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I applied for an entry level sales job, I graduated college in 2022. I received a form rejection letter that was BCC'd to me. They didn't even have the decency to reach out personally. The funny thing is, the person I spoke to on the phone for the initial screening was the one who sent it to me, even though she said she would pass my resume on to the hiring team - LIAR

What they said is "we appreciate your interest and we're glad that you took the time to apply" (Yeah, right). "Unfortunately, at this time we're not able to offer you a position" (no, you're not willing to offer me a position, you are perfectly able to, don't BS me). "We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors" (Tell it to the Marines)

The options I'm considering are

  1. Copy-pasting the rejection email and sending it back to them with annotations in capital letters and parentheses (LIKE THIS)
  2. Responding with "Whatever, your loss"
  3. Responding with a rejection of their rejection, essentially "Though your rejection letter was impressive, I have decided to show up at your office anyway, with the full knowledge that I am indeed the best person for this role."

Could any of these options have any serious negative consequences for me? I already know they're not interested in me, so I don't care if I burn my bridges with them and lose my chance to ever get hired by them.

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  • 12
    Wow. You seem unnaturally cynical (and entitled) for someone so young. My advice... let it go and learn to take things in stride and with a grain of salt. In your hopefully long life this will surely not be the last nor the biggest issue you'll need to deal with.
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 6 at 2:20
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    Then why bother asking the question? Looking for validation of your immaturity and sh#tty attitude? Well done, you've succeeded. Additionally, how would replying rudely get you into legal trouble? Do you understand how the law works? Being an a$$hole isn't against the law, as far as I know.
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 6 at 2:30
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    Let's put it this way: if I had any hint you'd react this way there is no way in hell I'd hire you. You are being completely, willfully, nastily unreasonable in response to something that is very much a normal part of life. Either that or you're trolling.
    – keshlam
    Feb 6 at 3:33
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    What's going to hurt you is the general attitude, not the specific action. Getting a rejection message is them being nice - many companies would just ghost you. Reacting vindictive is going to achieve nothing but prove they were right in rejecting you. Feb 6 at 10:04
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    @ThomasP: The fact that you are seriously considering doing this suggests you are going to have serious trouble finding and keeping jobs. Whether you actually do it is almost irrelevant compared to that. You are imperfectly socialized and apparently not familiar with cultural norms around this process. You need to at least learn how to fake neurotypical responses, even if they feel unnatural to you, in order to operate the societal machine around you without hurting yourself.
    – keshlam
    Feb 6 at 14:50

6 Answers 6

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I hope that they would see my rejection letter and feel upset and like I wasted their time the way they wasted mine.

This isn't happening, pigs will fly, hell will freeze over and dogs will talk all in the week before this happens.

Most likely outcome to your first two options is that they see your childish response and think "wow.. we dodged a bullet there!", the third option is likely to cause the same but with an added not to security/reception/whoever that if this person turns up they're to be firmly turned away (I assume you're not planning actually following through with turning up regardless, that would be a special level of silliness and could see you getting acquainted with local law enforcement)

Could it hurt you in the future? Possibly, I know you state you wouldn't want to work there in the future and don't care about burning bridges with the organisation but that organisation is made up of people, people who might move to another organisation in the future and if you do something as memorable as sending an OTT response to a polite but impersonal rejection these people might just remember that, and if they come across your name in the future might take a hard pass, just for old time's sake.

It might not be a hugely likely scenario - but when you've got literally nothing to gain from doing this why take the chance?

From your comment:

Also, for me, at least, the smug satisfaction won't be lost instantaneously, I am incredibly vindictive. I see no reason not to burn the bridge, they've made it clear they don't want me, so might as well at least release my anger

This is going to hurt you, far more than sending a hundred snarky e-mails ever will. If you can't figure out a way to handle the most inoffensive of rejections without blowing up you're going to have a really bad time in any job, let alone one like sales.

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    Not just jobs. Life.
    – keshlam
    Feb 6 at 15:20
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    Further; they didn't waste your time. They gave you the opportunity to make a case that you were the best candidate for the position. That you failed to do so, or that someone else made a better case for hiring them instead, IS NOT THE EMPLOYER BEING RUDE;. it's either just the luck of the draw or your own shortcomings or both. It's increasingly sounding like the latter
    – keshlam
    Feb 6 at 18:12
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Look, they're just trying to be polite. It isn't their fault that you don't meet their needs. I know you're disappointed, but that's life; don't take it out on them, just move on to the next application.

