A hiring selection process is often long and drawn out, with multiple screenings, interviews, and reference checks. Coming in 2nd place for a position you wanted and thought was inevitable can be hard to take. Usually candidates will drop the whole thing after a rejection and simply move on to pursuing the next opportunity they can find. That is often a mistake!
While you should certainly always keep pursuing additional opportunities until you've accepted an offer, following up and showing continued interest, can often pay off.
The point was emphasized to me again recently when one of the people in my job search class was rejected for a position he was pursuing. I encouraged him to send a brief email to the hiring manager, thanking him for the chance to be considered and expressing an interest to still be further considered for other appropriate opportunities as they may arise. He was reluctant to do it, but finally, after several days decided he would.
In less than a day after sending the email, he got a call from the hiring manager saying he was glad to get the email, and asked if he would be interested in coming in to talk about another open position!
Why was the note important? Several reasons…
- Often, an employer feels awkward to call someone back that they just rejected, thinking there may be ill feelings.
- They often believe that the candidate would no longer be interested in the company or in a different position.
- They forget to look at existing or prior candidates for new positions and simply start their hiring process anew.
- It simply never occurs to them!
By sending a note, showing continued interest and a positive attitude, it prompts the employer to take another look. They are appreciative of the gesture, and it makes their life easier!
In today's competitive job market, it's not at all unusual for an employer to have multiple equally good candidates for an open position. They can only select one. However, would gladly take others if they could. Expressing continued interest after a rejection, sometimes results in an offer. Make it a standard practice for any position you don't initially get. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!