Jeremy Southern: Rejection without dejection

Jeremy Southern: Rejection without dejection

By Jeremy Southern (above), ex-executive creative director and current freelance creative/copywriter.


Over the last 6 months I have applied for a lot of jobs.
In each instance, (if I got a reply,) the response was the same.
You didn’t get the gig.
Of course, this unwanted pronouncement was served up in a number of unedifying formats.
The anodyne “We regret to inform you we won’t be taking your application further.”
The ambiguous “we’ve decided to proceed with a candidate whose skills are more aligned with our values and culture.”
The ego-crushing “we are continuing our search for a suitable candidate.”
And the always popular no response at all.
Now not getting the job is fine. Shit happens. But here’s my beef.
In my application you asked for every detail of my employment history, down to the lemonade stand I had as a kid.
You asked for my schooling all the way back to Kindy.
You asked for references, FB and Linkedin handles and a photo.
And you asked for a cover letter showcasing my accomplishments and personal growth.
In short, you asked me to put in a great deal of time, thought and effort.
But then, when it’s your turn, suddenly all bets are off.
You get back to me (belatedly) with a ludicrously brief, poorly-worded letter, as light on feedback as it is on sympathy.
As I was digesting the latest of these, it suddenly hit me. These companies don’t know how to reject someone properly.
Rejection letters are, after all, an acquired skill, just like any other form of copywriting. And maybe they just don’t know how to write them.
But I do.
Having been rejected over 100 times, I’m now a frickin’ expert.
And that’s why I’m now offering my services as a rejection letter specialist.
All those toe-curling letters you (or your bot) hate to write. I’ll do them. I’ll gently inform applicants they didn’t get the job. I’ll give thoughtful and useful feedback and leave them feeling that although not lucky this time, they are a step closer to their goal.
Of course, if you have any other writing you need doing, I will happily consider that as well. But from where I’m sitting right now, rejection letters appear to be the next boom industry.