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Nice rejection letters

Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Does anyone have any good/nice/friendly form rejection letters. My current one (for people who don't bring in to interview) is below:

Thank you for your interest in Surf Protect. At this time we do not see a match between your skill set and our needs. Good luck with your job search.
Sincerely,
Mark A. Herschberg


For people we do interview

Thank you for your interest in Surf Protect. We appreciate the time you took to come into our office and meet with us. At this time we do not see a match between your skill set and our needs. Good luck with your job search.
Sincerely,
Mark A. Herschberg


Thanks for any feedback.
--Mark
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Those are nice rejection letters, Mark.
But I'm going to be picky.
How about adding a few lines expressing interest in what they are doing
and asking them to contact the office again should they acquire skills that match your requirements. This applies especially to the ones you interview. You could be amazed how nice words work transformations.
It also reflects that this is a company that holds good personnel reviews and well worth working for long-term.
IT really should not be a "Wham Bham Thank you Ma'am" kind of industry.

regards
[ November 08, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Your examples very soft and sweet like female owner company. Rejected one is OK. Invited one replace at this time we do not see a match between your skill set and our needs with at this time we decide to select a better fit candidate.
You could add a time frame clause in because you obviously know this particular candidate do not fit well with the team whether technical skills or soft skills - human chemistry.
Regards,
MCao
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Matt Cao:
Hi,
You could add a time frame clause in because you obviously know this particular candidate do not fit well with the team whether technical skills or soft skills - human chemistry.
Regards,
MCao

Something like "Hell will freeze over before we anticipate needing someone with your personality"? ;-)


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi Alfred,
Well... I have seen candidates beyond our imagination, one came in with hair stood up on one side of the head. Another one burped then farted - a loud one. The list could go on. Heck, Friday morning in US, I think that enough for office entertainment.
Regards,
MCao
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
I get a kick out of the kids with spiky hair myself.....
Some of them know what they're doing, others don't.....
stara szkapa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
I would prefer to get not nice, and not friendly rejection letter.
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
I would prefer to get not nice, and not friendly rejection letter.


Would you have an example of the kind of letter you'd like to recieve ?
regards
stara szkapa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
Thank you for your interest in Surf Protect. We appreciate the time you took to come into our office and meet with us. Because of you lacking sufficient communication skills we are not considering you for employment, and it is unlikely we ever will. Good luck with your job search.
PS: At least I would know where I am.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Your example is for receiver to read between the lines, no establish organization ever opt for such statement because it opens for lawsuits.
Regards,
MCao
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Perhaps a little questionnaire at the start, as to general likes and dislikes, could be given at the interview to fill out.
Do you prefer to be told why you failed/performed well?
How do you think personal assessments / reviews should end ?
Obviously the questions can be phrased a lot better.Personally I'd be very offended if I got starza's letter.Someone else could be very offended with mine, if it seemed obvious that it was meaningless and there was no intention of following through.
But there might be some candidates that you'd like to interview again if there was an opportunity and a nice letter of rejection paves the way, just in case.
regards
[ November 08, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
While I would like to provide feedback, for legal reasons, I can't go into details in the letter.
--Mark
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
I'm not sure why people need to learn why they were rejected in the letter anyway. I usually know the moment I walk out of the interview (if not before that).
Sometimes (particularly lately) it's really not personal at all. They had two or three excellent candidates and could take only one. Nothing wrong with the other(s), just that they felt a little more comfortable with one. Or even made a coin flip to choose....
Carlisia Campos
sanitation engineer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 22, 2001
Posts: 135
The nicest rejection letter I got was from a top 5 consulting co. after I interviewed with them. The first nice thing about it was that it was post mailed. I don't have it with me and it's been a long time, but I remember them thanking me and providing me with more information about the company, and encouraging to apply again in the future.


Carlisia Campos<br />--------------------------------<br />i blog here: carlisia.com
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Bingo.
regards
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by Carlisia Campos:
The nicest rejection letter I got was from a top 5 consulting co. after I interviewed with them. The first nice thing about it was that it was post mailed. I don't have it with me and it's been a long time, but I remember them thanking me and providing me with more information about the company, and encouraging to apply again in the future.

