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Why say Thank you for the No when you don’t get the job

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As I was coaching an executive level client on interview strategies, we were talking about thank you notes. I try to cover sending thank yous with all clients including resume only clients but the thank you for the “NO” is one more step.

What is Thank you for the NO?

This may have you baffled. Usually when I mention this to my clients, they are a bit confused. It isn’t a common concept. It is very basic. In all stages of the job search process, you should be sending thank yous to those who have impacted your job search. However, there will be times when you do get the rejection letter,email, or call and you need to be prepared. After graciously accepting a rejection call, you still can send the thank you for the NO.

The thank you for the No acknowledges that though you were not the one chosen for the position, you still appreciated the opportunity for the interview and their consideration in the process. You thank them for their interest and state that you are still very interested in the company and would like to be kept in mind for future opportunities. You restate your value to the company and the position.

Why send the thank you for the NO?

  1. The first candidate may bow out. The company may have made the offer to someone else and gotten an initial yes but you never know if things change. A hard to sell house, a reluctant spouse, or another more preferred offer could change that yes into a no and the company will be looking again.
  2. The individual hired may not work out. You never know when things can change. A company hires someone with the perfect credentials but once on the job, things change. The candidate talked a better talk than you did in the interview but he didn’t deliver.
  3. You may make such a great impression that they hire you for another position that needs similar attributes but was not the one you interviewed for originally.
  4. You make such a great impression that the position they were thinking about now becomes a possibility and they create a position for you to fill.

All of these scenarios make the extra effort of the thank you for the no something job seekers at every level should consider but if you are targeting a high level position and know you came in second or third, this becomes mandatory.

Looking for other great ways to make your job search successful? Come back again or read through the archives. With almost 600 posts on this blog, you can find the answer to most of your questions!

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4 Responses to Why say Thank you for the No when you don’t get the job

  1. [...] A new twist on the “thank you” letter concept is for candidates to send a thank you for a “No” received during a job search.  Once again, this simple act can keep communication going and allow for a long term connection with the organization.  You never know when another opportunity with the organization might open again.  Sometimes candidates hired do not work out for the employer.  A recent online article details why saying thank you for a “No” can be a big benefit to a candidate during the job search.  See the details here:… [...]

  2. Julie: Thanks for the blog post link. Officially being unemployed as of last Friday, I’m doing the crash course in resume tweaking and interview prep. Iowa Workforce Development has been great so far and I’ve learned a lot in their interview classes after “going it on my own” on a first interview wihh a company interested in my skills. Boy, did I blow that one!!

    I’ll be wiser next time and make fewer mistakes. If it gets to 2014 and I’m still looking, what a wonderful excuse to travel to Wausau…..


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