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Job rejection letter: Cringeworthy or (somewhat) encouraging?

By Lee Cleveland, FightSaga - May 18, 2023

Receiving a job rejection can be disheartening, especially when you have set your sights on a particular position. The disappointment is often compounded when the rejection letter is impersonal and devoid of any constructive feedback. However, one TikTok user’s experience took an unexpected turn when they received a rejection letter that not only failed to provide helpful insights but also left them baffled and frustrated.

Tamsyn Fox, a 21-year-old from Sussex, England, had applied for a sound design position at a game development company. Sadly, Tamsyn’s application was “unsuccessful,” which in itself is disappointing news. However, what made matters worse was the “patronizing” tone of the rejection letter they received from the company. In a viral TikTok video, Tamsyn shared their exasperation by dramatically reading aloud the contents of the letter.

The video begins with Tamsyn stating, “Hello, this is a dramatic reading of the worst job rejection letter I’ve ever received.” As she continues, it becomes apparent why she found the letter so incredulous.

The company’s message attempts to offer faux encouragement by citing examples of renowned figures who faced rejection before achieving success. However, the execution falls flat, coming across as condescending rather than inspiring.

Tamsyn humorously mocks the letter, reciting lines such as, “We’ll cut to the chase: your application wasn’t successful. And who knows, maybe we’ve made a big mistake? Albert Einstein couldn’t land a job as a maths tutor for kids, and Spielberg got rejected from film school. Crazy right?”

The TikTok video went viral, with many viewers empathizing with Tamsyn’s frustration and criticizing the company’s unprofessional approach.

The letter continues…

“The guess the point is: every great success story begins with little failure. We’ve had our fair share of failure too. Even though you won’t be joining us just yet, who knows what the future holds?

“Perhaps you’ll prove us wrong (we certainly hope so).”

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”


thanks for patronising me into a rage that can only be desrcibed as ‘firey’

♬ original sound – Taz (They/He)

Comments flooded in from fellow TikTokers, expressing their disbelief at the rejection letter’s content and tone. Some agreed that Tamsyn had likely dodged a bullet by not being hired by a company that displayed apparent spelling errors and a patronizing attitude. Many viewers expressed their preference for not receiving any notice at all rather than receiving a poorly worded rejection letter.

Amidst the reactions, others shared their own stories of job rejection. One commenter mentioned receiving a rejection email from a coffee shop that commemorated the six-month anniversary of their rejection—a gesture that was perceived as equally patronizing.

The shared experiences resonated with TikTok users, creating a sense of solidarity and understanding.

Interestingly, some TikTokers characterized the rejection letter as having an “elder millennial” energy, a term used to describe a particular writing style associated with individuals from that generation. The email’s attempt at a quirky and casual tone, paired with the presence of spelling and grammar mistakes, led viewers to make this comparison.

While viewers expressed their curiosity about the company’s identity, Tamsyn opted not to disclose it, citing concerns about potential legal repercussions.

Was it cringeworthy? Although I found it a bit unprofessional with the grammar errors and nonchalant tone, I thought it was an encouraging note. It’s a soft rejection that basically says, “Don’t put too much emphasis on this rejection. Never give up. You might have what it takes to be super successful. We see something special in you.”

Please share your thoughts below.


Tags: viral