Don’t ignore rejection emails

Fri, Apr 17, 2020 2-minute read

Many people are currently facing unemployment or have already been laid off. Times are tough. We’re amidst major lockdowns, quarantines, and we’re uncertain of our financial future.

With all that in mind, if you find yourself in a situation where your job is on the line, or you’re already without one – recovering from it can be problematic. You’ll be sending many emails, and many of those will yield a rejection. But that’s nothing to be upset about - it’s a normal part of the process.

Rejection email – this is where the catch is. Most people will get that email, hit the delete button, and try to forget it as soon as possible. Don’t do that! Whether you’re a freelancer searching for a new gig, or you’re looking for a full-time job, one thing is sure – you want to have a steady income of opportunities going your way.

What to do instead?

Accept the rejection gracefully, don’t take it personally (it seldom is), and shoot an email back. Start by thanking the person for their time. Leave the doors open by offering your services in the future if ever needed. With that additional minute or two, you’ve accomplished at least two things:

  1. You left the door open for more natural and not so awkward future communication
  2. By acting professional and being positive, you made yourself stand out in a crowd of what is probably tens or hundreds of other applicants

It’s purely anecdotal, but by doing this simple step, I had people getting back to me even after one or two years when they were searching for new candidates.

After I write a follow-up email like that one, I will do the following:

  1. Make an entry in my CRM (I’m using Monica, but you can use something simple such as the Contact app you’re using) writing down contact details of the person, job/gig I was applying for, and the reason for rejection.
  2. I will connect with the person on LinkedIn if they have an account there. That way, I can do a quick check on their current professional whereabouts in case I want to reach out to them again.

I invite you to try it out. It’s a neat and low-cost way of widening your professional network. Who knows, your next opportunity might come from a person that had to turn you down in the past, whatever the reason was.