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Twenty-Five years ago when I was looking to start a career after college, the majority of the rejection letters came via mail.

It’s a weird moment in time when you get that letter. When an envelope comes, with a company logo in the top left corner, and the letter is thin, you know what is inside. Something to the effect of “thanks but no thanks,” or at best, “we’re sure you’ll find the ideal position somewhere…it just ain’t gonna be here.”

And despite the fact that you know what it says, and it is not going to make you feel any better after you’ve read it, you still open it up. Or at least I did. I’ve always wondered why I did that.

Did I think there was a chance that perhaps this company was one that, rather than calling successful candidates wrote them instead? Did I think maybe the rejection would be personalized and they would have something helpful to say? “We can’t hire you, but here’s a check for $1,000 for your time.”

What if I threw it away and this was the one that would have actually worked out…

Whatever it was, I opened the envelope and read the letter every time, and every time I opened up one of them, it was a 2 or 3 paragraph form-letter saying what I knew it would say before I ever opened it.

Well, to date I have not gotten any rejection form-letters via the post. I just received my third so far and it came, as they all have, via email. (I guess that does save a lot on postage, and paper expenses.) And with how my email programs are set up on my various devices, a preview of the email display with the title making it clear what the subject of the email is, so a quick glance and the deed is done.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that they are all still form letters.

Here is what today’s email said:

Our decision was very difficult given your skills and experience to date, however, after due consideration we have decided not to proceed any further with your application.

It was so difficult in fact that it took us almost 48 hours to decide we didn’t want you to work for us…

So, this is rejection #3…again…still early on. Of the 3 rejections, one was for a company I would have loved to work for…and while I know I could have done the job, I knew it was a long shot.

Rejection #2, was for more of a part-time-chance-to-meet-lots-of-people-service-type-job, that I’d been thinking about trying for for several months. Their form email rejection states that “we have no openings at this time.” And as if I didn’t already know that was a bit less than honest, earlier this week I happened to be sitting in a coffee shop next to someone who clearly worked for this company, talking on the phone about all of the positions they needed to fill at various stores very quickly. Clearly I didn’t have any experience in that type of job…but that is different from “in all of our over 50 locations there is not a single spot available…and we think that you are dumb enough to actually believe that.”

Rejection #3 came today. And while a rejection email is never fun, I was relieved at this one. It would have made time with my family, which is our major priority this year, extremely difficult. And while I think the skills were a match, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. (So far, that’s the only thing I’ve applied for and it happened at the end of a rather discouraging day where I felt I needed to expand the search dramatically.)

So that’s where things stand.¬†Thanks for the messages & comments…they are much appreciated & very encouraging.

What is the worst excuse anyone has given you?

About author / bob

I am a church planter living on Dublin's Northside. I also serve as Director of Marketing for Communitas International. I write about various topics that happen to be going through my brain.

One comment
  1. Loraine Wilson says:

    “Your skills far outweigh the qualifications for this position”. (In other words, we are looking for someone with no skills and a little dumber than you are. And we hope that this response makes you feel a little less rejected but very proud of yourself for your accomplishents)

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