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You went through the numerous rounds of in-person interviews. You established great rapport (and—dare you say—even a friendly bond) with your potential new boss. You had reached the final stages of the hiring process and you knew it.

All that was left to do was wait for the decision. So, when an email finally appeared in your inbox, you eagerly clicked it open.

Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. You skimmed the first couple lines until your eyes tripped over that one sentence you dreaded seeing: “Unfortunately, we decided to move ahead with another candidate.”

WAIT… WHY REPLY AT ALL?

I know, it’s tempting to slink off into a dark corner and pretend the whole thing never happened. Getting the old “thanks, but no thanks” is humbling enough, without having to swallow your pride, paste on a smile, and write something friendly and professional in return.

But, rest assured, it’s important that you indeed do draft a response after being rejected.

Why? Well, for starters, it’s a great way to demonstrate your professionalism, establish the grounds for a continued relationship, and—in some circumstances—even open the door for future opportunities.

Think that sounds impossible? Just read Muse writer Sara McCord’s story about how a rejection transformed into another offer, and you’re sure to be humming a different tune.

Even further, responding to the rejection gives you the opportunity to ask for feedback, which is valuable information you can use to continue improving and making progress in your job search.

Alright, you get it. But, now comes the hard part: actually drafting that cringe-worthy, ego-deflating email.

Now sure how to pull it off? This sample template can help.

**This story was written by Kat Boogaard for The Muse, your ultimate career destination, offering exciting job opportunities, expert advice and a peek behind the scenes into fantastic companies and career paths.

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