate your future applications.

Moreover, the very act of a hiring manager taking the time to provide feedback indicates that they saw potential in you. Embrace it, and use it as a stepping stone for your next application.

By understanding the subtleties and the often-unspoken context behind a job rejection email, you position yourself to respond with empathy, maturity, and a forward-thinking mindset. This proactive approach enhances your prospects and fosters a reputation of professionalism and resilience.

Multiple doors symbolizing job opportunities with one slightly open

Turning ‘No’ into ‘Know’: Job Rejection Email Response FAQs

How should I react immediately after receiving a job rejection email?

It's natural to feel disappointment or even frustration. Allow yourself to process these emotions, but remember to maintain professionalism in any external response. Before drafting your reply, ensure it's measured and thoughtful.

Is it appropriate to ask for feedback after a job rejection?

Absolutely. In fact, seeking feedback can be beneficial for your professional growth. However, ensure your request is polite and express genuine interest in understanding areas of improvement.

Can I reapply for the same job after being rejected?

Yes, but waiting for a significant period, such as six months to a year, is advisable. In the meantime, work on the feedback you received and improve your skills to increase your chances the next time around.

How can I ensure I leave a good impression even after being rejected?

Crafting a thoughtful and gracious response to the rejection can leave a positive impression. Thanking the employer for the opportunity and expressing continued interest in future roles can also position you in good stead.

Should I keep the lines of communication open with a company even after a rejection?

Certainly, expressing a genuine interest in future opportunities or similar roles can be beneficial. It demonstrates your enthusiasm for the company and can lead to considerations for future positions.

Do companies keep records of past applicants and their responses?

Many companies maintain a database or an applicant tracking system that records interactions with candidates. Your response to a rejection can be part of this record, so it's crucial to ensure it's professional.

Is there a specific format I should follow when responding to a job rejection email?

While there's no one-size-fits-all format, it's advisable to start with gratitude, express any continued interest, seek feedback if you wish, and keep the response concise. Address the hiring manager or recruiter directly and always maintain a courteous tone.

How can I use the feedback received from a rejection to improve my chances in future interviews?

Firstly, take the feedback to heart without taking it personally. Identify areas where you can improve, whether it's a specific skill, presentation style, or interview techniques. Consider webinars, workshops, or training sessions, like those from MatchBuilt, to bolster your skillset and application approach.

How to respond to a rejection email without an interview?

Upon receiving a rejection without an interview, respond professionally. Thank the company for their consideration. Express your interest in future roles and politely inquire about any application improvements. Understand they may not give detailed feedback due to the volume of applicants. Keep it concise and appreciative.

Using Rejection as a Stepping Stone

In the world of job applications and interviews, rejection can often feel like a heavy weight, pressing down on your aspirations. Yet, it’s essential to perceive these moments not as setbacks but as valuable lessons to refine and redefine your approach, ensuring you make a good impression the next time.

Rejection, although initially disheartening, can be the catalyst that propels you forward with greater determination. Every job interview, every application, and every interaction during the hiring process adds a layer of experience. Think of rejection not as a closed door but as an indicator that there’s a similar role or another opportunity where you might be a good fit.

A thoughtful response to a rejection doesn’t just resonate well with the hiring manager; it also sets the stage for you to introspect and grow. After spending a lot of time preparing for an interview or crafting the perfect application, it’s a good idea to harness that momentum and direct it toward self-improvement.

To better prepare for future interviews, consider diving into tools, webinars, or workshops to enhance a candidate’s skill set and application approach. For instance, MatchBuilt offers a range of resources tailored to help candidates shine in their desired industry. Leveraging such platforms is a great way to gain insights, tips, and strategies that could make all the difference in snagging that next job offer.

Lastly, always keep an eye out for future openings or positions. Just because one role wasn’t the perfect match doesn’t mean another won’t be. Continue to engage with companies you’re interested in, keep your skills sharp, and remember to send your best regards when interacting with professionals in your industry.

Future positions await, and with the right mindset and tools at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to turning rejection into a stepping stone towards your dream role.

At MatchBuilt, we offer invaluable insights to give you that competitive edge. Delve into our comprehensive guide on How To Land More Interviews, where we unravel the nuances of maximizing your job search. Stay one step ahead by determining When Is the Best Time To Interview for a Job for the best results. Equip yourself for those challenging interview moments with strategies for answering queries like “What Is Your Leadership Style? ” and “What Is Your Desired Salary?”.

Furthermore, a strong LinkedIn presence can set you apart in this digital age. Enhance yours with our LinkedIn Recommendation Generator and wrap up every interview on a strong note with our user-friendly Thank You Letter Generator.

At MatchBuilt, we’re committed to guiding you every step of the way, ensuring that your journey isn’t just successful but also enlightening.

Beyond the Rejection Letter: Videos About Crafting a Positive Response