I need to write some rejection letters soon. There are nice ways and not-nice ways to write these, but there seems to be no perfect way. I tend to write personalized rejection letters so that each candidate knows their application was carefully considered, but I wonder if that makes the rejectee feel better or worse. That is, is it better to be rejected in an impersonal way, as if by a committee or department, or is it better to be rejected by someone who thought about your application but still doesn't want to hire you?
I don't go on and on about each rejected candidate's application -- I keep it short -- but I do like to show that the application was read and considered.
For those candidates who applied even though they had absolutely no expertise relevant to the position, it is easy to explain that we hired someone with the required expertise and credentials. For those who were excellent candidates, the rejection letter is more difficult to compose, as it makes the decision seem arbitrary: i.e., you're great but you're not great.
And then there's the question of how to close the letter. I have personally hated (irrationally, I admit) the 'best of luck with your career' kinds of letter closings, but I can see why people use these as a way to lessen the abruptness of the closing of the letter. And of course in some cases the sentiment is sincere.
Has anyone ever received a 'good' rejection letter? If so, what was good about it?
13 years ago