When talking about unemployment, I often talk about how many companies ghost you after you send in an application. You might get a confirmation the application was received, you might now, and you most likely will never hear from them again.

I’ve applied to around 25 jobs now, most of which I didn’t hear back from. But three of them sent me rejection emails. And I know what you’re thinking, at least they got back to me! But in reality it’s one big ouch.

I guess when I don’t hear back from them I can at least pretend they were never seriously looking for candidates anyway. But when I get straight up rejected, with no explanation of course, I know that they looked at my resume and decided not to even give me a shot at an interview.

So, that sucks. But I’m just going to try and take it as a humbling experience. And hopefully when someone does reach out to me for a next step, I’ll know that they think I’m a good fit so I can be confident that I’m a good fit.

12 thoughts on “Rejected

  1. I think rejection emails can be automated, and sometimes employers post positions even if they already have someone in mind. Or a current employee refers someone, which gives them a step above everyone else despite their skills. They might have sent your resume through an Applicant Tracking System instead of actually reading it. There are many reasons people can receive a rejection, and it’s not always because of you. But even if it is, it’s probably not the best place to work if they don’t realize your potential. Keep applying to jobs and someone is bound to want you as an employee!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Rosie,
    A little more free advice… If you got three acknowledgements out of 25 applications you are doing about two orders of magnitude better than I did when I was in your position. I sent out HUNDREDS of applications and got less than a handful of acknowledgements. This is a shotgun process, not a sharpshooter process. Volume, volume, volume AND range, range, range. Try to focus, but the main thing is to apply, apply, apply. Once you get a job, keep applying for other openings for AT LEAST 90 days. They may decide you’re not right for the job (during your probation) or you may decide they’re not right for you (during their probation).

    Do NOT settle on the job just to have a job. Evaluate the job and continue to evaluate the job at least annually. Opportunities change. Supervisors change. Colleagues change. Any of which can make a job heaven or hell…

    Also, remember you are still young enough to start your own side gig and build it into a business / career where you have more control. Once you settle down and have kids and a mortgage it gets a LOT more problematic.

    And DO NOT take it personally – no matter how it feels…

    I applied for a job with a power company to work on their web site. I felt fully qualified as a developer, supervisor and manager. I got no response. I decided to poke around and see if there was a reason. After much run around, I “accidentally” got the person responsible for the specific application review. He was VERY surprised I managed to work out who he was and how I managed to get through to his phone number. The number was NOT included in the posting. He pulled my pdf application (they scanned all paper applications) and said flatly that I was not qualified. He said the position required a computer science degree and technical certifications as well as experience with specific technologies. When I told him the experience was greater than the existence of the technology, he said he didn’t care, it was what the hiring manager was specifying.

    He continued, as I didn’t have the correct degree or certifications I would never be selected anyway. I asked what that meant. He said they get 2,000 applications per day and and they are required to keep the posting open for two business weeks. Of those 20,000 applications, the computer will select the top 10 and he will forward those to the hiring official. If they are not satisfactory, he will pull the next 10 from the system. All paper applications are scanned in and OCR’d, so no hands actually touch them, no eyes actually see them. The computer makes the selections based on keywords in your application. (Assuming you matched ALL the keywords in your application and the OCR picked them up correctly.)

    I advised him that by removing the human factor from the selection process he was significantly reducing the chances of them getting the “best” candidates. At “best”, he might get only the fully qualified candidates (on paper and assuming they were not lying or inflating their skills / experience). His response was: that was the system they had and HR simply didn’t have the staffing to go through 20,000 applications for a single position. He concluded by saying do not try to contact him again and don’t expect to receive an acknowledgement because they don’t send them out. Again, too high a volume / cost to be polite / professional. It’s not cost effective.

    My suggestion: record the names of the companies which do respond. If the job you get doesn’t work out, you can keep applying to those until they do hire you. Those are the companies with quality hiring processes. If they do that well, they probably do their “real” job well. If nothing else, it will give you a list of companies to invest in when you start looking for quality companies to by stock / equity in later in life.

    And, again, good luck!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, that makes me feel a little better! And wow I didn’t know the process of going through applications! A friend in HR did tell me not to get discouraged by the volume on applicants because many people who apply are nowhere near qualified and everyone is applying to everything possible. I will definitely make a note of the companies I heard from, I only felt the hurt of rejection but you’re right they have a quality hiring process at least! Thank you again for your advice!


      1. Your welcome…

        In the old days (pre-2000) there was a cost to applying for jobs. At a minimum the stamp, envelop and the printed page(s). Most unemployed people “only” applied for jobs they felt fairly qualified for. Why waste money??? Now-a-days, it costs virtually nothing to electronically submit an application. Therefor, the marginal cost to an applicant is practically zero. This means many folks will apply for any and all jobs regardless of their qualifications – after all, it’s a numbers game. Most HR depts are simply overwhelmed by the responses from unqualified and marginally qualified applications. Most don’t even bother with a cover letter. They just send their resume with the “Send” button.

        Unfortunately, it’s far too late to put the genie back in the bottle…

        Again, good luck and stay positive.


        Liked by 1 person

  3. I know the exact thing you’re feeling. I’ve applied to countless places just to never hear anything back, or get “We’re still going through them.” It’s rather disheartening

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’d be surprised how many of them get back to you out of the clear blue 12 months later with a potentially better offer than what you have at the time. 😂

    Keep putting out those feelers. Good luck!


  5. I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to take it personally. It’s shitty to think but a lot of those online applications never make it to a real person. Sometimes you’re just getting a rejection because they had too many applications and just went with the first several that fit their requirements.

    Liked by 1 person

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