The lost art of the rejection letter

I’ve been applying for jobs – the redundancy cash isn’t going to last forever. And I’ve been struck by the varying degrees of communications from the organisations I’ve been applying to (and being rejected by – poop). It’s all done electronically these days; create an account, fill in a form on-line or upload your CV, sit back and wait. And wait, in some cases.

No names, no pack drill below.

The best was one from a named person – part of my interview panel – who said I wouldn’t be getting through to second interview, and that feedback was available via email or phone. I took the email option, I figured I wouldn’t take it in otherwise.

I’d had my choice of seven interview slots over two days, so I was pretty certain how many people I’d be up against. It would have been nice to know there would be a second round of interviews *before* the first one rather than at the end of it, but still… we’re talking rejections here, and this was by far the best, and a good example of how it should be done.

There’s one I submitted my CV for and which is at the ‘application received’ stage, according to the on-line account. It has, however, been re-advertised. So do they just want more people to give me some competition, have I been rejected and not told, or what?

Then there was the one where I was given a time and interview panel – all of whom I knew. Cometh the hour, we started 20 minutes late, one of the panel was a no-show and I had to think of all the things the HR person (who also wasn’t present) might have brought up. Four weeks on, I’m still waiting to hear the outcome. Yes, I’ve prodded them.

One job had a closing date in early August. No news yet…

The worst came in earlier this week. Sixty-three words across six lines. “I regret that on this occasion you have been unsuccessful” being the sum total of the response. No named contact (even though it said “I regret”) and no offer of feedback, so I don’t know why I was rejected nor do I have anyone to ask. Yet there must be a reason – so why not share it? A couple of lines from the interview panel’s review would have sufficed, you’d hope they’d made notes as they went through the applications. I’m quite grown up now, I can take the criticism / rejection (I’m getting used to it).

I’m beginning to think there may be a niche market I can tap in to here. Perhaps I should set myself up and offer my services to organisations on how to write the perfect rejection letter? Would anyone like to recommend me to their HR teams?

(A shorter version of this appeared on my LinkedIn page.)

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