Dear Hiring Managers, Please Reject Us! 

As a university student eagerly navigating the world of internships, I am writing to you with a heartfelt request—one that I believe echoes the sentiments of my peers: Please, if you do not find us suitable for a position, reject us.  

In an age where communication is seamless and instant, a lack of response from the hiring company leaves us applicants questioning our worth and our place in the hiring process. We understand that not every opportunity will be the right fit, and we are prepared for that reality. Yet, without a clear rejection, we are left without closure, unable to move forward or improve ourselves and our applications for future job prospects. We are left to speculate and question, without an inkling of why our application didn’t make the final cut. Did we not meet the qualifications? Were there other candidates better for the job? Did we make mistakes in our interviews? Were our resumes not up to standard? We yearn for the closure that a rejection letter brings. It allows us to acknowledge our setbacks, learn from them, and continue growing and pushing forward. 

But don’t just take my word for it; these experiences are shared by numerous students navigating today’s internship market. 

Status Review: Acceptance or Rejection, Either One is Helpful 

“I think it’s crucial to know the status, whether it’s acceptance or rejection. Not hearing from people creates a sense of uncertainty. Even if a candidate gets rejected by a company, if they’re not informed about it, they might hold onto hope, thinking their application is still under consideration. When there’s no communication at all, that hope takes a toll.”  

~Pranathi, Whiting School of Engineering, 2024 

Response Neglect: Communication is Key 

“I applied to several internships and waited with anticipation for any form of communication. However, even after a month and a half, I never received any response. It left me feeling neglected and uncertain about the status of my application. The lack of communication from these companies was truly disheartening.” 

~ Jane, Whiting School of Engineering, 2024 

Failure To Launch: Lack of Response Discourages Applicants 

“Not receiving any communication from companies causes a tremendous amount of stress and is annoying at some point because you’re applying to a bunch of companies and you’re not hearing back from them for like 2-3 months. It makes you question what you’re doing and why you’re not receiving any response.” 

~ Murali Krishna, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, 2024 

Rejecting us doesn’t diminish our drive or enthusiasm; it simply provides us with the certainty we need to redirect our efforts elsewhere. By rejecting us with respect and consideration, you acknowledge our commitment and effort. You demonstrate that our time and aspirations are valued, fostering a positive and supportive environment for all parties.  

Sending out rejection emails positively impacts your brand and sets you apart from others who do not reach out to their applicant pool. In our interconnected world, experiences, and opinions are readily shared. A lack of communication or indefinite silence can breed frustration, disappointment, and potentially negative perceptions of the company. Pranathi words, “I feel like I would have the image of unreliability associated with the company. If I have options and one of them is a smaller-scale company with lower pay but values my time and skills more, I would highly consider choosing that company over the one that kept me waiting for weeks”, best echo some of the negative perceptions that may arise in students. These words not only impact her social circle but also other students who are applying for internships with this company 

Therefore, by making rejection letters a standard practice, companies safeguard their reputation, showcasing professionalism and empathy. This proactive approach contributes to a strong employer brand, positioning the organization favorably within the talent pool. 

My peers and I don’t require lengthy and personalized emails. It can simply state that we weren’t selected, or can include a point of reference for improvement, or how we can stand out as an applicant at your company could go a long way. This is especially great if the candidate made it to the interview round, or even passed the first round and into the second or third stages of the hiring process. Murali Krishna emphasizes this, stating, “I think companies can give a reason as to why they are rejecting us. Knowing what points were not up to par or what they were expecting in that position, provides a unique learning opportunity, allowing us to reflect on our skills and make improvements for future applications.”  

If you’d like to view a sample rejection email template, you can find one here

So, hiring managers, we urge you to embrace the idea that candidates are resilient and can handle rejection. We ask you to understand that it is not the rejection itself that causes distress, but rather the lack of closure and the uncertainty that follows. Let us celebrate our failures and use them as stepping stones toward growth and eventual success. Here is our request: if you do not find us suitable for a position, please reject us! 

By Vibha Sathesh Kumar
Vibha Sathesh Kumar