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What to Do When You Don’t Get the Job

August 3, 2012

Today’s guest post comes from Dara Goldberg, a recent Public Allies Maryland Alum. This post originally appeared on her personal blog on July 13, 2012.

You sent in your application complete with a beautifully formatted and results driven resume, stunning cover letter, and glowing recommendations. You nailed the interview, connecting with the current employees and showcasing how you would be a great fit for the position and organization. You sent a hand written thank-you note to emphasize your commitment to the organization and why you’re the perfect fit!

Then, you get an email.

It was a pleasure to meet and interview you for this position. We received a strong response and had many wonderful candidates. Ultimately, we did select another candidate for this position. This was difficult choice and I appreciate the chance to get to know you…

There’s no other way to put this: getting passed over for a job sucks. So now what? What do you do when you don’t get the job?

  • Respond: This is not the time to ignore an email, no matter how tempting it may be. Whether it’s a phone call, email, or letter: respond! You always want the last memory or interaction a potential employer has of you to be a good one.
  • Be Polite… Friendly Even!: When you respond, be friendly and polite. Thank them for their time and consideration, even if you’ve already done that in a thank you note. You always want your last interaction with a potential employer to be a good one.
  • Reinforce that Bridge: Let them know that if there are any new opportunities with their company or organization in the future, you would love to be considered. Instead of burning that bridge you’ve already built with a place you’d love to work, make it stronger. You never know, the person they pick over you may not last more than two weeks and you’ll be the first person on their mind!

These tips may seem like common sense, but trust me, if you’ve ever been turned down for a job you’ve wanted, your gut reaction may be to do the exact opposite.

What have you done when you didn’t get the job? Share your stories in the comments!

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 3, 2012 9:42 am

    It is a tough economy. I have gotten turned down for more than one job. I always respond with an e-mail thanking them and asking to be considered for future openings. I even go one step further and ask if they know of anyone else who may need someone with my qualificationa and matching their current employment opening. I know people who have gotten employment at other companies doing this.

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