This post orginally appeared in Patrick Butler’s Cuts Blog on 10 November 2010 and appears here by kind permission of The Guardian.
I am growing to appreciate the language of rejection. Sharing learning was why I started to blog about my experiences so here’s my cut out and keep guide to some of my favourite phrases from my “Thanks but no thanks” pile.
Greetings: these are an invaluable way into understanding how many applicants there were and the state of mind of the recruitment team.
“Dear Candidate” means there were so many applicants we can’t remember all their names.
“Dear [mailmerge list#$%%/]” means there will shortly be a vacancy in our admin support section for someone who can actually do mailmerge.
The opening sentence: vital for setting the tone of what’s to come.
“Thank you for…” means don’t bother to read the rest of this because you haven’t got the job.
“I am sorry to tell you that …” means definitely don’t bother to read the rest of this because you really haven’t got the job.
The difficult second sentence: how to smooth the feelings.
“The post attracted unprecedented levels of interest …” means we should have offered far less money.
“I enjoyed reading your application…” means it gave me a few good laughs.
“We enjoyed reading your application …” means the whole HR department had a few good laughs.
Signing off: saying goodbye is the hardest thing.
“We know this news must be disappointing to you …’ means you can cancel the haircut and take the new suit back to M&S.
“Unfortunately we cannot provide more detailed feedback …” means we simply don’t know where to start and we’re worried about your self-image.
“We will be retaining your details on file …” means its in the bin.
My favourite so far has got to be.
“I’m sorry, you weren’t within a million miles of the shortlist.”
Brief and honest. Just like my CV … no really.