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Alison Doyle

How Often Do You Receive Rejection Letters?

By March 10, 2014

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It seems like candidate rejection letters have gone by the wayside. Employers used to take the time to, at least, let candidates know after an interview that they weren't getting the job. That doesn't happen so much these days.

How often do you receive an email or letter letting you know that you're not being considered for a job for which you have applied?

Related: Job Interview Follow Up | How to Avoid the Resume Black Hole

January 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm
(1) jennifer sanderson says:

Almost never anymore. It has gotten to the point where you have to play the “guessing” game, which is simiar to dating; “will they call back?”, when did they say they would call?, maybe they are overwhelmed with work; blah, blah..you almost have to read the tea leaves these days. If they don’t contact you back within a reasonable amount of time, or don’t contact you at all, they just are not that into you….

January 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm
(2) kevin says:

Only time I get a rejection “e-mail” letter, is when I don’t make it thru the initial prescreen on an online application.
I agree with jennifer, they say they will call you back, but they never do. I have had four different companies that I have had 4 to 6 hour in person interviews with and they did not call. I had to call them back in a reasonable time to get the bad news.
Forget about getting any feedback about what you could do better to improve your next interview..

January 27, 2010 at 9:52 am
(3) Feel Lucky When I get a no thanks says:

On the rare occasions I receive a thanks, but no thanks in response to a resume submittal, I actually feel a little elated. Especially, those that are from the HR representative and not computer generated.

January 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm
(4) Jeff Fischer says:

Rejection letters or e-mails have become part of the past because no one knows how to write one and everyone is scared of being sued.

January 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm
(5) the rejected... says:

Some companies, in order to support the motto “Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. State and federal laws prohibit discrimination in employment due to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or military service. Successful completion of the screening processes are mandatory. A drug test may be required. Offers of employment are conditioned on the provision of satisfactory proof of applicant’s identity and legal authority to work in..” implement this on-line application system as a cover-up. It’s outrageous the proportion between the aplicants to the job places, ending in an automatic, computer generated rejection e-mail, and the position taked by the guy “at the right place, at the right time” within the “inner circles” of the company…

February 1, 2010 at 11:46 am
(6) Marian says:

Here in Canada, I have been job searching for the most part of 5 years (having moved to a smaller city, with contract jobs here and there). After many interviews and time schedules, I usually have to e-mail, call or send a Thank You letter to get the outcome of the position. I am not afraid of being SUED!!!

February 4, 2010 at 6:39 am
(7) zia says:

I’d rather to get a rejection letter through the phone, Email or even face to face than keep guessing for weeks.
it’s allow us to research, narrow the circle of search, reviewing other odds & put an end for our thinking
I’m quite sure all the applicants will agree with me.

March 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm
(8) Anon says:

I don’t expect any kind of response (other than computer genned) to an online application or resume submittal. But after in person interviews, especially 2nd interviews, it’s so frustrating not to hear anything. Like a previous poster said, it’s like waiting for a date to call. And I’m long past dating! LOL!

I’ve gotten a couple thanks but no thanks emails or feedback from recruiters. Other times, despite my follow up I’ve gotten no replies. But just this past Sat I got my first snail mail rejection letter! I really really wanted that particular job so, although I was very disappointed, my compliments to that company’s HR dept that they did indeed send a letter. At least I’m not wondering/waiting anymore.

I just don’t understand why a stock email can’t be sent after someone has an in person interview. All the HR person or hiring mgr would have to do is change the email address and name in the salutation and hit send!

January 9, 2011 at 8:18 am
(9) Mary says:

I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs – literally.

I’ve never heard anything back from 99% of the companies I have applied to. I’ve had a couple of interviews, but didn’t get notified after the interview one way or the other either.

January 9, 2011 at 8:21 am
(10) Dragon says:

I have been having problems trying to find a job. I have placed more than a couple of hundred apps out there and there is nothing getting back to me.

January 9, 2011 at 11:34 am
(11) Franny says:

It seems like any rejection letter I’ve ever received arrived more than a month after the last contact with the company. Certainly at that point I’ve already figured out they didn’t want me.

January 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm
(12) Jonny says:

I’ve been looking for a job for over a year and I haven’t received one single rejection letter. Haven’t got any interviews either.

January 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm
(13) lorelei lee says:

Hello Alison, I am 48 years young. I have done alot of things. I can do pretty much anything. I poured concrete for 4 years, then went on un employment for 8 months. I live in mesa az. I need a job bad and im am a special person. I shouldnt be going through this, Im planning to go to college, but please help?

