The Secret to Turning Rejection Into Your Big Break

rejectionYou really, really wanted that job… but here it is again: the dreaded “Thank-you-for-your-interest-but…” letter.

What now? Move on to the next opportunity, of course! But first…

Take the time to turn that rejection letter into what could become your big break… and perhaps a job offer.

And here’s the thing… it isn’t hard, and doesn’t take much time.

You wrote thank you notes to the interviewers after the job interview, right? Well, if you really liked the people and the organization and would want to be considered when another opportunity comes open… you are going to write one more.

Send a nice thank you note to the hiring manager, the recruiter, and everyone else who was in the interview process.

A Thank You for a Rejection?

At this point, what do you really have to lose?

They’ve already offered the job to someone else and probably gotten an acceptance. But that person may change their mind and never start the job. Or that person may take the job but prove to be unsatisfactory, which happens more often than you think.

So, what does the employer do when they face this situation? They groan, roll their eyes, and take another look at the applicants who almost got the job. Why? Because they really don’t want to start from scratch, post the job, review the resumes, schedule interviews, spend time in meetings discussing the job and the candidates, etc.

As a candidate already considered… you have the inside track. And a well-considered thank you note could move you to the very top of the pile.

Here’s Exactly What to Write

This is where your thank you notes come in handy. It reminds them of you (nicely) because you included the following elements in your note:

  • Thank you for letting you know the outcome of the search, even though they didn’t choose you
  • Thank you for the time, courtesy, and consideration shown you during the interview process
  • Express your disappointment in not getting the job (include what you were looking forward to while working there)
  • Express your appreciation for the opportunity to learn about the organization and meet the people working there
  • Reiterate your interest in working in their organization
  • Request that they get in touch with you the next time a similar position is available

Most important: be sincere, concise and positive.

Any kind of a thank you note is rare. A thank you for a rejection is so unusual they are very memorable and can be very effective.

In 2014, I posted this article on LinkedIn with this headline: The Biggest Mistake After a Job Rejection. If you think the thank-you-for-rejecting-me note is a crazy idea, read all the comments from people for whom this strategy worked!

Stand out from the pack. Keep your head high, even after a rejection. Write the thank you note… you’ll be glad you did!


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Susan P Joyce AuthorAbout the Author: Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 2011, NETability purchased; Susan has been editor and publisher since. Susan also edits and publishes Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on .



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