Presenting the world’s first-ever honest rejection

By By Matt Homer

By Matt Homer

Rejection is a part of reality. And, as college students, we receive a strong dosage. We apply to scholarships, academic programs, work positions, internships and a variety of other opportunities. Through these attempts, we undoubtedly experience setbacks. Some are harder to take than others, but nearly all are accompanied by a rejection letter.

Although there’s not much a letter can do to assuage the disappointment, the authors generally try to do precisely that. However, real relief comes from knowing that other opportunities will come along and responding with an increased resolve for the future. It stands to reason that the higher you set your sails, the more likely you are to ultimately succeed. Lots of rejection letters should eventually bring acceptance ones as well.

As I near graduation this May, I’ve applied to more than a few post-graduation opportunities, and have consequently become acquainted with the art of rejection. I imagine most of us have experienced this.

In the spirit of jest (and perhaps a slight twinge of bitterness as well) I chose to write an honest rejection letter-one that we have never received because it doesn’t include disingenuous apologies and regrets. Admittedly, it’s deliberate hyperbole and therefore may come across as bit harsh. That’s the intention.

Dear (insert your name),

We would like to thank you for your interest in (this scholarship, this graduate school, our organization, etc.). Although we received many superbly qualified applications this year, yours was not one of them. We do not have time to write you an individual response, but the reason for your rejection may fit into one of the following two categories: 1) we chose to select an applicant with a personal connection to (the committee, the board, etc.) or 2) your qualifications were sub-par.

If you fall into the first category, we would like you to know that our selection process was particularly easy this year because so many applicants had personal connections. Some were the children or relatives of current employees. Others knew someone who knew us. This made these candidates more qualified than you. In fact, we were fortunate that we didn’t even have to look at your rsum or letters of recommendation! However, we do appreciate receiving them because it diminishes our appearance of nepotism.

In the case that you fall into the second category, we wish you to know that we may have been interested with your accomplishments, but we ultimately found them inferior. Frankly, you were at the bottom of the barrel. Some of the (board, committee, staff) members were quite baffled that you even applied. However, we understand the 12-page application may have been too much for you. It may also be the case that, when your rsum was scanned by our computer, it did not match enough of our keywords. In any event, we do hope that you will find better luck with a position that meets your limited qualifications.

Once again, thank you for your interest. We realize you put a lot of time into your application and we feel good knowing that so many people wish they could have this (internship, scholarship, job, etc.). I suppose you could say it’s vanity, but we prefer to call it “excellence.” However, should you decide to reapply (i.e. find an inside connection or beef up your rsum) we would be happy to consider your application again next year.

Best of luck (after all, you need it),

Elytis Highfalutin, III

Matt Homer