Lately I've been talking several people through job searches, which is usual for me, but a recent trend has come up I want to share. So let me step away from more geekocentric job search guidance and talk general issues.
We're going to talk rejection letters.
People hate getting rejection letters, but the truth is when you're getting them it's actually a good thing. OK, there are bad things associated with it, but still, there are a lot of positives:
1) It shows people are responding to you. If you get ignored, that is bad for any number of reasons, from being so far at the bottom of the pile no one cared to the person going through resumes being a jerk. If you get a rejection letter someone took the time. If you get a personal response that's a great sign.
2) It can provide feedback. If you get an actual personal critique, you can use that to improve (or decide the company wasn't worth it).
3) It gives you a new contact. So that HR person said you weren't hireable – so respond with a thanks and see if you can hook up with them on LinkedIn. Offer to help them out finding the right person. Make a connection!
4) It can tell you a lot about a company. How did they respond, how fast, etc. That gives you a nice diagnostic.
So rejection letters? There's a lot of good things in that heartbreak.
– Steven Savage