Being a snippy asshole to them could result in your never getting an offer from them, or recruiters who work with them, again. Not highly likely but not impossible. It's also an extremely bad habit to get into if you want to retain jobs after landing them.

You really need to get over yourself. This isn't a rejection, it's simply not an acceptance. MOST applications are declined; expect to apply and interview multiple, sometimes many, places before landing a job. Take it in stride and apply elsewhere.

Taking affront harms nobody but yourself. FIX THIS ATTITUDE for your own sake; if you go into interviews with a chip on your shoulder you will be radiating "don't hire me, I'm more trouble than I'm worth." I mean, come on, are you going to blow up this way the first time you don't get your own way at work?

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  • Rejecting me is the opposite of polite. I don't care if I never get an offer from them, I don't want to work with a company that chose to reject me. I'm happy to burn my bridges with them. How would it make it hard for me to retain jobs if I do this? I was more worried about whether or not it would set me up for legal consequences to reply rudely. I don't care one bit if it makes this company view me as persona non grata.
    – Thomas P
    Feb 6 at 2:22
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    Companies reject good people every day - if they need to hire 1 person, they can't just hire 5 because that many good people applied. So rejecting you is NOT IMPOLITE. But with your attitude, you don't even sound like a good choice. The consequences aren't legal ones, they are the 'I can't get a job anywhere' ones. Feb 6 at 16:53
  • Plus, there's social media. If he ends up blasting the company, they can always take it to sites like LinkedIn and expose him there and that can have long lasting effects on career.
    – Sherry
    Feb 7 at 21:44
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People get rejected like this a lot in all industries. Also, people do get the generic rejection emails like this a lot. This is how most companies operate.

There are many great founders of very successful companies. They have honestly said that they were rejected earlier in their careers. The rejections motivate them to work harder, to come up with their own products, or found their own companies.


It will be the best use of your time to ignore this company, apply for more jobs at other companies, and move on to other opportunities.

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  • But would it hurt me to send them a snarky message?
    – Thomas P
    Feb 6 at 9:55
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    Indirectly, yes, because it means you are refusing to learn from the experience.
    – keshlam
    Feb 6 at 16:19
  • @ThomasP - Yes!
    – Donald
    Feb 6 at 18:42
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Worst case they could read your letter and make a note "never to be hired or interviewed". If you go with your third option there is a tiny chance they'll actually get worried about you showing up on the premises, and consult law enforcement. Most likely they'd open your letter, see that it is a rant, toss it without reading more than the first sentence or two, and never think about it again.

This seems like a very over the top reaction to a rejection letter. Over a long and modestly successful career I've been rejected by dozens of companies. Get used to it. Frankly receiving a rejection letter (even a form letter) is fairly courteous as employment opportunities go. A lot of times employers will simply ghost you. You are not the main character in their story.

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  • Thanks. I hope that they would see my rejection letter and feel upset and like I wasted their time the way they wasted mine.
    – Thomas P
    Feb 6 at 9:56
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    @ThomasP they will read your note and it will help them know they made the right decision. Feb 6 at 16:56
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"My therapist advised me to write letters to the people with whom I am angry and then burn them. It's worked great.

But now, I have a stack of letters I don't know what to do with..."

Getting a job is not only about "Can you do it?". If the company is worth working for, they'll try to make sure its a fit for both you AND them for both capability and culture.

I work at a small/medium organization, and have hired or been responsible for hiring more than half of the folks. Some have applied and been turned down more than once before being hired. One has tried several times.

It will serve you no good purpose (even the smug satisfaction will be nearly instantaneously lost) to burn that bridge.

Meanwhile, spend your time and energy on more effectively communicating why you are a great fit for your next company (or next opportunity at this one).

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  • Do you feel bad when you reject people?
    – Thomas P
    Feb 6 at 9:56
  • Also, for me, at least, the smug satisfaction won't be lost instantaneously, I am incredibly vindictive. I see no reason not to burn the bridge, they've made it clear they don't want me, so might as well at least release my anger.
    – Thomas P
    Feb 6 at 9:57
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    Avoid the sales profession. They did you a favor.
    – pdtcaskey
    Feb 6 at 23:37
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Could any of these options have any serious negative consequences for me?

Yes, although it's not very likely. If you are actually threating and aggressively offensive, they could take legal action. It will get you a top spot on the "do not hire" list. Depending on your line of work, word can get out, especially if you make it a memorable experience. People move around between companies, managers run into each other are industry events & associations meetings.

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