So you didn't get the job. The interview went well, but they are moving forward with someone else. You feel disappointed and discouraged.
What should you do? Say, "Thank you."
That's right. Thank the people who did not hire you. Type out a letter, send it through the postal mail. Send an email, too, if you like.
Why? Because sometimes, being the runner-up is good.
Twice in my career, I have been the runner-up. Both times, I followed up with a thank you.
In one case, the person hired instead of me turned out to be a disaster that was let go after only a month. Rather than start the interview process over, the organization called me. I gladly accepted. (Had I known then, what I know now, I would have asked for more money.)
In the second case, I didn’t get the job I originally applied for, but the company had another opening. A savvy human resources person contacted me and said, “We have another opening and your experience would be a great fit. Are you interested?” Again, the result was an enjoyable job and a career boost.
What should your letter say?
Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the (name it) position. I was glad to hear you found the person you were seeking. You have an impressive organization and I enjoyed speaking with you. If there is another opportunity to work for your organization, I would be very enthusiastic to continue our conversation.
Thank you again for the opportunity.
The hiring process is costly and time consuming for employers. Most will jump at viable candidates they have already vetted, rather than start the process over. Don't be miserable, be memorable.
Sometimes being number two works out for you.
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