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Alison Doyle

The Four Minute Job Rejection Letter

By March 5, 2014

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I received an email from a site visitor who shared the automated correspondence he received from a company where he had applied for a job.

He received a nice automated response saying that his resume would be forwarded to the recruiting team to review. Four minutes later he received an automated rejection letter from the same email account stating that he wasn't going to be considered for the position.

My guess is that the "recruiting team" was actually the company's recruiting software which determined he wasn't a match, but, a four minute rejection was painful for him. As he said in his email message: "I can not believe, nor will anyone else believe, that a true evaluation of my resume was performed in four minutes. It was despicable to receive a rejection that quickly from your automated system. Your company didn't have the decency to wait a day before rejecting me as a candidate."

On the plus side, I suppose he should be thankful that he received a rejection letter at all. In our poll, 16% of the respondents said they never receive a rejection letter and 25% rarely receive one. A lucky 19% of respondents always hears back from employers.

Poll: How often do you receive a rejection letter?

Related Articles: Rejection Letters | Job Offer Letters

Image Copyright Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

March 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm
(1) TIm Sackett says:

“Your company didn’t have the decency to wait a day before rejecting me as a candidate.”

So, even though I know the moment I see you’re resume you’re not going to fit the position, I should wait 24 hours and then send you a rejection letter. How does that make any sense at all!?

You are either a fit, or you are not. There is no resume rejection etiquette. The average resume is looked at for about 15 seconds. The 4 minute rejection was probably 3 minutes and 45 seconds longer than it needed to be!

March 5, 2014 at 11:25 pm
(2) IPC says:

I think the bigger issues is how unscientific recruiting is. The presupposition behind having a job description is that the job evaluation (if done) on the position is accurate to the role. In my experience it is not.

When a firm cannot justify why someone was not “a fit” with sound logic and evidence, the firm is opened up for a lawsuit on the grounds of unfair hiring practices.

In sum, I hope whomever doesn’t practice sound hiring procedures (read: legal) gets what is coming to them

March 10, 2014 at 11:34 am
(3) Sandy says:

I also received a quick rejection note after spending about 2 hours on an application. I had been in touch, prior with the HR person from that particular company. I was told to send my resume first to the HR person then fill out the application. Upon the rejection, I contacted the HR person who explain I answer “no” to a question, which then the computer automatically rejects the application. I misunderstood the question, which was also toward the end off the long application process. The HR person corrected the application, and still offer a position to me. Without the personal connection, I know the job offer would not happen.

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