Job Rejections

1.”Why don’t employers tell you the real reason they’re rejecting you?”

Often it’s simply because they don’t have time. Providing thoughtful feedback takes time and energy, and employers usually have hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants to get back to. Plus, the reason for the rejection may be hard to convey diplomatically, and few hiring managers want to take on the awkwardness of explaining, for example, that you didn’t seem sharp enough. And some employers even have companywide policies not to give feedback to rejected candidates, out of concern it could cause legal problems if it’s misinterpreted.

2.”I was really qualified for the job but got rejected anyway. Can I ask them to reconsider?” 

No. It will come across as thinking that you know better than they do about what qualifications they’re looking for. It’s possible that your qualifications aren’t as strong as you think they are – or maybe they are, but other candidates were stronger, since employers often get dozens or even hundreds of highly qualified applicants for a single position. Even if you think the employer made the wrong call, challenging it will make you look a little naive and out of touch

3. “I keep getting rejection letters that praise my qualifications.”

You may be wondering, if you’re so great, why you keep getting rejected. See above; it’s almost certainly a form letter. Most employers include some vague praise in rejection form letters, in an attempt to be kind. It might be a misguided attempt, but people also complain if rejections are too blunt or utilitarian. It’s hard, if not impossible, to write a rejection letter that will please everyone.

4. “I received a rejection the same day I applied. Did anyone even read my resume?”

If you applied using an online application system (as opposed to simply emailing your resume and cover letter), it’s possible that you didn’t have a particular qualification that the system is programmed to screen for, or that there’s some other reason for the quick rejection, like that you’re marked ineligible because you applied previously. But it’s also possible that a human did review your materials; resume screening tends to be a very quick process, and human screens will usually know in a minute or two if they’re going to reject you. That might sound like you’re not getting much consideration, but people who look at hundreds of resumes get pretty fast at processing them accurately.

5.”I was rejected but they encouraged me to apply for other openings. Do they really mean it?”

 They might! Sometimes that’s part of a form letter and the employer is saying it to everyone, but sometimes it’s a personalized request to you. There’s no harm in taking them at their word and trying again.