Late last year, I shared a post highlighting the opportunities I pursued and their outcome – more than 80% rejection. It was interesting to see how many people could relate to the struggle, but more importantly, how it inspired others to take action.

This year, I continue to take action, but I am doing it slightly differently. In fact, after just applying a new technique, I recently learned something that I’m compelled to share.

It’s not a new concept. I’ve known this for a while, but it’s the first time I applied it.

The result was amazing and faster than I expected. But that’s not the best of it. The concept also lays a foundation for you to get a bigger reward in the future.

So what did I do?

As you all know, I received a wave of rejections last year – even from my crush. This year might be the same, but I changed something about my process of dealing with rejection.

Last year, when I got one of those emails, I would rush to the “unfortunate” section and say well, let’s move on.

Exhibit One. Sample rejection email from an employer.
Exhibit One. Sample rejection email from an employer.

This year, I decided to do something different for each rejection I got. Regardless of what the employer says in their email, I’ll ask them for personalized feedback.

A few days ago, I received one of those rejection emails for an application I sent in Dec 2022. When I got the email, I immediately responded with a feedback request.

Exhibit Two. My response to the rejection email from an employer.

Within 45mins the recruiter gave me some good advice and shared my strengths as a candidate for any job position.

This is great. It makes the recruiter remember you and, more importantly, you learn from their feedback and shape your application process.

Exhibit three. Employer’s response after my email

But I didn’t end there.

I immediately looked up the recruiter’s profile on LinkedIn and sent them a request (plus a note – only send a request with a short note).

And the magic starts from there. It does not immediately materialize, but there is a high potential for it to convert into an opportunity in the future. Additionally, you now have one person in your network who knows your strengths and will likely hire again.

If an application comes up within the Company and I apply, my chances are higher. It’s also likelier that they reach out with an offer if an opportunity pops up. Why? Because they remember me and know my strengths.

Now, try this in all your rejection emails and imagine its outcome. You can use the template below to send such an email.

Dear [Employer’s Name],

Thank you for informing me of your decision regarding my candidacy for [Add the role and Company here]. I enthusiastically looked forward to contributing to [Company’s name and area of focus]. Nonetheless, I genuinely understand that I may not have fit the specific skillset needed for the role.

Looking beyond this, I realized that your decision indicates I have something to improve. Therefore, could you please share your expert opinion and point out my flaws in the choosing process?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. And I promise to apply your suggestions and criticisms to my professional progress.

Thanks,
[You name here]

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