You told yourself not to get your hopes up, but you did anyway. In your heart you knew this was going to be “the one”, the job that finally came through for you. You just knew it.
The phone rang, or your inbox chimed. They selected another candidate. Even worse, they chose you but they have a hiring freeze and your position is on hold, indefinitely. What now?
Write a Thank You Letter
Get your pen, or fingers, ready and start writing. Remember that 27.3% of new hires come from employee referrals and your (non)hiring manager is one of those employees, as is the human resources manager that worked with you through the interview process.
Among the Best
In today’s fierce job market place, and we all know it’s fierce out there, you want to be known as one of the best. What better way than to send a “thank you for not hiring me” letter? When you consider that a mere 5% of candidates send thank you letters after an interview, you are certain to stand out when you send a thank you after being told they selected a different candidate.
What to Write
Keep your letter simple, concise, professional and polite. This letter is the time to say “thank you” and express your continued interest in the company. Here’s a sample letter:
I would be lying if I said I’m anything but keenly disappointed that I wasn’t your final choice for the (job title) position. However, knowing how professionally and thoroughly each candidate was interviewed, and having made it to the “final (number)”, I’m also honored to have been on that short list. I appreciate that your job of selection was very, very difficult.
It was a pleasure getting to know you and seeing how well your team works together. (Customize this area: You are a skilled and rare manager. I particularly appreciated how well your team works together and sincerely hope that sometime in the future we have the opportunity to work together.)
I wish you and your team continued success. Thank you again for all your efforts on my behalf; I look forward to seeing you at (event..e.g. one of the area association meetings).
Who to Send It To
In today’s market it has become more common that there are 2, 3, 4 even 10+ interviews in many cases. When that’s the case, who do you send the thank you letter to? Unlike an interview thank you note which goes to each person you meet with, this is a far more select group of people.
You always want to send it to the human resources person, ideally the recruiter or HR manager. The other person is the decision maker or hiring manager. In some cases, you can also include the next level up if you met with the person face-to-face and feel it’s an appropriate decision that will be well received by both that person and the decision-maker.