The Top Reasons You Should Write A Thank You Note When You DON’T Get Hired


Rejection.  It’s not something that most people handle well.  There are many approaches to coping with the crushing, “thank you but we don’t feel you are the best candidate for the position” notice.  Some get angry, some may cry and some try the always convincing approach of “I didn’t even want that job anyway.” So this battle may be over but there is one sure fire way to make sure that you are still fighting in the war: write a letter thanking them.

“Why would I do that?” You may ask. Well for one thing it could still help you land a job.  A letter of thanks post-rejection, that isn’t riddled with bitter undertones, is a rarity.  It shows a level of maturity that many people lack.  And it will definitely get the hiring manager’s attention!

Address the Letter to the Decision Maker

Post-interview you should have sent a Thank-You Note to as many people as you interacted with as possible.  A post-rejection letter should only be addressed to the hiring manager or the HR representative who had the final say in the decision process.

3-Parts of the Post-Rejection Letter

Thank you. Thank them for taking the time to review your application and interview you.  Let them know that you were disappointed that you did not get the job but congratulate them on their new hire.  Make sure that you bring up something you talked about during the interview and tell them what impressed you about their company.  Companies never get tired of hearing it.

Ask for Advice. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind talking to you about what you could do to make yourself a more desirable candidate in the future. This is proof positive that you are hard-working and a go-getter, just like you talked about in the interview! Plus this already give you a significant advantage if a position in their company were to open up, it’s like getting one extra interview.

Talk About the Future. Let them know that you would like to keep in touch in the future. You should ask for them to keep you in mind if another position becomes available for the company.  At the very least, by now you are developing a professional relationship with the company and you never know how that may pay off in the future.

How could this really benefit you?

Well first and foremost it keeps you in their minds! If a position comes up in another department of their company they may recommend you for that position.  Or now that they know your strengths and you have articulated to them your drive and interest they may even refer you to another company who could be in need of your talents.

A Few More Helpful Hints

You should get back in touch with the Decision Maker the same way he or she informed you of their hiring decision.  So if you got an email, send an email.  If it was a phone call you should call them back instead of writing the letter.

These letters are not as time sensitive.  Where as post-interview thank-you notes should be written with in 24 hours of the interview, it is ok to take a couple of days to send out this letter.  However, don’t wait to long.  If more than a week has gone by you may have missed your window of opportunity to capitalize on this opportunity.

See every rejection as a networking opportunity.  When you finally do land that job even if it isn’t with that particular company, it will always benefit you to know people from your field in your area.

One Comment

  1. Valentin

    Lynn – You sounded like a narutal, like you’ve done tons of interviews. I wish I had known you when I was getting married, but I am glad that you’re doing our family photos:)

Comments are now closed for this article.