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“We Have Selected Another Candidate”: How Rejection Emails Can Empower You to Get Hired

“We Have Selected Another Candidate”: How Rejection Emails Can Empower You to Get Hired

by Dorothy A. Miraglia
September 30, 2016

Dear Dorothy A. Miraglia:

Thank you for submitting your application to (insert name of university) for the position of (Insert title of position). We appreciate the time that you took to apply for our position. While it is never easy to narrow a search, we have selected the candidate we believe best meet our needs at this time. We hope that you will consider (insert name of university) for future employment opportunities.

Does this email look familiar? It seems to be the standard rejection email colleges and universities send. When I began receiving these emails my attention immediately focused on “ we have selected the candidate we believe best meets our needs.” I would have an outburst inside my head how I was the best candidate. How could they not choose me? After being frustrated by so many rejection emails, it was time to regroup. I would remind myself that everything happens for a reason and how this college or university was not the right place for me. In my 34 years of life experience, I have found that we all end up where we are supposed to be no matter how long it takes. In the meantime it’s perfectly normal to feel frustrated. I decided to try and see the good in receiving a rejection email.

Rejection emails can be good because they force you to take a closer look at your application materials. Here are some ways rejection emails can help you make positive changes:

Review your CV.

Carefully look over your CV with a fine-toothed comb. Are there any small typos? Did you leave anything out? If you haven’t already done so, have a second set of eyes take a look at your CV. After months of submitting my CV, I realized the city and state of my current employer was missing. Who knows if this caught anyone’s attention but it caught mine. Sometimes you think your CV is perfect when there is a slight glitch.

Review your cover letter.

Is everything spelled correctly? Did you sell yourself the best way possible? Again, have someone look over your cover letter. It never hurts to receive professional advice, especially from the Babb Group. When submitting my cover letter I had Personal Psychology typed instead of Personnel Psychology. Big mistake and an easy one to make.

Review your LinkedIn profile.

Does everything match up to your CV? I have a bad habit of not keeping my LinkedIn profile current. Make this a habit and keep it current.

The Positive Sides of Receiving a Rejection Email

When you receive a rejection email, use it as a source of empowerment. Print out the email and hang it where you can see it. Each time you glance at the email you will become motivated to keep applying for online teaching jobs. You can also use it as a dartboard to get your frustrations out of not being hired. Sometimes a little frustration can help boost your adrenaline and increase your determination.

Use the rejection email to set goals. For example, set a goal of submitting 10 job applications a week. Look into career fairs, networking opportunities, and educational consultants. Be proactive. With every rejection email, seek out something new to help you get hired.

Rejection emails are a source of positive reinforcement. Be grateful for the acknowledgement of rejection. Your application caught their attention so you are doing something right. Even though they are not interested in hiring you, they took the time to review your credentials. You are not left wondering if your application was lost in the mix.

Try not to take the rejection email as a negative sign. Look at the email as one step closer to getting an online teaching job. Most often you have to hear a few No’s before you hear Yes.

The Non-Rejection Email

After receiving many rejection emails for over a year, my inbox finally held three emails from three different universities saying my application was accepted and that I could proceed to the next step. An interview! I had finally made it past “thank you for applying but we have gone with another candidate.” Over the course of five months, I had three job offers.

It is easy to become frustrated when you read a college or university is not interested in hiring you. You begin to second-guess your skills and credentials. Instead of getting down on yourself, pump yourself up! Keep a positive mindset. It will work wonders for you and increase your motivation to keep applying. Eventually, your hours applying will pay off. I promise! Give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself how a university will be lucky to have you. It’s ok to do that! You’ve worked hard earning your degree and someday soon your hard work will catch a recruiter’s attention.

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About the Author

Dorothy A MiragliaDorothy A. Miraglia, PhD

Dorothy A. Miraglia, PhD earned her B.S. in Music and Sociology from Adelphi University. She attended Hofstra University earning her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and earned a M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Phoenix.. Dr. Miraglia graduated with distinction from Capella University earning her PhD in Advanced Studies in Human Behavior focusing her dissertation on smartphone use in women.

She began teaching online in 2008 and has witnessed how the industry has changed over the years. Her goal is to help clients who are interested in transitioning to the online teaching world and help established online instructors advance their career. In 2019, she began helping University clients determine the best solutions for instructional design and curriculum development based off of her experience and knowledge as an instructor and former student.

Dr. Miraglia lives on Long Island, NY with her husband and two sons. She enjoys the luxury of working from home and having a flexible work schedule, which allows for plenty of family time, home projects, trips to Target and Starbucks, and vacations.