April 29, 2009

Rejection Letters....

While doing a bit of catch-up reading at the reference desk this afternoon, I came across an article on college rejection letters, "Rejection: How Colleges Do It." It appears students have started not only sharing their rejections, but critiquing them as well. It made me reminiscence a bit about my job hunt. While applying to a college and applying for a job are different, the sting of rejection is fundamentally the same. The reactions from some of the students to wording in the letters made me laugh. Not at them, because at that age it's all so important, but because as you continue in life you'll still get strange rejection letters.

For me several stand out. One wasn't even a rejection letter per se. I had the honor of being offered an interview and then a week later having the interview offer pulled. Due to budget constraints, they could only interview two, so sorry, not you. Believe it or not, almost a month later the same university called to see if I was still interested. It appears the other two interviews did not go well. I said yes. Friends were aghast, but I wanted/needed a full-time job. I was also impressed that they did call me back as many universities might have been too embarrassed. And, yes, I was offered and accepted the job and have very fond memories of my two plus years there.

The other was a rejection letter with somewhat of a twist. I had already received rejection letter one from this particular institution. Then, several months later, I received an e-mail that they were again considering candidates from the applicant pool, was I still interested. Again, what the heck. I don't remember if the interviews fell through or if the selected candidate declined. At any rate, I didn't hear from them again until I received the second rejection letter. They thanked me for interviewing with them, but advised they had selected someone else. I never interviewed with them. It would have been a great location and probably a good job, but I still think of that institution as a bit flaky.

The other one that stands out was a rejection letter to an entry level job stating there were more qualified candidates. This for a job that encouraged new graduates to apply. Now, I realize that many times experienced librarians apply for entry level positions due to location, goals or any number of other reasons, but to be told I was underqualified for an entry level job is still something I shake my head about. I'm sure that's not how they intended it, but that's how it came across.

I also have one reject letter that stands out in a good way... a positive rejection. It had wording stating something to the effect that they hoped I would apply for future positions at their insitution. That one made me feel pretty good.

I'm sure I could cull a few more from the folders I have (for some reason I still have many of my reject letters) but those are the ones that years later still stand out. Do you have any rejection letters that stand out?