The best rejection email I ever received.

I bet you know the feeling of getting rejection letters, but after getting enough of them, I just becomes normal. I've hundreds of rejection letters from different companies for either frontend, backend or full-stack roles. But, one particular one stood out. It wasn't a rejection, it was feedback, and that's the kind of HR I'd love to apply to over and over again.

Typical rejection emails read

Good morning,

Hope this finds you staying safe and healthy.

This is just a quick note to thank you for showing interest in joining the [Company] team. We value that you share the same interest in reimagining how teams work with data and appreciate you taking the time to apply.

Unfortunately we've decided not to move forward with your application at this time. We'll keep your contact details and let you know of future positions (if you're ok with that). We don't provide feedback at this stage due to the volume of applications we need to go through.

All the best in your job search and good health in this crazy time.

And because they all look alike, reading the first line you get the drill and most times don't have to even read it to the end.

But a company stood out in their rejection. That was one of the dozen rejection letters that I ever followed to the end. It starts

Hi Abdulhakeem, how are you? I hope you are doing fantastic.

We can give you feedback about the second phase of our selection process:

Since we have found good things in your test, compared to other aspects to improve within the solution that you have implemented. Consequently, we have decided that you won't be incorporated into the team this time. We hope that you value this experience as a challenge in your professional career and we encourage you to continue advancing and learning :)

...

Positive things

  • The code is correct, easy to read, and the naming is fine.
  • We appreciate some aspect of your solution that you added such as:

...

Things to Improve

  • The solution is not production-ready because it's only configured for an SQLite database.
  • The code is not scalable.
  • The endpoint to create users is public. The requirements say that only an admin user can create users.

....

If you allow us the suggestion, here you have some books that we like and believe can help you improve:

  • The twelve-factor app (12factor.net) - This is a reading that helps a lot to understand what factors are important when developing, configuring, and deploying an application, especially prioritizing aspects such as maintainability or scalability of a software project.

...

That’s all, Abdulhakeem. We thank you very much for your effort and the time you have dedicated to this process, and as we already mentioned at the beginning, we would like to remind you that we will receive you if you want to try the test in the future. :D

If a team can take ample time to review my work and give credible and useful feedback, I'd be willing to take more time to study and put in my best. Do you know companies that are this awesome? Let us know in the comments.

PS: I edited out some parts of the email, it's too long, and I'd need consent to put the complete email in public.

Comments (1)

Victoria Lo's photo

Very nice of you to share this. This must be a company with great work culture. I'm sure you'll continue to improve!