Hi,
Unfortunately, this only practices in the consulting industry because you are indirectly generate company revenues. It needs you.
Outside of the consulting industry, there are many levels, entities, and far more complex structures; therefore, to be fair to all types of candidates company opts to send a simple rejection letter/card with minimal explaination as much as possible. With more than one intensions, fear of lawsuits and candidate already very much understood the interview status.
Regards,
MCao
Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
Originally posted by Carlisia Campos:
The nicest rejection letter I got was from a top 5 consulting co. after I interviewed with them. The first nice thing about it was that it was post mailed. I don't have it with me and it's been a long time, but I remember them thanking me and providing me with more information about the company, and encouraging to apply again in the future.

Did you ever apply for a position with them again? In fact, has anyone ever been rejected for a job, but applied later to the same company and been successful?
Richard
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Yes, I did. At the first try, the hiring manager was a heavy case of bad breath. I can not breathe even though the conference room was quite large. My head did not receive enough oxygen; therefore, my motor skills were numb. I like the company so much, I tried again years later and was hired by different manager.
Regards,
MCao
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
I think to ask someone for an interview and not give them any qualative feedback is extremely rude and unhelpful. If you refuse to give any reasons or feedback then make the letter as short as possible and don't be friendly. When I read your letter if you're not helpful I'm going to be annoyed at you and saying something like "good luck in finding employment" will be extremely antagonising! What's the point of wishing someone good luck if your not even willing to let them know why you didn't get the job so that they can either try to fix something, gets some more skills or just apply for a different job.
You can give qualative feedback without causing legal problems. What you have to do is talk in relative terms. You can say you chose a candidate with more experience in a particular area, or with better qualifications, or even with better communication skills. Saying this they can't really dispute it because they don't know the other candidates, rather than saying something like 'you don't have strong enough communication skills' which they could try and disprove.


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
I find you are lucky to get a rejection letter in this climate.
Tony
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
You can give qualative feedback without causing legal problems. What you have to do is talk in relative terms.

I'd consult a lawyer before taking this advice. Yes, you can give feedback without legal problems. In fact, you can run a company without a sexual harassment policy and not have legal problems, and yet every corporate lawyer will tell you to adopt one.
With all due respect, to say, "even though corporate lawyers advise doing A, you can do B without problems" is a big naive. You might be able to; I might be able to. But the company as a whole contains a number of employees and sooner or later one will cross the line and you'll get sued. (Remember that if the policy takes more than 2-3 sentance, most people won't be able to remember it.)
--Mark
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
i guess sometimes you just have to chose between something that is morally right and something that lawyers advise.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
i guess sometimes you just have to chose between something that is morally right and something that lawyers advise.

I guess we just disagree, I don't see not giving feedback as immoral. Maybe you could argue that it's a curt, cold, or even downright rude, but to me, that's different from immoral.
--Mark
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
One of the benefits of working through an employment agency is that you can tell something to the agent that will filter back to the person applying for the job without having to worry about a lawsuit because it gives you deniability. For example, you might say to the agent, "we are looking for someone a little stronger in their Oracle knowledge" and the agent can tell the person that they need to boost their Oracle skills. Everyone is happy and you have complete deniability.
As far as Mark's letter of rejection I agree 100% that you should say as little as possible in a letter to a rejected candidate. For good candidates we usually add something like, "If you don't mind, we will keep your resume on file for six months and if a position opens that we think matches your skills we may call you in for further interviews."


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
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Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
You actually send letters/emails?
Can't count the number of job applications I sent off and never even got a confirmation it had been received let alone a rejection notice.
I'd add the actual reason why the application was rejected, too few companies do this and it can really help.
Was it that typo in the CV? Or the way the applicant looked nervous?
Might not be practical with rejections on people you don't invite in, but for people that you do get to speak (which should be a relatively small number) it should be common courtesy (and "we don't think you'll fit in our team" is not a useful statement, tell WHY you come to that conclusion).
Also don't send a rejection before or on the day of the interview.
I've had this happen once, got home from an interview only to find the rejection letter in the mail which had been sent 2 days prior.
I called the interviewer and he didn't know about the letter...


