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How To Ask For Feedback On An Unsuccessful Application

Feedback on Application

How To Ask For Feedback On An Unsuccessful Application

"Thank you for applying. We regret to inform you that your application was unsuccessful."


Once that email enters your inbox, hit reply, and ask for feedback on an unsuccessful application.


Why ask for feedback on an unsuccessful application?

It will keep your name front and centre.

A quick and clear response shows how professional you are.

Leaving it too long will mean the panel members will be moving on to something else so getting feedback will be harder

You cannot grow when you do not know!


What do you write in the feedback email?

Keep it brief but not too brief. You want it to be quick to read, and courteous.

Structure it by doing a bit of a feedback sandwich.

  1. Opening positive statement.
  1. Express disappointment but gratitude for the opportunity.
  1. Ask for feedback.

There are often many people, applying for a role. Sometimes, asking for general feedback means there is just too much scope for the person to answer so you don’t get anything meaningful it. It wastes your time and theirs, becoming an act of compliance rather than value.


It should be considered that perhaps there are limitations to what they can say in their feedback.

You could try asking for more specific feedback, such as:

    1. Is there a specific area I need to focus on improving in my next application?
    2. Which of the selection criteria responses needs the most improvement?
    3. Where can I improve in my leadership processes?
    4. Were there any leadership skills that would have been beneficial to the role which I was missing?
    5. Was the quality of the outcomes for my leadership stories strong enough?
    6. If I could improve one thing in my application, what would it be?


  1. Thank them for their time and forthcoming feedback.

Also mention that you look forward to the opportunity to apply for any future relevant roles in their school. There is no harm in laying the groundwork that you’re still interested.


Implement the feedback

Waste no time putting their feedback in to action. Letting the dust set is fine, especially for your mindset. If you can muster the motivation, get editing. There is always benefits and drawbacks of feedback.


Seek out opportunities to get feedback as often as you can. You cannot grow if you do not know. If you'd like help impementing the feedback, book in for a session with me focused on your selection criteira.