by Beth Anne Reed
Job seeker short-hand for the ‘we didn’t select you’ message, usually an email these days is – aptly – TNT. (Kerpow! Kabam!) The ‘Thanks, but no Thanks’ letter landing in your inbox with a thud of rejection.
Leading up to this brush off is usually a lot of work – time and effort to create a cover letter, customize your resume, find potential contacts within the company, and other possible activities to become the successful candidate. All of the advice that job seekers get from various authorities on the subject.
But the letter itself is usually authored and sent by a no-reply email address within the target company and clearly written in a standard, passive voice format and used to lump together all of the unsuccessful candidates in one stroke. Legal may have had a hand, HR gave their stamp of approval on the format too. They are trying for a tone somewhere in the scale of cool, but not inhuman.
Rejected. But what are they really rejecting? Job seekers believe they, themselves are being rejected. (Writers have plenty of experience with rejection by form letter, too.) Words on a document, strung together to create sentences using ‘key words’ – that is what is being rejected. Not the skills, definitely not the job seeker.
Job seekers assign negativity to their skills, their experience, their whole being based on these few words strung together on an automated form letter, electronically launched through cyberspace and blasting like TNT into their day. No, no, no – stop this madness. It isn’t You, Yourself that has been turned down. You will never know the why behind this missive – but it is not ever a rejection of You (insert your name here). They don’t know You, possibly a real live person never even read Your documents – instead a computer algorithm decided suitability. And even if You get rejected after a phone interview, or a face to face interview, You are not being rejected as a person.
Yes, thinking about what can be done better next time is a worthy response – improved writing skills, more careful consideration to match your skills to the ad, more effort to get in touch with people who can advocate for you at the company. All time and effort well spent.
As to using the TNT to point out any unworthiness, knock it off. Find someone who knows you well, who will remind you of all your good qualities, or someone to give you a hug. And get busy on the next opportunity.
Beth Anne Reed has a background in Customer Relations, Process & Project Management and a deep interest in Written Communications.
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