The Template

Every week, I maintain THE TEMPLATE, an award-winningWinner of the 2015 Plank Center Award (public relations org.) for commitment to mentorship. blog that's been viewed more than 1.5 million times by people all over the world. In every column, I provide step-by-step instruction to help you become a stronger communicator. Like I always say, "Write well, open doors!"

The Job-Search Email That Impresses the Hell Out of People

Raise your hand if you loved the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program as a kid.

Yep. Thought so. OK, you can put your hand down.

The classic button, the stars, the FREE pizza after you read the books and received the stickers — it was the best, right?

To celebrate the program’s 30th anniversary, Pizza Hut created the — wait for it — BOOK IT! Alumni Program. No joke. From the BOOK IT! website:

BOOK IT! is on a quest to find and engage alumni from around the world, so sign-up today to receive a nostalgic favorite from your BOOK IT! days, a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza for carryout only when redeemed online at participating Pizza Hut restaurants.

A BOOK IT! alumni concept is fantastic. Perhaps overcome with nostalgia, you might even sign up. And because it contains the words “Alumni Program,” you can bet some millennials out there will do the unthinkable: add the BOOK IT! Alumni Program to their resumes.

Please, PLEASE don’t do that. There’s a better way to look impressive in the job search, and it’s found in an email few people ever send.

The Job-Search Email That Impresses the Hell Out of People

The scenario: The employer sends the “Sorry you didn’t land the job” email and, too disappointed or angry at the outcome, you don’t reply. You go dark and think “Who needs that company, anyway? Moving on.”

Bad idea. Why?

No reply: you leave zero opportunity on the table.

A prompt answer: anything can happen.

What if:

– the person the company chooses ultimately doesn’t take the job?

– the company decides to hire two people and not one?

– some unforeseen circumstance requires the company to reopen the job search?

If you and another person were neck-and-neck for the job, your follow-up email might be a difference maker. You stood tall and took the rejection. The other person, feeling spurned, walked away. You look more responsible and mature.

So the next time you get a big fat “No,” send off this reply right away:

Hi Mr./Mrs. ______,

Thank you for the email and letting me know about the position. I understand your decision and appreciate the opportunity to interview for the job.

Please keep me in mind for future opportunities, even in a freelance capacity. I respect the work you do at [NAME OF THE COMPANY] and would like contribute if possible.

All the best,


Advanced skill: Add this line before “All the best”:

I maintain a personal hashtag, #yournameportfolio, where I post articles I find interesting and the latest on my career. Please check it out from time to time and see what I’m up to.

More on #personalhashtags here


Do you respond to job rejections? What do you say?

Share below!


Featured photo: Daniel Oines (Flickr)


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