How to Respond to a Rejection Letter with Examples

Maddie Lloyd
by Maddie Lloyd
Get The Job, Guides - 12 months ago
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So you’ve gone through multiple rounds of interviews, sent your thank you notes and follow-up emails to your interviewers, and after waiting patiently — you finally found that email in your inbox from a potential employer. This is the email that determines your fate. The email that could change everything.

But here’s the kicker:

You read the email, and immediately you get hit with a fancy-worded, fluffed-up letter that essentially says “thanks, but…no thanks.”

It’s hard not to feel disappointed when you get turned down for a job, especially if it’s one you really wanted, and that’s okay. It’s normal to feel sad, and even experience a whirlwind of negative emotions.

Maybe you’re crying. Or screaming. Or kicking and stomping your feet, or maybe a mixture of all of all three! Try to reel it in, my friend, because once this tantrum has ceased — it’s time to write a friendly and professional thank you letter.

Here’s how.

Why Should I Even Thank these Jerk-Faces?


Writing a follow-up email in response to a rejection letter can sometimes feel like you’re thanking someone for slapping you in the face, and it’s tempting to just lock yourself in room and cry to your favorite sad songs, but how you respond can have a huge impact on your future with a company.

Want to know the best part?

Many job applicants who get rejected by employers will eventually land a job with the companies that initially passed them over. Yeah, for real. Some hiring managers will even network with other employers on behalf of candidates who leave a good impression — this is why it’s important to send a message that shows your professionalism.

How you respond to a rejection letter can make all the difference in your future. It’s important to avoid saying things like “Screw you, jabroni” and instead focus on saying things that express your gratitude, reiterate your interest with a company, and open the door for future opportunities.

Not sure how to pull it off without a slew of profanities? Here’s an example to help you out.

How to Respond to a Rejection Letter Example

Now it’s time to actually write this ego-compromising response. Here’s what you can say while maintaining your dignity:

Email Subject Line: Your Name — Name of Position

Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. First Name Last Name,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the [position] with [Company]. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the position, your company’s history and current goals, and the wonderful opportunities available within your company.

While I am disappointed that my experience and qualifications were not what you were looking for in an ideal candidate, I am still interested in any future opportunities to work with [Company]. I would appreciate further consideration should another position become available that would better fit my skills.

Thanks again for the opportunity, and I wish you and [Company] all the best moving forward.

Best regards,

First Name Last Name

What You Should Avoid Saying

A follow-up letter is not the place to air your grievances or bash the people you interviewed with because you’re upset that you didn’t get the job — leave that for when you call your mom to vent about your disappointment.

Here are a few examples of things you should probably leave out of your response to a rejection email:

  • Just tell me one thing…why not me?
  • My feelings r hurt.
  • Oh yeah? Well my mom says I’m a star candidate, so joke’s on you buddy!
  • You just missed out on hiring the best employee of your life, ya dim-witted dingus.
  • Big mistake. Big! Huge!

You get the idea.

It’s best to keep this email absolutely professional. This is one of those situations where if you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s probably best to not say anything at all.

Wrapping Up

It’s easier said than done, but responding to a rejection letter is a wise move that could later open doors for opportunities that would be a better fit for your skills and experience.

Lucky for you, using this template will it make it a little bit easier to send a professional and gracious message in response to an employer. It may still bruise your ego, but at least you’ll know that you were respectful and professional throughout the entire process.

To improve your chances of getting offered the job next time, review these tips on how to answer the most common interview questions.