How to Respond Gracefully to Rejection

Rejection is never a fun thing to handle. It nearly always comes with a gut-punching sense of self-consciousness or a sudden blow to your self-worth. But, it does happen to everyone. Rejection is extremely common in life and, for the most part, it has little do to with you, your potential, or your future.

Responding gracefully to rejection is the best way for you to ensure that employers keep you in mind for future roles that are open. Better yet, it’ll help you solidify that you would have been an amazing candidate.

But, I want you to keep in mind that a rejection email is not a space to continue to sell your skills with the hope that the hiring managers will suddenly realize that you’re the candidate they want. Instead of restating your expertise, take a genuine approach to your response by personalizing it to the opportunity.

Here are three steps to help you respond to a rejection:

1. Thank the hiring manager or recruiter for their time.

Always express gratitude in others wherever possible as this is the foundation of any relationship. Start off your response to your rejection with a simple: “Thank you again for your time throughout this process.” The more you recognize others for the time and effort they put into their jobs, the more they’ll start to like you as a person and not just a candidate.

2. Reiterate your interest in the role and future openings.

The best way to ensure that you’re considered for future roles with the company is to briefly reiterate your interest and state that you are very eager to hear about new opportunities with this company. You can also ask the hiring manager to stay in touch and keep you informed about company updates. This way, it becomes clear that you genuinely do want to join this organization.

3. Wish them the best of luck.

As always, a kind sentiment can go a very long way. I recommend closing off your response to this rejection by briefly stating that you wish them the best of luck with this new candidate and their company’s future endeavours. Remember: you want to be known as someone who keeps a cool head during tough situations, and expressing goodwill after a rejection is an amazing way to do this.

Do you have any questions about responding to rejections? Stories to share about similar situations? Let me know in the comments section!


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