What Do You Call A CEO Who Gives 42 Reasons Why Applicants Were Rejected. A D***? I Beg To Differ!

Faizan Patankar
Written by Faizan Patankar

Well, that’s exactly what a Gawker Media blogger called one CEO of a start-up who wrote a harsh (read: honest) letter informing 900+ applicants of the reasons why they hadn’t got the role.

I beg to differ.

I read the whole article with the letter published here. I would suggest you have a read and make your mind up if the writer’s right or not. Personally, I think it’s pretty amazing that a CEO has made an effort writing a letter and emailing it to all 900+ applicants who did not make it through.


Shea Gunther has picked up on reasons why applicants were rejected and explained what went wrong. For example, he says:

• Don’t talk yourself into being filtered out.
An application email is not the place for over-zealous humble self-awareness. Some of you lead your email saying that while that you may not be the greatest writer or have any experience in clean technology or an English degree or even ever blogged before, that you are ready to prove yourself with your hard work and perseverance. While I appreciate the admission of not being the perfect candidate, you don’t want that to be the first thing you tell me if you want me to hire you. It shouldn’t be the third or ninth either. Talk about your strengths, not your weaknesses. Let your work speak for you.

• Do have a good reason for why I should hire you.
The reason I want to hire you is because you’re a great writer with experience covering the topics I want to focus on. You’re reliable, creative, tenacious, and easy to work with. That’s why I want to hire you, not because you are ready to use your degree or because you really need a job or because you love writing SO much. This one is really important—your first sentence needs to introduce you to the reader and clearly lay out why he would be crazy not to hire you. Put yourself in the mind of the person doing the hiring and tell them what you can do to make his life easier.

These two and 40 other reasons.

He isn’t being a d***, he is being honest

I often hear applicants complaining that the hiring manager or company did not give them feedback on why they were not selected. When they do get feedback, they complain that it is too generic and not comprehensive.

This man has taken the time to give feedback to 900+ applicants and to be honest, a lot of the advice and feedback is not just for that role – it can be applied across the board.

I wish the big media blogs stopped writing nonsense and stuck to their stuff, rather than wander over into the careers market.

Frame that 300o-word rejection letter

I don’t let people criticise graduates, students and jobseekers for what they do. No, I never take that lightly; in fact, no-one at Career Geek does. We spoke out against an article by Inc.com.

I have written against the newspapers and media slating off graduates.

But in this case, I like the advice this man (who Gawker calls a dick) has put out there. I would say, print it out and frame it. That’s the best advice/feedback you will get for everything to do with a job application.

What do you think about this 3000-word rejection letter? Drop us your comments, and if you support the advice, please share this article.

photo credit: galo/* via photopin cc

About the author

Faizan Patankar

Faizan Patankar

I started Career Geek Blog in 2011 to share my experience in job-hunting. I now focus on careers industry and blogging is just a tool to share that info. Love hacking careers. During the day I focus on my hobby - Engineering.

1 Comment

  • There isn’t much wrong with the email. A bit long perhaps, but if you are offended by it, I would suggest that you simply don’t like people pointing out your inability to follow simple instructions. Job applications can be hard, but they are not (usually) complicated. He had set out what he wanted, and if I had to sort through that many applications I would have been tearing my hair out as well.