How to Respond to a Job Rejection Email with Grace

Learn the steps to craft a professional and courteous response to a job rejection email.

Key takeaways:

  • Always respond to a job rejection email
  • Use your response to showcase professionalism
  • Treat the rejection as an opportunity for relationship-building
  • Ask for feedback to gain valuable insights
  • Craft a polite and specific response to leave a lasting impression.

Why You Should Respond to a Rejection Email

why you should respond to a rejection email

Ignoring a rejection email might be tempting, but taking a moment to respond can pay off in several ways.

First, it showcases your professionalism. Employers remember candidates who handle rejection gracefully. They might even keep you in mind for future openings.

Secondly, it’s all about relationship-building. The job market is like a small town—a friendly acknowledgment today could lead to unexpected opportunities tomorrow. Networking, folks!

Lastly, asking for feedback in your response can open doors to valuable insights. Maybe your interview technique needs tweaking, or perhaps there was something in your resume that could be improved. Knowledge is power, and power can get you hired.

So, dust yourself off, hit that reply button, and keep your chin up. The job you want could be just around the corner.


Responding to that “we regret to inform you” email isn’t just about licking wounds; it’s about showing you’re a true pro. Here’s how to nail it:

  • Always keep it gracious: A simple thank you shows appreciation for the opportunity.
  • Politely express disappointment, but keep it positive: Show enthusiasm for future opportunities.
  • Maintain a formal yet friendly tone: Think business casual, not pajama casual.
  • Proofread before sending: No rogue typos here, people.

Navigate this gracefully, and you’ll leave a lasting impression, even when the answer is “no.”


Even though they’ve turned you down, the folks on the other end of that rejection email could play a significant role in your future. Treat them like potential allies, not adversaries.

First, maintaining a positive relationship can lead to future opportunities. Companies rehire candidates who left a good impression.

Second, network expansion. Recruiters and hiring managers switch jobs too. Keeping in touch might open doors elsewhere.

Third, referrals. If they liked you, they might refer you to someone else.

Lastly, industry is smaller than it seems. You never know when you’ll meet these people again, perhaps at a networking event… or the coffee machine.

Keep it polite, keep in touch, and keep it classy!

Ask for Feedback

Feedback is a gem in disguise. It can shine a light on areas you might not see yourself. Plus, it shows you value growth—a trait any employer appreciates.

  • Be Polite and Specific: Asking, “Could you please provide feedback on my interview?” is polite and opens the door for constructive criticism.
  • Highlight Willingness to Improve: Mention you’re open to improving for future opportunities. It sets you apart as proactive and open-minded.
  • Timing Matters: Don’t wait too long. Respond within a few days while your name is still fresh in their minds.

Remember, the goal isn’t just to find out what went wrong, but to turn that intel into your secret weapon for future success.

Example Job Rejection Email Responses

Here’s a sample template to get you started. It’s short, sweet, and to the point:

Thank you for letting me know about your decision. While I’m disappointed, I appreciate the opportunity to have interviewed and learned more about your company. If possible, could you provide any feedback on my interview or application? This would be incredibly valuable for my growth.

Now, let’s have a little fun. Maybe try something like this, with a dash of personality:

Ouch! That rejection stings, but thank you for the update. I really enjoyed learning about [Company] and meeting the team. Could you share any feedback on how I can improve for future opportunities? Thanks a bunch!

For a more formal touch, consider:

Thank you for informing me of your decision. I appreciate the opportunity to interview with [Company]. I would be grateful for any feedback you are able to provide on my application or interview performance. Best regards.

Use these as a launching pad to craft your unique response. Keep it polite, sprinkle in some genuine interest, and who knows? You might even get some golden nuggets of advice in return.

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