Thank You For Rejecting Me

When I give a talk, or have a session with a career counseling client, I always end by telling my audience of one or 100 that, at the end of a job interview, they should ask about next steps.  If the employer says they will be in touch in two weeks, and they do not hear from them, they probably have their answer.  “Probably,” not “definitely,” because things happen and maybe their schedule was thrown off course.

If the employer advises to call in two weeks, and two weeks later they call and the employer does not take their call, or return their message, they definitely have their answer.

So what should they do?

Send a rejection thank-you letter.  And when I say “letter” I mean “letter,” as in piece of paper that goes inside an envelope.  Why?

Well, maybe their assumption is incorrect and the employer has not yet made a decision.  A polite thank-you for their time and consideration shows them that the candidate is a class act and they respond by telling the candidate that she is still be considered..  Or maybe, the employer made a decision, and now they know the candidate is a class act.  And, maybe, they made a decision, and don’t understand why the candidate is sending a letter and not an e-mail. So, they look in their SPAM file and discover the e-mail thank-you the candidate sent them when they got home from their interview.  (And, of course, there’s no SPAM folder when it comes to mail!  The letter will arrive.)

Funny thing is, I know of two individuals who got jobs because of their thank-you rejection letters.  No, they did not get the jobs they originally applied for, but, when the companies were looking to fill new positions, they remember those letters and contacted the candidates.

And there was a third candidate, the one whose original e-mail went to SPAM.  They felt so bad that they did not reply to her e-mail that they opened up for her networking opportunities that led to some very nice possibilities.

So send a thank-you rejection letter.

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