Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rejection No. 1

The e-mail was short and straight to the point...

Mr. Jones,

Thank you for the opportunity to review your credentials for Job XXXXX.

Unfortunately, we have decided to focus our attention on a group of candidates who more closely match our requirements.
Please continue to visit our website at for listed positions should you be interested in other opportunities here at ###.

If you have any questions please contact ########, who is copied on this email, at 412-555-5555.

We wish you every success in your career endeavors.

In that moment, I didn't know whether to be upset with the rejection, or encouraged that I finally heard back from a job to which I applied two months ago. That makes me think the numerous other positions to which I've sent my resume are still reviewing my credentials. I have applied to dozens of jobs without a response, and I considered that the rejection. No news is bad news, right? But now I know that it is a long, hard process to hire new employees. And it makes me hopeful the other jobs I want might still be within my reach.

I share this news with all of you because I want this blog to be honest and open about what it is like to look for a new job in this environment. I don't ask for your sympathy, just that you understand.


  1. My wife, who is sort of a breadliner at the moment, did some research... and the average time that an employer takes between receipt of an application/resume and contacting the prospective employee is between 2 weeks and 1 month, depending on the industry.

    It would be interesting, though, to chart the length of time between application and response based on whether the response is positive (interview) or negative (dear, John)... Do employers wait longer to say that they prefer someone shorter/smarter/taller/better than they do to say "Michael Jones, COME ON DOWN!"

    Of course... to have a point of comparison, you are going to have to get an interview call... which I hope you all do.

  2. I know somebody well who sent out 675 letters/resumes, and had over 100 meetings/interviews. This was over an 18 month period. That person never found employment, despite having 35 years experience. Age, too much education, wrong fit for a quota, all contributed to his demise.

    ... just to put your recent experiences into perspective.

  3. "Age, too much education, wrong fit for a quota..."

    What a sad statement on our society and the public sector.

  4. Consider yourself lucky. Nobody has cared enough to even reject me yet. Not worth the typing, I guess.

  5. Maybe that means you're still in the running.

  6. The surest way to get a rejection letter is to apply for a job with the City of Pittsburgh... they seem kinda consistent in sending you a dear john letter... Shhh, I've gotten 3 :-)