How To Handle Job Rejection Letters

August 28, 2013  |  



From Black Enterprise 

Gawker recently published a rejection letter from a tech startup founder who included tips for job seekers who didn’t make the cut. In the letter, Shea Gunther notified more than 900 applicants, who had little to no chance of landing a gig at his new company, on how to improve their job-seeking tactics—in 42 points to be exact.

According to the rejected candidate who forwarded the email, Gunther’s correspondence was harsh and insensitive.

“I don’t find it helpful,” the rejected applicant wrote. “I just find it arrogant.”

I’d beg to differ. I think it’s to be commended that Gunther took the time to reply to rejected applicants to detail better ways of marketing themselves. His letter holds a few hard-to-swallow truths that many job seekers can benefit from. Several are common pet peeves of HR professionals, managers and entrepreneurs who review thousands of applicants per week.

Here are a few I found myself saying ‘Amen’ to:

Do read the ad and do exactly what it asks.

Don’t ask me questions answered in the ad.

Don’t waste my time by telling me you’re not going to waste my time.

Don’t put your cover letter/introduction text into an attachment.

Do keep it short and sweet.

Don’t describe yourself as zany, crazy, or wild

Don’t ask me questions.

I’ve seen quite a few of the above while vetting freelancers and interns, and I’ve been told I’m a straight-shooter—almost to a fault—when it comes to advice and critique on practically anything.


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