So let’s say you got an email similar to the one above. Now’s a good time to follow up with the hiring manager or recruiter or both and ask for feedback (thus demonstrating self-awareness and a growth mindset in the process).
Here’s a general template to follow:
Thank them for giving their time.
Mention how you’re interested in the role and would like to be kept on the radar even if now’s not the right time.
Ask for feedback. You’d like to improve and it would be helpful to know about your growth areas so that you can be an even stronger candidate the next time around.
Close by thanking them again for the opportunity.
Most of the time, you might get a carefully worded response mentioning an area of concern in no specific terms. You’ll need to read between the lines here. For example, if the recruiter said your soft skills need work—think of how you presented yourself or how you came across. It may be beneficial to cross-reference this feedback by asking a current or former colleague for their (radically honest) assessment.
The granularity of feedback will vary from nonexistent to vague, but even then I would still encourage you to ask for it as it may uncover your blind spots—mistakes that you’re completely unaware of.