Re•gret – Verb
Feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity) -Oxford University Press, 2013
I’ve always disliked the use of the phrase, “We regret to inform you…” when advising a person that they were not selected for a job. Are they really saddened over my lost opportunity? Why add lies on top of the insult?
I recently was rejected for a job opportunity that I wanted badly. I studied for two weeks before my interview in hopes that it would help me ace any questions that came my way. Unfortunately, my hard work did not pay off. Three days after my interview, I received an automated rejection letter stating that my dreams would not be coming true with that company.
My first reaction was disbelief. I read the short email several times hoping that I had read it wrong the time before. Next, I experienced sadness. My eyes swelled with tears as the rejection settled in. As I wiped my cheeks dry, a thought hit me. Why not me? Soon my sadness turned to anger and frustration. Seriously, why not me?
I opened the rejection letter again to scan for an explanation that I knew wasn’t there. I wanted to know why someone else was picked. What did they have that I didn’t?
As a result, I pondered the idea of sending an email to ask the source directly.
Several articles across the Internet state their opinions on the matter. Some say to go for it, while others claim it is in bad taste. I decided to go for it:
I wanted to take the time to thank you for the opportunity to interview for the Social Media Coordinator position.
If you have the time, I would really appreciate any constructive feedback you have on how to further improve my skills for future opportunities at _______. I am extremely dedicated to my career, and any insight would be helpful.
As you can see, I went the positive route. Instead of asking why I didn’t get it, I asked what I needed to improve for future opportunities. In my opinion, I felt this tactic would increase my chances of getting a response. I did not want to put anyone on edge and possibly hurt my reputation.