replying a rejection letter
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It is not 100% guaranteed that you would come out on the winning end of every job interview. This means that at some point, you might receive a rejection letter. And some companies might grant you a courtesy school, informing you of the bad news over the phone.

Regardless of the method used, your response should be the same. Remember, you were not the only candidate. Even if you did put your best foot forward, only one person might be needed to fill the position.

As such, the rejection might not necessarily be a sign that you did something wrong. It is imperative, then, that you do not take it personally. A rejection letter does not always say that you do not qualify for the job. Sometimes it means that you are not the right fit, for that specific company.

For this reason and others, when you receive a rejection letter, you should be careful of how you respond.

Some companies have a tendency to recall a candidate when another position needs to be filled. And how you responded when interviewed previously, along with the impression made by your rejection letter response, could make all the difference in whether or not you get a call back.

How Not to Respond to a Rejection Letter

When you receive a rejection letter, it is advised that you return a polite response. It is not mandatory that you do so. However, it does show the company that you are a professional. And in the off chance that the interview went horribly wrong and the interviewers were unprofessional, it would be better to refrain from replying.

It is worse to say the wrong things than not saying anything at all.

You can receive a rejection letter either through the post or via an email. Depending on how you receive this response, will, in turn, stipulate by what means you send a reply. More often than not, if the company took the time to send you a letter, then you might have left a positive impression on them.

You should maintain this image going forward, and not burn any bridges behind you. As a result, there are several pitfalls to avoid when preparing a reply.

Do Not Ignore the Letter

So, you have just received the disappointing news via an email that you did not get the job. At first, you are disappointed and probably instantly angry with the company.

You should wait until your temper cools, if that is the case, before replying, or your response might come off a bit abrasive or curt.

But, one of the worst things you can do is to ignore the letter. If you do not reply, it might send a signal that they were correct in not hiring you. Since some companies network with each other, it is best that you come across as polite and professional at all times.

You may not have been successful at one company, but your response could usher you through the door of gaining favor or additional opportunities to work with them in the future.

When you do not reply to a rejection letter, you close the door on any chance of working with that company in the future. If you answer promptly, you could send such a positive message they might rethink their decision and hire you after all.

Also, the candidate that the company chose might reject the offer, as well as the company could decide to hire more than one person. That is when your professional response would make all the difference.

There are also instances where the company rejects everyone because they have decided to delay hiring. In such a case, you just might be the chosen candidate if you project a positive attitude to being rejected.

Do Not Be Rude in Your Reply

It is disheartening to receive a rejection letter, but do not be rude in your reply. You should not proceed to tell the company all the reasons why you are glad they did not hire you. Also, try to avoid belittling the hiring manager or whoever interviewed you.

In that moment of anger or disappointment, it would be a good time to remember that a cordial response to rejection shows character and that is beneficial to you. Companies tend to network, and once word goes around about your response, you could be blacklisted by other companies.

Your reputation would then be tarnished and you may find it difficult getting a job offer in the future.

Do Not Reply with another Application

When you submitted your application, you knew you satisfied the preliminary qualifications. You also did your research and answered the interview questions admirably.

You are stunned when you see a rejection letter, so possibly you start thinking that they made a mistake. This prompts you to send another application for the same position. And this is a classic mistake made by some candidates.

Your best response to a rejection should never be another application. The company already has your resume on file, and truth be told, it might come off as arrogance. If you want to leave a good impression, refer to any of the sample responses for what to avoid.

These will be particularly useful if you have never written a response to a rejection letter before.

How to Respond to a Rejection Letter

Applying to many jobs can be a tedious matter. When you apply, you should bear in mind that you stand a chance at being rejected. Therefore, you should be mentally prepared to receive a rejection letter. When you half expect a letter, then you will not respond negatively if you do receive one.

Thus, you might also have a better idea of how to reply. This is especially true if you have researched sample letters to rejection letters.

Always Answer Promptly

There are many tools online that can help you with how to respond to a rejection letter.

If you received a rejection letter through the mail, the lead-time to returning some acknowledgment is a bit longer than if you got one via an email message. Therefore, there is no reason to wait a month to reply to a rejection letter you received through your email.

The polite and professional thing to do is to respond within a day or two of receiving the letter.

This shows the company that you are gracious and professional. It could also influence them to shelve your application for a later date when they have another job opening.

How you choose to respond, and the time you take to do so, says a lot about your character and professional etiquette.

Respond by Showing Gratitude

You might feel like doing so now, when you receive a rejection letter, but you need to express gratitude to the company. They might not have hired you, but they gave you an opportunity to become a better professional.

Therefore, it is necessary that you express to the company your gratitude, for the time they took to interview you. This is the perfect opportunity to ask for feedback as well. It could help you in the future, in terms of how you approach your other job interviews.

The response could also facilitate personal and professional development. If they mention any area that you need to work on, academically or otherwise, try to actually follow through and make these changes.

Maintain a Positive Relationship with the Company

When you reply to a rejection letter, take the opportunity to initiate and maintain a relationship with the company. This relationship can only begin when you respond promptly and with confidence.

Some rejection letters can include links to your professional blogs or websites that will showcase your seriousness to the company. Any hiring manager will appreciate the level of interest you show in the company despite being rejected. The saying, “a little goes a long way” could not ring truer in this situation.

You want to ensure that the company remembers you and keeps your resume close at hand. It would also be of benefit to you if they pass on recommendations to other companies.

This is why it is always important to make a great lasting impression.

Staying Positive in the Face of Rejection

There are many reasons why you could receive a rejection letter after an interview. There are numerous candidates to choose from, so chances are someone might trump you.

If you enter the process positively, then there is no need to feel depressed, if you receive a rejection letter.

A rejection is not a reflection on you, your character or your abilities. You can treat it as a learning process and move forward. There are, of course, several ways that you should, and should not, respond to rejection letters. Some of these have been highlighted and explained above.

So remember, it is ill advised to send rude remarks, such as asking why you did not get the job, or by telling the hiring manager what a mistake you think they have made. Doing so will reassure them about not choosing you as the ideal candidate.

Since you cannot know for sure what the company’s present and future needs are, or will be, it is best to be professional in your reply.

How you choose to answer will make the difference in whether or not the company considers you in the future for possible job openings. Some individuals have written great responses to rejection letters that gave them callbacks and eventually lead to them being hired.

You should remember that not every disappointment is a failure. If you are able to remain calm and positive, you might be able to change that rejection into an acceptance.


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