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Can I ask a hiring manager to reconsider if I don’t get the job?

If you don’t get the job, you have nothing to lose by asking for feedback. It shows the desire to learn and will differentiate you from other candidates.

Can I ask a hiring manager to reconsider if I don’t get the job?
[Source photo: Road Trip with Raj/Unsplash]

Welcome to Pressing QuestionsFast Company’s work-life advice column. Every week, deputy editor Kathleen Davis, host of The New Way We Work podcast, will answer the biggest and most pressing workplace questions.

Q: Can I ask a hiring manager to reconsider if I don’t get a job?

A: We’ve got something a little different this week. A reader wrote to me after listening to my interview on The New Way We Work with Fast Company contributor Judith Humphrey. In our conversation about how to land your dream job, Humphrey and I advise against using ChatGPT or other AI tools to write your cover letter or résumé.

The listener explained that she had applied for her dream job using a résumé that she crafted with AI. She didn’t get the role and was wondering is there was way to get them to reconsider.

Here’s my advice:

Unfortunately, once a hiring manager has decided not to offer you the role, there isn’t likely anything you can do to change their mind. But that doesn’t mean you can’t follow up. You can use this rejection as an opportunity to stay on their radar and learn what you can do better next time. Here’s how to go about it.

First, reach out to the direct hiring manager, since they are more likely to give you actionable feedback. Send an email thanking them again for the opportunity and mention something you admire about the company’s work. From there you can say something like, “I would love to be considered for future opportunities. Can you provide any feedback on what skills would make a stronger candidate?”

They might not give you the information that you want. Some managers might be reluctant to say anything that could be misconstrued or might not be allowed to give feedback for legal reasons. But it doesn’t hurt to ask.

If you do get feedback—even if you don’t agree with it—make sure to thank them, since giving you feedback is outside of what’s required of them.

No matter the outcome, asking shows the desire to learn and grow. This will  differentiate you from other candidates, so you have nothing to lose.

Want some more advice on what to do after not getting a job? Here you go:

If you have pressing question of your own, send me an email at kdavis AT fastcompany.com.

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Kathleen Davis is Deputy Editor at FastCompany.com. Previously, she has worked as an editor at Entrepreneur.com, WomansDay.com and Popular Photography magazine. More

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