Over the past few years, I have written a lot of job applications for permanent academic positions. None of these have been successful. I have been interviewed a few times, but mostly I have received either no reply or a very standard rejection letter.
A handful of the rejection letters contain some kind of statement seeming to imply that although they don't want to interview me, the committee did like my application to some extent. For example, here's a sentence from one such letter I recently received (emphasis mine):
We received many excellent applications and although the search committee was impressed with your credentials, we have decided your application will not be advanced for further consideration at this time.
My question is: does this statement, and other ones like it, mean anything or is it just a bit of fluff inserted for politeness?
To put it in another way: should I infer from this that the committee actually was impressed with my credentials and that they sent this reply to only a subset of candidates they rejected? Or is this likely to just be part of a totally generic rejection letter and I should therefore infer nothing?