Finance News & Insights

Hey schmucks, here’s 3,000 words on why you didn’t get the job

Some companies offer short, polite rejection letters to let eager applicants know they weren’t what the company had in mind. This website’s hiring manager, however, decided to go into much greater detail.


Over 900 hopeful applicants to a “clean tech news site” received a 3,000 word rejection letter (technically an email)  from the site’s creator Shea Gunther, which listed exactly why they didn’t make the cut. The first two or three paragraphs explained what the company was looking for. Problem was, a number of applicants weren’t sure if the letter was an explanation of why they were chosen — or a justification of why they weren’t.

Said one applicant, “At first I thought I’d made it to the second round, but then I realized I’d been Bcc’d, along with 900 others, on my own rejection letter.”

But that’s not all.

Gunther was also kind enough to offer a list of 42 writing job application dos and don’ts to help the rejects with their future endeavors. Here are a few of the best practices on the list:

  • Do be a badass
  • Do read the ad and do exactly what it asks
  • Don’t describe yourself as zany, crazy, or wild, and
  • Don’t tell me how great this job would be for you.

You can view the letter by clicking here. In addition, the author of the viral rejection letter has posted his own rebuttal to the criticism the letter received, which can be found here.


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  • Pam

    I agree with Mr. Gunther, and have wanted to do something similar myself. After reading hundreds and hundreds of resumes, you begin to feel sorry for the people who just don’t seem to have many clues as to the right things to do if you want to be hired. You wish there was a way you could let them know where they went wrong in the process. Maybe he was a little over the top by sending it as a blast email to 900 people, but I understand the sentiment.