My Favorite Job Hunting Pet Peeve

Job hunting can be a pain, especially when nobody cares about your career but yourself.

Newspaper with “Searching for a Career?”

This post was written as part of Peeve Week 2: Work.

One of my job search pet peeves has to do with job hunting rejection. No one enjoys being rejected again and again, company after company, but there is a certain type of rejection that holds a special place in my heart.

Rejection by Pony Express

Here’s a typical case. You apply to a company for a job. You might get a email confirming reception of your CV but often not. A few months later, a beautifully word-processed letter arrives thanking you for your interest but acknowledging that your candidacy doesn’t meet the company’s present needs. What went wrong?

  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 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. Businesses 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 while 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).

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

Jacob Share created JobMob to rally job seekers and jobfinders in finding jobs in Israel and all over the world. If you liked this post, subscribe to the JobMob RSS Feed for more real-life job search attitude. While you’re at it, have a laugh on us with some funny job search horror stories.

9 thoughts on “My Favorite Job Hunting Pet Peeve”

  1. ha, something similar has happened to me but with a different outcome. I was interviewed by this college to teach one or two courses. After the interview they decided that they should offer me to teach one of the courses but not the other one. So I got an email and a phone call from them notifying me that I've been hired to teach this one course. Next day I'm getting a rejection letter from them in the mail, with a general apology that they won't be offering me to teach that other course 🙂

  2. Yeah, that definitely is frustrating.
    I tried to apply to Woolworths and their company, and Coles and their company. I always got a like… this position has already been filled (it seems as if my applications haven't even been looked at yet and the position is already filled), and followed by a "It has been x months since you applied…" and toss my application out unless I reapplied. This went on for two years and I never got any chance at a job… sigh.
    If these rejection letters are to be sent out, I wish they'd at least tell us an honest reason. We found someone before we read your submissions… you lack the ___ skill which we need (in which case you would then know what to work on)… you know?

  3. It is always depressing looking at those employment kiosks in the stores where people fill out the job applications. I cringe and am glad I am no longer looking for a job.

    Having worked in retail before, we probably had about fifteen people turn in applications a day. I can guarantee that most of these weren't read.

  4. Vivien – that's Twilight Zone weird. You should ask them if their right hand knows what the left one is doing 😉

    Jess – sounds like we're on the same wavelength. Then there's the job boards problem – companies don't bother pulling listings because they consider it a waste of time and the boards like to boast about how many listings there are, so there's alot of expired stuff out there. And of course, the rest of use get caught in the pinch

    Ronald – I've been to unemployment offices in Canada, France and Israel. There are only 2 places more depressing; a morgue, and the waiting room at a dental surgery clinic 🙂

  5. It’s of crucial importance not to take rejection personally. After all, an employer can’t really tell how good you’ll be at a job unless you’re given a chance to do … a successful candidate may excel at putting themselves across, but when it comes down to doing a job, they may not be quite what they’re cracked up to be

  6. It is important to destroy the people. Finally, unless the employer has the opportunity to actually, you are at work to say how good you can not … those who can not be good to put yourself through When it comes to work, I have it and not understand what is cracked up

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