Rejection can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when you're gunning for a job you really need. But don't get mad and go binging on ice cream just yet. Within two days of the rejection, you should write a follow-up letter to the interviewer. If the chosen candidate declines the offer, fails the background check or quits -- the opportunity could come back to you. It's time to put down the ice cream spoon and take up your pen.
Thank the interviewer for meeting with you. Be sure to mention the date you met with her so she can put a face with your name. Show your gratitude by being polite, but not gushy. Expressing your appreciation lets her know that you hold no hard feelings, and will let her know you are still interested in working with the company.
Being able to express your disappointment shows character. Don't go overboard; stick with a sentence or two saying that you were disappointed she chose someone else, but that you respect her decision. Next, gently ask if there were any concerns or questions she had that affected her decision about you. This will open the conversation up for feedback so you can work on any weaknesses she may point out.
Keep the Door Open
It's important to mention that you are still interested in future openings. Tell her that you will follow up in a few months to see if anything new is available. Letting her know you are interested may prompt her to offer you something else. In addition, she may give you advice as to when to check back or to let you know of other companies she knows are hiring. She is now your contact with the company, so you should maintain a good rapport with her.
Email or Paper?
Either email or paper is acceptable, so long as you keep the note formal. If you choose to mail your letter, type it up. Handwritten letters could be considered unprofessional and typed letters are easier to read. Be sure to proofread. A poorly or hastily written letter may hurt your chances for future openings. End the letter politely by thanking her for her consideration.
Lisa Hope is a professional writer and entrepreneur. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism, specializing in online media, and a master's in mass communications specializing in social media, both from the University of Florida. She is a professor of communications, a novelist, and the founder of a firm that specializes in resume review.