The Rejection Letter No Young Professional Should EVER Receive

rejectedDear John,

Regretfully, the hiring committee chose another candidate for the accounting position. 

While I’m not in the habit of doing this for applicants, you have a great deal of promise. In fact, a number of attributes, which I’ll detail here, made you a strong candidate.

To begin with, we were particularly impressed with your leadership skills. You were a lifeguard supervisor for two summers where you managed six staff members. The recommendation from your manager described you as a “natural leader.”

Another attribute you possess is strong communication skills. You demonstrated this as president of your class at the State University of New York. There you proved your verbal communication skills as a member of the debate team. And, you wrote weekly articles for the university newspaper.

Your grade point average of 3.9/4.0 is remarkable by any standards, especially because you majored in Business Administration and minored in International  Studies. You should be extremely proud of yourself. This fact did not go unnoticed by the hiring committee; let me assure you of this.

You also came across as someone who would work well in a team environment, which is essential in our organization. By leading organizations on campus, most notably the Self-awareness Committee, you proved you work well with a diverse group of individuals..

Having played lacrosse for my college, I was impressed with the fact that you were the Captain of your team during your junior and senior year. I know how difficult it is to be a lacrosse goalie! You have be a quarterback and be able to bounce back from injuries due to blistering shots from the opposition. It is a true test of character and grit.

Lastly, I want to applaud you for taking control of the problem that arose in your dorm. You realized a problem existed with certain groups, organized a forum for people to discuss their complaints and moderated weekly meetings to create a resolution. This showed your problem-solving skills, which is important in any job. 

Despite all this, John, we couldn’t ignore one thing: your lack of job-related experience.

As you know, we need someone who can hit the ground running and has proven they can adapt to a very fast paced environment with very strict deadlines. There was simply no evidence to support you being able to handle these workplace demands. In fact, all of your experience – except your work as a lifeguard – was as a student, not a professional. 

You didn’t acquire any internship experience throughout your university years, and this hurt you.

However, it’s not too late. You can seek out internships, or volunteer experience, near your home town. You can also find many internships that allow virtual contributions. Please pursue these opportunities as soon as possible. Because to earn a spot on our team, you must have real work experience.

I wish you all the best.


Susan Jackson, Hiring Committee 


Bob McIntosh AuthorAbout the Author: Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer who leads more than 15 job search workshops at an urban career center. Jobseekers and staff look to him for advice on the job search. In addition, Bob has gained a reputation as a LinkedIn authority in the community. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Follow Bob on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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