Follow Up Even When You Didn’t Get the Job!

What do you do when you are turned down for a job?  Do you give a sad sigh and move on to the next application, or do you follow up with the employer and try to build on the connection?  Getting passed up for a job shouldn’t be an ending; it should be a beginning.  This employer was so impressed with you that they were willing to take the time to meet you.  Make them part of your network and let them get to know you so that they can see that you would be an asset to their organization.


Form long term relationships.  Networking is one of the most effective ways to grow your career and the best way to build your network is one contact at a time.  When you meet an employer at an interview, you have the opportunity to let them see what you bring to the table.  You never know; they may even refer you to someone in their network who is looking for applicants with your skill set.

Make an impression.  When most people figure out that they didn’t get the job, they quietly disappear.  When you are disappointed and feel rejected, it is easier to avoid the situation and move on.  However, by taking a different approach, you make yourself stand out from the crowd.  Thank the employer for the interview and let them know that you would love to keep in touch.  You told them that you are passionate about their company; let them see that you meant what you said.  Even if they decided that you aren’t the best fit for the job at this time, they may have the perfect opportunity for you at some point in the future.    

Get valuable feedback.  If you have a conversation with them, many employers will be willing to provide you with feedback about how you performed at the interview.  They may even tell you why they decided to go with the other candidate.  This feedback is valuable because it is a rare opportunity to see yourself from the employer’s perspective.  When you get this information, you can make the necessary adjustments and be ready for your next interview.

As a job seeker you need to develop a thick skin.  You can’t afford to get insulted when a hiring decision doesn’t go your way.  Instead be professional, hold your head high, and turn that rejection into an opportunity.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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