As much as I don’t like getting rejections, I still think they’re better than the alternative.
And by that I don’t mean an acceptance or job offer. I think those are more like the opposite of a rejection.
But the alternative to a rejection is never hearing at all.
That’s something we’re all pretty familiar with, especially in this economy.
I wonder when actually responding to an application became the exception, rather than the rule.
I’ve actually heard a famous playwright say that when she gets a rejection letter (which I find hard to imagine, but never mind), she licks her finger and rubs it across the signature and if the ink runs because it was actually signed by a person, she feels she’s had a good day.
The reason managers in all fields generally give for their non-communicative ways is that they’re so over-whelmed by applicants they don’t have time to respond to each one.
As reasonable as that sounds, why isn’t taking the time to acknowledge those who sought to work with you considered part of the basic cost of doing business?
As much as the time factor is doubtless part of the reason managers don’t respond to applicants, I also think they keep mum because they’d rather avoid the difficult experience of saying no to someone.
That’s too bad, because both job seekers and employers have a lot to gain through a more robust approach to rejections. First of all, job seekers would know where they stand. Even if you figure you didn’t get the job, it’s hard to close the door completely until you’re sure. Once you know it’s shut, it’s easier to concentrate on researching prospects, making new contacts and looking for doors that are open.
It would be even more helpful if you found out why you didn’t get the job. Maybe you didn’t clearly show the links between what you’ve done before and what you could do for them. Or maybe there just wasn’t a match between your skills and what they were looking for.
If that’s the case, managers have a lot to gain by working on their rejection procedures, too. When it’s necessary to tell applicant after applicant that they’re not a good fit for the job, managers might realize it’s time to re-visit their recruitment process. As a result, they’d get more of the right kind of applicants, fewer misfits and be better able to re-direct promising candidates.
What’s your take on this? Do you think it’s reasonable to expect some sort of response from a hiring manager?
A simple yes or no answer would suffice.
by Danielle Dresden