No one enjoys being rejected by company after company. However, there is a certain type of rejection that I find particularly irritating.

“A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that can instill extreme frustration in an individual. Typically each person has several pet peeves that aggravate her or him more than the average person. Another person may not react as negatively or at all to the same circumstance.” –Wikipedia

Blank EnvelopeRejection by Snail Mail

How many times has this happened to you?

You submit a CV to a company for a job opening via email, written job application, whatever. You may get a confirmation email but often not.

A few months later, a letter arrives via the post office thanking you for your interest but acknowledging that your candidacy doesn't meet the company's present needs. What is wrong with this?

  1. Your skills may have met the company's needs at the time that you applied, but that's a foregone conclusion now that someone else has the position.
  2. So much time has passed since you submitted your resume that you probably gave up hope and may have even found a job in the meantime. I've had a few Israeli hitech companies reject me this way in the past, and I was always surprised when the letter appeared in my mailbox, not even knowing that my submission had been looked at.
  3. The letter will almost always be some sort of template, impersonal in every way.
  4. For-profit organizations should only do things that make business sense. What can a company gain by taking so long to reject you? Even if the mail is automatically-generated, this process still costs money and the chances of leaving a positive impression on you are slim by this point.
  5. The icing on the cake is when the rejection letter tells you that your resume will be conserved in the company's database for future considerations. At this point, it's likely that you don't even want to work for them anymore (it does feel as if they've been toying with you somewhat). It rings hollow but you may be surprised to find out that companies will act on your old CV.

Companies should just stop this practice. I'd rather get a rejection letter that's sincere but definite than a letter that's open-ended and meaningless.

Have you had this happen to you? What are your job search pet peeves?

If you liked this article, you'll love The Funniest Rejection Letter Ever.

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    That is bad. However, the worst (and this just happened to me recently) is going in for not one, but two interviews, answering lenghty questions to send in after the interview, and never hearing back! I’ve done a follow up letter and called-nothing!!! Why not just tell me, “not interested”? I really wanted to work there, but now I’m glad I didn’t get the job- a company that conducts itself like that is one I don’t want to work for!

  2. Jacob Share

    It’s true – no rejection at all is really annoying, and the further you went in the recruitment process just makes it worse.

    I don’t know about that company, but their HR department could use some new recruits 🙂

  3. josh

    On the other hand though, while recruitment offices are usually a wing of the HR depts., they are run seperately. The recruitment office might suck, though once through the door, the company might be really cool. In contrast, HR might be filled with a cool bunch of friendly women (usually at least), but the rest of the company are back-stabbing monkeys.

    My current job company practically begged me (I like to think) to come for an interview. After I originally applied, they sent the standard ‘no positions left – but we’ll keep your CV for future reference’ snail mail. About five months later, they called to invite me in. I declined saying that I already had a job lined up (I really did), I had miluim, and a short trip overseas as well. So I go overseas, and checking messages after returning, they same girl inviting me for an interview session. I figured I had nothing to lose seeing as how starting at the other job was still several days away.

    Went in passed the tests, group dynamics and interview and got the job after a lunch call to the other job reveals that after they had actually accepted me, they rejected me without telling. Screw them, I got a much better job. Way to go obnoxious recruiting girl, way to go for keeping my CV!

  4. Kate

    It is remarkable to be able to secure any kind of employment these days.

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