Dear Employer, thank you for taking the time to fill in our six-page questionnaire, write a personalized covering letter, provide us with your childhood dental records, and apply for the employer position advertised.
We have had so many applications, and after sifting through them all, we regret to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful. Although your experience and qualifications more than meet our expectations, we are currently looking for a more junior candidate. Someone who can pay us less, someone younger, less saturated by inane work-place drama, and more willing to allow us to collect laundry and buy coffee for our direct line manager.

NOT.

Things have been a tad tight since we first opened shop, having been pressured into opening our hybrid agency six months earlier than planned in the midst of the lock-down madness.
Most businesses take a little time to start generating revenue, but most businesses are started with a bit of savings and capital to get the ball rolling. That was not quite the case for the Lorem Ipsum Emporium. With a rather scary credit record (move over Stephen King – Pet Cemetery has NOTHING on my bank balance) and families to feed, we hit the ground running with bloody minded determination to make it work.
Whatever it takes.

Even if that “whatever” includes either (or all) of us taking a regular job for a while.
So, like so many of you, we have been applying for jobs., positions, part-time gigs, full-time gigs, you name it, we’ve applied to it.

For any well-meaning relative or friend who may have said anything along the lines of “Maybe being broke is the universe’s way of telling you to get a job”, I would like to say – ha! In your face! We do believe our collection of rejection letters is the universe’s way of saying “ah, no you shouldn’t.”

But now don’t go cry into your soup. This is actually a funny story. I mean, it doesn’t have a happy ending or anything, but it is funny. The first two or three rejection letters came as quite a shock. Imagine if, in all your years on the workforce you had only ever been turned down on ONE job application. Until 2020/2021. Like you and I, dear reader, my business partner, had a similar track record (although she is somewhat more formally qualified and somewhat younger than we are, more – making her even more hirable) alas, she had the same experience. Rejection letters.

Then the first few nibbles come along and we start to be asked to interviews. This is it. We are definitely going to get fulltime jobs now. Not really what you had dreamed about, but hey, times are hard, you need to make a living somehow. It’s all good as long as we’re paying the bills, right?

That is when the post-interview rejection letters start to come in.
I don’t know about you, but I was shocked to my core. I was personally offended. These people have met you, spoken to you, spent time laughing with you and getting to know you. What’s not to love?!
But still the rejection letters come. One. After. Another.

For us, That was three months back. We are now the proud owners of over, um, actually, I’ve lost count, but suffice to say, A LOT of rejection letters, between us, here at the Emporium. Looks like we are mere mortals, after all.

So, we started comparing them. We started a slack channel where we share them with each other, loving called “The burn ward”. It has become our long-running joke and pass time, comparing rejection letters.


Most of the letters seem to follow the same formula, with occasional exceptions to the rule.
Some of them got my name wrong. Others were almost illegible. A couple were really sweet and personal. One was straight up in Dutch. Neither of us applied to anything in Dutch, or in Europe, for that matter.
We decided it’s high time for us to share the fun and games and post a collection of our favourite rejection letters here. We want to see how many of them are relatable to our readers. Or, if you are looking for a way to let your candidates down, perhaps you can draw some inspiration from the HR departments that came before you.

This chappy kept me on the phone for an hour and a half – I was sure I had it in the bag.
Pro tip for the HR guys reading: “Unfortunate” is the word of the day!
Needless to say the long weekend was a hit after receiving this email.
They are humbled by my interest, at least. Unfortunately it was entirely a waste of time applying!
8 weeks and still waiting…
Aha! Profile uploaded! What does that mean, exactly?
Well that’s nice. They’re overwhelmed by the love.
Very exciting for whom, exactly?!

Long story short – we are cracking on with our dream business, because apparently “real jobs” are not cut out for us creative souls. Onwards and upwards. Watch this space.