January 10, 2011 at 11:48 pm
(14) Denise says:

In the past 2 years i have been unemployed, I have only received ONE rejection letter. I have applied for hundreds of jobs, went on interviews and no response. Last week I went on an interview for a small company. In 2 hours I had to interview with each staff member, 8 total including the VP. I had no clue I was interviewing with everyone, I was initially told a couple. To me that means 2-3 people. I then made it to the next round where I had to do a project, which was an explanation of how I’d handle assisting a marketing account manager with a creative project. Sent it in the day before they requested it. I felt the interviews went great, I answered the project well, but I had to send an email 2 days later to find out what was going on. I got the “we’re pursuing other candidates”
I have a diverse background, excellent skill set, but I am tired of jumping through hoops. I have no idea what employers really want, like I said I thought everything went well.
They can’t even give the common courtesy of sending an email, what’s that take 5 minutes out of your day???!

March 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm
(15) tique says:

Just flew 2,000 miles for a job interview which lasted over 3 hours. I had previously spent over an hour on the phone with this person. Then, since I am in marketing they asked me to write 3 sample marketing plans, it took about 10 hrs of my time. And I sent my thank you notes, and flew back home.

A month passed. I followed up w an email. Sorta felt it was weird I never even got a thank you after sending those plans in. True to form, no response.

Looking at the staff listing on their site shows me that the job has been filled. But I am honestly shocked and angry that I was blown off after contributing so much of my time, not to mention free marketing advice/critique/suggestions to these jerks. Sure it is good I didn’t get it, they obviously are jerks. But you’d think at this level you’d get a generic email sent from the main HR or something.

March 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm
(16) Alison Doyle, Job Search Guide says:

Considering the effort and the time involved, I agree that they should have had the courtesy to let you know one way or the other.

It’s seems that what used to be considered basic etiquette has gone by the wayside sometimes as the job market turned from one that favored employees to one that favored employers.

March 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm
(17) DougN says:

What is worse is when you submit the samples – all original – all shiny and all new work product – and you hear nothing – and a year later (or less) you see your work being used. This has happened to me several times over the years. I have tried to confronted the hi ring managers only to be told that it was part of the application process, so it became their property, thus there was no reason to notify me or to compensate me for my work product. Every lawyers I have contacted has sided with the thieves and told me not to submit the work next time. But we all know, don’t submit the application requirements and you are immediately thrown in the circular file.

March 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm
(18) Jason says:

I never get rejection letters because I apply for jobs I qualify for. After you get through the screen out, you wait, but before that you make a few proactive calls or e-mails by finding some legitimate information you can use to start a connection. Then you wait some more. If you don’t hear anything within the hiring time frame you can assume you are cast out but it pays to reconnect and see where you stand in the process. Times have changed. there are to many people applying for one positon and sometimes they don’t even hire anybody at that time.

January 4, 2012 at 2:00 am
(19) Kraig Dean says:

What REALLY gets to me regarding all these interviews, some that seemed to scream “we want you”, drug test and all that done, then nothing. This happens so much to so many people you have to wonder when you do actually start working if the employer just can’t wait to slowly and methodically destroy you. I mean, what is one to think? You are out there doing your best to work for who exactly? 65 old school questions like: “I often physically attack my co-workers when angry” or “Sometimes, if I get the chance, I’ll smoke on the job” “Its okay to steal now and then. The company makes millions so they won’t miss a $25.00 item”. Lord have mercy. I guess you just do like Mr. Spock; be quiet and cerebral, do your best job, show up on time, stay late if requested, smile whenever necessary. Its only logical.

February 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm
(20) Terry says:

I have an M.S. in psychology and generally try to apply for at least 6+ jobs a day, both in and out of my field, often times tasks that I am grossly overqualified for. I get a rejection letter (always automated) maybe .5% of the time. As for jobs I’ve interviewed for, over the past year I have had about 14 interviews for jobs that range from minimum wage to jobs within my field. One interview was a three stage process with part of the process taking up 5 straight hours of my time meeting with various team members. I always write a thank you letter. I always ask if they’ll let me know one way or the other (they always yes). As of this date I have received ONE “no thank you” call back. As far as I’m concerned, when I company wastes this much of my time and can’t produce the common courtesy to take even 10 seconds of there time to send an automated e-mail or call back, I am officially done with that company. I won’t bother applying for jobs at any of their branches and if it’s a retail chain I won’t shop at their store anymore. I realize my actions are insignificant, but when companies push people around…push back.

July 16, 2012 at 5:49 am
(21) John says:

Well that is harsh and rude. They should send you something even if its an automated email. In today’s job market you will get a lot of rejections. Especially for the younger generation (21-25). Probably why good deal of them unemployed…discouraged. A large amount have given up already. You got those who keep on trying. Then you got the ones who landed a job and not a career. Heck you got newspapers labeling us the “Lost Generation”.

