In order to feel more in control of my life while trying to navigate a move overseas, I started keeping a spreadsheet of all the jobs I applied to, including keeping track of how many applications I hear back from. Safe to say, it’s the most depressing spreadsheet I’ve ever created.
The job hunt was so depressing and demoralising that rejection emails actually improved my mood, because the company was at least acknowledging the effort I’d put in and letting me know that I could stop holding out hope because the position had been filled. I even sent responses to that effect, thanking them for letting me know, because the simple act of ‘letting me know’ has almost become obsolete.
A rejection email feels like basic decency – in exchange for the effort you put into applying for a job, the company then goes to the effort of sending out an email to everyone who wasn’t successful. It’s a reasonable trade-off.
But out of the 65 jobs I applied while in the UK in March and April, I only heard back from 26 of the companies I’d applied to. That means that 39 of them, or 60%, simply didn’t respond at all. (For the record, I was offered a grand total of seven interviews. Everyone who said that job hunting in London was incredibly competitive was understating it.)
These were all large and well-established companies, who presumably have a team dedicated to handling things like job applications and interviews. Am I meant to believe that no single person at these companies can find the time to arrange a mass send-out of generic rejection emails? It would take less than five minutes to write it and BCC everyone who applied.
Rejection emails seem like a potentially old-fashioned habit that’s gone the way of accurately RSVPing to events in a timely manner, or birthday cards.
And that’s a shame, because in this incredibly competitive era where everyone is clobbering together as many freelance jobs as possible until they have something that resembles a career, few things are more valuable than time.
Rejection emails acknowledge that. So if any companies are reading this, please feel free to send me as many rejection emails as you like. I eagerly await your response. Warm regards!