Rejection Letter Tips

If you haven’t already received one of those dreaded rejection letters, you soon will. But before you throw them out, consider these suggestions for how to “read between the lines” and make the most of your rejection.

Make the most of rejection? Well, yes. Here’s how:

  • As your rejection letters and emails arrive, sort them into piles based on the rejection message.
  • Some letters will clearly indicate that there is something lacking in your background, education, or experience. Let’s call these “A” rejections.
  • Other letters indicate they appreciated your candidacy, but have hired someone else. They will, however, keep your resume on file for future developments. Let’s call these “B” rejections.
  • Still others have a definite tone of finality to them, as if to say in so many words, “No thank you today, no thank you tomorrow.” Let’s call these “C” rejections.
  • In truth, there are often many other degrees of rejection, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s limit our discussion to these three.
  • If you receive an “A” rejection letter based on a resume you submitted (but no interview), then consider sending a follow-up letter asking for referrals to other positions or companies who may be a better match to your background and credentials.
  • If you receive an “A” rejection letter based on an interview, then send a thank you letter (Surprised? See the third article in the resources below – this approach really works!) as a means of staying in touch with the company. If after several follow-ups, nothing emerges, then transition this contact into a networking resource.
  • If you receive a “B” rejection based on submission of a resume with no interview, then definitely follow-up with the contact to monitor their hiring and discover when new staff may be added.
  • If you receive a “B” rejection after an interview, then follow-up after the hired person has settled in to see if any additional hiring will be taking place. You can also definitely leverage these contacts into networking resources, too.
  • If you receive “C” rejection letters, regardless of how/when, feel free to discard them and do no follow-up. These are, in fact, the only rejection letters you should not follow-up in some way.

About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.