Write Reasonable Rejection Letters

Candidates need to know where they stand — from the time you receive a resume until you've either hired them or rejected them. Make sure your autoresponses — or real rejection letters — don't look like this:

Subject: Got your pathetic resume.

To: (name withheld out of decency)


We here at insult.com got this soggy lump of drivel that you submitted to our jobs mailbox. Why you could even think to send this piece of incoherent junk out for potential employers to look at is utterly beyond us.

It will be cursorily examined by a disinterested intern in HR, who is exceedingly spiteful toward any applicant for a job that pays more than hers (which is, basically, all of them). She was an English major and so the abundant grammatical and spelling errors in your CV will doubtless either make her laugh, spit or scream with rage. Even money on which one yours will do. She mails the funny ones to her friends and sometimes posts them on alt.personals.bondage.

In the VERY unlikely event that she passes it on to the hiring manager, he or she will probably cut it up for paper dolls. Your inflated claims of advanced degrees will be ignored, your trumped-up claims of decades of experience with buzzword-system-of-the-month will incite giggles and/or guffaws (as gender-appropriate). He or she will call someone who knows someone who knows someone at the last few places you claim to have worked, and see if anyone remembers you there, and if so, what an incompetent jerk you were.The three or so poor wankers invited in for personal interviews will be grilled slowly over medium heat by people who are far more knowledgeable than they, over every niggling technical point they claim to know, until their brains run out their ears. We do this for the sheer amusement. And to perpetuate the company culture.We won't even call any of them back. We'll hire a friend of ours from college, instead. The whole job-advertising process is just window dressing to give the investors warm fuzzies.Let's face it, we get 3,000 applications for every position. Don't get your hopes up.

Worst Wishes,


This kind of a rejection begs for John Kador's rejection rejection letter.All a rejection letter has to say is, “Thank you for your resume. Your experience doesn't fit our needs at this time.” That's it.

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