July 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm
(22) neil says:

Today was momentous for me. 2 things experienced for the first time. Today, I signed on. I’m going to ve getting 50.95 a week from Dave and the Gang. Jackanackanory. I must have sent 150-200 job applications in the last month since leaving sixth form, yielding one, unsuccessful interview. The other ‘first’ I experienced today was… a rejection letter! Alas, they do exist!

Thanks, Care UK, for taking the extra minute it must have taken to inform me that my application had been received, considered, and rejected. And to all the other enployers, stick your online aptitude tests and candidate suitability questionnaires up your arses. Is it so hard to type up a “thanks but no thanks” letter and paste the email address of every unsuccessful applicant, who had taken the time of day to reply to your appeal for workers, into the BCC box? I don’t expect a personalised, bespoke report as to why you didn’t want to meet me, just tell me and let me scratch you off the list of fatcats who ain’t getting fatter off me any time soon.

November 6, 2012 at 7:23 am
(23) suzanna says:

I would rather no hear from them. I get frequent rejection emails.
I used to write down and monitor jobs I had applied for. It’s too depressing so now I get nice surprises when I receive invitations for interviews. I always keep the job description and person spec on file to relate back to just in case I forget what I have applied for.

February 7, 2013 at 5:07 am
(24) Lili says:

I have noticed that some companies are used to advertise the similar positions available and always requesting to apply with a development/marketing project. I guess it is just a trick to get free ideas for their development – nothing more!

February 20, 2013 at 6:51 am
(25) Me says:

Usually I won’t bother to read the whole email that as been sent back by the company, whenever I saw the word “After careful consideration..bla.bla..bla” I just hit delete straight away without even bothering to read the whole thing..save my time and energy..and I won’t get depressed..(just too tired getting too many rejection letters over and over again that’s all)

April 9, 2013 at 11:39 am
(26) Georgia says:

So I have recently had a phone interview that lasted an hour with the hiring manager. That was five days ago. How much time should pass before you assume you didn’t get the position?

May 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm
(27) Papa says:

I think that companies that do not send out letters are disrespectful and unprofessional. If these companies cannot invest in such a small way with people then I have no interest in them as they are too stupid to realize that relationships and respect make or break a business.

July 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm
(28) TeddyFen says:

In a recent job search, I went on 5 interviews. 2 I never heard back from, 1 I received a rejection letter and fortunately got 2 offers. I was so surprised that 2 places never even bothered to follow up with at least an email. It’s been a long time since I interviewed for a job but boy have things changed! I may be old fashioned, but I found it incredibly rude and unprofessional to not follow up at all with candidates who have actually interviewed. It’s really crazy making for candidates. I can’t imagine the little effort it would take to at least send an email or a form letter to let people know to keep looking. I run internships at my job and I would never not leave someone hanging like that. Shame on you HR people!

August 9, 2013 at 6:11 am
(29) commentor says:

One time I got an message on my message from an employer I interviewed with and thought I got the job. It was a rejection phone call. I didn’t know how to respond to that at all since it was unusual. I told them why didn’t you just send me a letter?

August 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm
(30) Me says:

Always receive it…been searching for a year already…so any letters that I received from the companies will be deleted straight away and I just don’t bother reading it..some of them even ended in a junk mail..save my time and energy already..No interview and an email from the company is a rejection letter..so DELETE, DELETE and DELETE..etc..I don`t need your sympathy and best of luck wih future endevours..hahaha!

September 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm
(31) Dave says:

Just received a rejection letter that I interviewed for a few days ago. They made it sound like I was thee person who had the right skills,education, and back ground for the job. They did let me know exactly the dates I would hear back from them but the letter was rather tacky and unprofessional to say the least. blah blah Thank you for showing interest in the xxxxx. I would like you to know that the position has been filled. Applying for these positions within the department is important for our future and I hope that this does not discourage you from submitting future applications that you qualify for. Sincerely, xxxx. Yah thanks allot.

September 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm
(32) Shannon says:


I am a recruiter and we are currently installing automatic responses into our system so that EVERY candidate, regardless of if you have interviewed or not, who have applied to us will receive a response.

My questions are:
When would you like to see that response?
Would you like it as the recruiter is viewing resumes or at the end when the position has been filled?
Would you be upset if you got both of these rejection emails at different times?
If you have not been contacted by a recruiter for even an interview would you listen to any tidbits of advice about your resume or just ignore it?
What is an acceptable timeframe that you are waiting to hear back from an employer about your application?

Thank you in advance, we really appreciate your feedback!

March 24, 2014 at 10:01 pm
(33) Don says:

One big reason companies have stopped sending out rejection letters is that it leaves a paper trail.

They are concerned about being convicted of things like discrimination.

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