The norm it seems for many job seekers these days is to be rejected by employers several times prior to landing with a company who is willing to take a shot and offer you a position. This can be both disheartening and offer some hope for those of you in the job application game.
Another truism these days is that because a large number of people are out of work, all these unemployed people are applying for multiple jobs. Therefore it stands to reason that after having gone rejected time and time again, it’s equally probable that more than one employer is going to offer you a job around the same time. That’s ironic isn’t it? Moving from no job to multiple job offers!
One skill you had best brush up then that I suspect you may not have given a great deal of thought to is the art of writing both the rejection letter and the, ‘no thank you’ letter. In both cases, you’re communicating with an employer in an effort to come off looking professional. The rejection letter by the way is the harder of the two you’ll find. Let’s have a look at both.
The Rejection Letter
Okay so you’ve been rejected by a yet another company – again. Presumably you were quite interested in working for them, so the job and the company must have had some level of appeal. Naturally therefore, to find out that they aren’t interested in you and chose others over you to interview or hire should be disappointing. The last thing in the world you may be motivated to do then is write them a note asking them to keep you mind for future opportunities.
Only 1% of people typically write these letters, and it’s precisely this extremely low percentage which can make you stand out and in a positive way, giving you an advantage over 99% of the others who have been similarly rejected. However, it is precisely because the applicant hunt is over for the company that the vast majority of job seekers lament, “Why bother? I’ll put my energy into applying for jobs still open.”
This letter goes something like this:
“Dear ________. Today I learned that I was unsuccessful in applying for the position of ____________. While disappointed, I am expressing my ongoing strong determination in working for _______________. Should this position or one similar in nature become available, I am extremely interested and would like to be considered.
It’s not a long letter to write, but still it requires an envelope and stamp, a sheet of paper and the time to compose it. My counter argument to the investment of your precious time is that if you can’t be bothered to invest this bit of time, what on earth can the company expect of you when you run into barriers should they hire you? Show your determination! Be tenacious!
Look not everyone works out. Some who accept a job right after all the other applicants have been rejected, turn around themselves and accept what to them is a better offer elsewhere. The company then may re-post the position or go back to those they were likewise considering making a job offer to. If you were one of the few they were strongly thinking of, the impact on the company your rejection letter creates may get them thinking, “She really wants this job, maybe we should have hired her in the first place.”
True it doesn’t often result in a job. Then again, it sometimes does. Aren’t you looking for an edge over your competition?
The Thanks But No Thanks Letter
This is the letter you’re writing to thank company for their faith in offering you a position; one you’re rejecting in favour of a preferred job elsewhere. Bear in mind this letter is going to now be a permanent record in your file if they maintain one on you. This is why it’s preferred over a quick and dirty phone call that might be effective with the single person at the other end, but will be subject to their interpretation once the phone is hung up. Others who look at your file in the future might just be left with the impression you interviewed for and were offered a job and just walked away from it without a thought; and they won’t want to repeat that experience. So this letter keeps doors open.
Thank you for your confidence in offering me the position of ______________ with _______________. During my job search, I applied to several positions of interest, and although I ceased such applications once accepting your kind offer, I have subsequently received an outstanding opportunity and must therefore advise you that I am not able to proceed with our arrangement at this time.
It is my sincere hope that this does not greatly disrupt your plans, nor cast our relationship in a negative light moving forward.
Whether the people at the company truly understand and appreciate your predicament or not is out of your hands. You have however, done the right thing and are attempting the best way you know how to move on but keep the parting amicable. You might just meet or need them down the road or reapply.
There you have it; two letters to add to your toolbox; professional, brief and to the point.