Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A different kind of rejection

As I writer, I have grown accustomed to rejection. The form letters that encourage me to seek a different publisher or a different kind of agent or even the personal, in depth criticism that fosters the heartbreak of a near miss...

But recently, I have been reintroduced to the art of job hunting. In the internet age, job application rejection seems to be a new era of boilerplate rejections that don't even make sense. They offer kind words about my qualifications, yet don't even mention my name. How can you know pretend to remember what I have to offer when you don't even use my name?

I apologize to any firm that recognizes their letters, or their approach, represented here. I have posted these letters, after removing any identifying factors and replacing them with xxxxx. I find this interesting as an editor and a wordsmith.

Let's face it. I know I won't get a call from many of these organizations. It's not humanly possible. This one handles the combination of anonymity and bad news very well. I like this one. I would write a letter like this if I were hiring. Good job to their writers/HR people... It even uses my name!!!

"Dear Angel, 

Thank you for applying for the XXXXX position with XXXX. We appreciate your interest in our organization. I wanted to let you know that we selected someone else for this position.

Should you be interested in getting involved with XXXX in a different capacity, do not hesitate to contact us in the future.

Best of luck with your future endeavors."
Very nicely done. This one on the other hand...

"I am writing in connection with your recent application to the AD for Communications role. You have an impressive background, and we are pleased that you have thought of XXXX in connection with your job search. We have completed the process and are not able to offer you a job at this time.
We do want to thank you, however, for your interest in XXXX and wish you the best with respect to your future endeavors."
The first sentence has several issues. No name included anywhere, not even an indication who "I" is...

 My next example has many merits. It uses my full name and comes from a person.

"Dear Angel Ackerman,

Thank you for your interest in employment at XXXXXXX. While your background and experiences are noteworthy, we have decided to move ahead with other candidates whose qualifications more closely fit the department's needs.

You can continue your job search by visiting our website
for information on other vacant positions at XXXX.

Best wishes in your search for a job that offers you challenges and rewards.

But I am uncomfortable with the discussion of my noteworthy experiences and the suggestion that my qualifications don't fit. My qualifications fit very nicely for this position. I have four years experience doing exactly this job. Each job only has one person that can fill it, and in the end, there are many factors and some are as simple as presentation.

It's very interesting to me as an editor to see the word choice that companies use in these letters. I guess that's the fun of rejection.

So, keep sending those rejections!

And I'll keep looking for those challenges and rewards.

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