The Courtesy of a Rejection Letter
As a fresh-faced recent college grad excited about his entry into the “real world” in the spring of 2005, I encountered one of my first soul-crushing obstacles that helped set me on a slow but sure course toward the entrepreneur I am today.
I would send out job applications and never hear anything back.
This sounds pretty silly, if you think about it. Obviously if I was never getting a response it meant that the employer I had submitted my application had chosen a different candidate. But it wasn’t the obvious nature of the rejection that bothered me. It was the fact that I never got a response. Compounded over the course of a couple months and ten job applications later I began to doubt the strength of my resume (and I lost some faith in the very institutions that I was applying to.)
My First Rejection
That spring I got one rejection letter. Though I changed the name of the company and position, it looked something like this, and it came by email:
I was incredibly confused. I had just been rejected, but it actually felt good! Someone had given me the time of day and had actually taken a few minutes of their life to write a letter, albeit brief and likely a template.
Employers, take note. If you want to not only contribute some good to the lives of many unemployed people looking for jobs, but also build your reputation as a “nice” company, send out rejection letters. It’s the least you can do. Yes, this can be difficult if you have a lot of applications, it can be frustrating for you to try and reply to all of them. But it’s also a courtesy. Even if you send a standard rejection letter that you downloaded from a template site online, it’s at least a response. This way you are not keeping hopes alive. It also makes your company look better.
As for me, I will make you this promise: if you apply to an ad for a job that I have posted, I will get back to you, even if the news isn’t all that rosy. I know how it feels.
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