42
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
To make a rejection letter nicer, you could try adding a line to the effect that, "If you wish, we would retain your CV and consider you when suitable positions arise".


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HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
For good candidates we usually add something like, "If you don't mind, we will keep your resume on file for six months and if a position opens that we think matches your skills we may call you in for further interviews."

As suggested by Thomas, Ashok.
This seems to be a favoured suggestion.
regards
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
I'd add the actual reason why the application was rejected, too few companies do this and it can really help.
I'm with Mark on that one. That kind of thing can open you up to potential lawsuits.
stara szkapa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
How giving true reason is potential for lawsuit and false reason is not? Unless yours true reasons are unreasonable, unethical or unprofessional. Furthermore a false reason has potential for lawsuit on the basis of negligence causing harm, hasn�t it?
[ November 18, 2003: Message edited by: stara szkapa ]
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
There would be no problems if the reasons were fair !
I remember the theory that management meetings should be undertaken behind open doors as a good management had no secrets.
Tony
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
What kind I say, not all theories are good. I think you are good guy, but how do I know for sure you are a good guy. Did you see the point yet? Corporation do not operates on uncertainty. The letter has to be fair for all not just some of candidates.
Regards,
MCao
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
How giving true reason is potential for lawsuit and false reason is not? Unless yours true reasons are unreasonable, unethical or unprofessional. Furthermore the false reason has potential for lawsuit on the basis of negligence causing harm, isn�t it?
Any reason can potentialy lead to a lwsuit. Suppose we don't hire you because you weren't strong enough in EJB. Later we hire someone weaker because we thought she was stronger in other areas. Suddenly we are getting sued because our reason was obviously a lie and the real reason must have been something evil such as your age or race or creed.
Mark's letter does not give any false reasons. It simply states that your skill set was not a match for our needs. That is both truthful and vague enough to protect the employer.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tony Collins:

I remember the theory that management meetings should be undertaken behind open doors as a good management had no secrets.

Then how come we put passwords on our computers? :-)
IIRC, most damage to the IT system comes from employees, not outside attackers. Trust is a two way street.
--Mark
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
True but it has to be lead from the top.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Any reason can potentialy lead to a lwsuit. Suppose we don't hire you because you weren't strong enough in EJB. Later we hire someone weaker because we thought she was stronger in other areas. Suddenly we are getting sued because our reason was obviously a lie and the real reason must have been something evil such as your age or race or creed.
Mark's letter does not give any false reasons. It simply states that your skill set was not a match for our needs. That is both truthful and vague enough to protect the employer.

If that's the attitude in relations between employers and (potential) employees there's no ground for EVER getting a working relationship...
I've heard of rejected applicants sueing the company, but in all those cases the reason was discrimination (and usually false too).
People sueing because they thought they'd been passed over because of their skincolour when in fact they'd not matched the skills required (and usually knowing it in advance).
The one such case I have some personal experience with (my father was CEO of the company involved) a black person with only a highschool diploma applied for a position requiring an experienced veterinarian with university degree. When he was (obviously) turned down based on not matching the skillset required he went to court demanding a huge amount of money and another job in the company at his skilllevel but the payment of the vet. Earlier cases like that had had success sadly but here the judge decided correctly that there was no ground...
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by HS Thomas:

As suggested by Thomas, Ashok.
This seems to be a favoured suggestion.
regards

Yes, thanks for bringing it to my attention, HS. I think I missed that while glancing thru the thread - I think I should give myself morethan the usual 5 seconds per screen!
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Dear Hiring Manager
Thank you for you letter of August 15. After Careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me a position in you company at this time. This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite your company's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore I will assume the position in your company on September 4th. I look forward to seeing you then. Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.
Sincerely,
xxxxxx
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715

Hi,
This is good Mark H could use it. I'm laughing in tears.
Regards,
MCao
[ November 21, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Jim Baiter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 05, 2001
Posts: 532
You gotta stick with a real winner
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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