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Resume Help/Should I still thank you after the rejection?


Dear Sir,

I've just applied for a manager's job  but received a failure notification. The email was short and impersonal. Its signature just said 'HR department'.
Should I still write a reply to thank them for their time?
Thank you

Hi Tony,

As difficult as it may be, a thank you note is still the polite thing to do.  These kinds of rejections are always hard to take, but keep in mind that HR departments sometimes have dozens, if not hundreds, of these things to send out for any one job.  Obviously, it would be preferable if you got a more personal note, but that is often not possible given the amount of time it might take.

On the other hand, I know that, many times, applicants don't receive anything at all if their application is unsuccessful.  I know because that has happened to me more than once over the course of my career.  We are simply supposed to assume - I guess - that no news is bad news.  It's never much fun getting a rejection, but what you want to do is try to learn what you can from it.  Try to determine why you didn't get the job and see if you can pinpoint where the mistakes might have been on your part.  Then, next time out, correct the things you can to make your next application more successful.

I don't know if it's possible to detect any mistakes in the app process, but if you'd like me to take a look at what you sent, how you interviewed, etc. you can send me a follow-up at the email below.  Attach the documents you sent along with the job announcement and give me an honest appraisal of the interview, and I'll be happy to give you a free assessment and let you know if I think you could strengthen anything.

Best wishes going forward!

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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