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Thank you for your rejection

November 20, 2009

I received another job rejection letter today, addressed to “Dr. Amanda Moreno”.

It still gives me a little thrill to see Dr. used as my formal title. I defended my dissertation in April of last year so it’s still a relatively new title. I had started my first job by that time, and even though my colleagues and I were all PhD.s, nobody called each other doctor. There was a similar situation at my last job, where nobody really cared about the title. Being addressed as “Dr. Moreno” would be one perk of going back to academia. When I taught in grad school I asked my students to just call me “Mandy” but a large chunk of students called me “Professor,” and I let that slide because it was nice to have that respect.

Maybe that’s what it really comes down to, respect. I like having respect at work. I felt respected when I was at my former jobs (at least, most of the time). Nevertheless,  I worked hard for this title and it’s reassuring to have that acknowledged every once in a while. Acknowledgment is always good, which is why I was glad to receive the rejection letter. Out of the dozens of jobs I’ve applied to so far, only 2 have acknowledged that I submitted anything to them. In my previous job searches I got emails or letters from almost every job I didn’t get. Has proper business etiquette declined since the recession? Is the number of applicants too overwhelming to provide responses to everyone?

The short business letter, with its simple statement of rejection on formal letterhead, was encouraging even though it didn’t mean to be. The timing was perfect, because I was about to enter another one of those periods of doubt that anyone was taking time to read my cover letter and resume. Thanks, Kingsborough Community College, for being definitive. I appreciate it.

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