Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Heartfelt, if Unwarranted, Open Thank-You Note

Dear HR Department Representatives of the Six or So Companies who have Sent Me Rejection Letters,

Thank you for your note. I very much appreciate knowing that you received my application and reviewed it to some degree before deciding against it. Over the past two months I have sent out upwards of 50 job applications but have only received about ten confirmations that I even did so. While I am of course a little disappointed that I was not selected for an interview with your company, I am absolutely elated that you took the time to tell me. I am seriously not joking. It makes me feel so much better to hear a solid no than to just sit and wait, confident my application probably was discarded without so much as a glance but still nagged by the niggling hope that maybe your office is just really, really inefficient. It took the BBC 4 months to send me a rejection letter--who's to say you're not all like that? And then where would I be if I accepted a job? Weeks after I accepted a job on a sailboat, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I received four calls from other companies--boats, offices, and even the circus--offering me interviews and expressing interest. Not fair! I have no patience for false hope. I have more respect for companies who tell me no in a timely manner than for those who string me along or simply say nothing. It's one thing if they cover their tracks from the outset with a quick "due to the high volume of applications we receive we are unable to reply individually to every letter, so if you haven't heard from us in a week please assume you were not selected for interview." blurb on the job description itself. That's a reasonable stance, particularly if you have over 50 applications for each position. That quick line of text gives an unsuccessful applicant closure. But the ones that just say nothing, particularly in the arts--that can mean anything. Seriously, with flaky artsy types at the helm, no response could mean no, maybe, yes, or even where are you, we've been paying you for six weeks. So seriously, the clear concise and timely rejection letter is a courtesy I appreciate.

warm regards,

One of the Thousands of Applicants You'll Never Meet

1 comment:

Kim said...

Oh lawdy lawdy yes yes yes to this! At minimum, there should be some sort of auto-response or notice in the listing that says "if you don't hear from us, you aren't being interviewed" (but even then, I'd get the "but what if they lost my application? and they really want to find me again somehow? and they can't find me?" - well then maybe they are disorganized and I don't want to work for them anyway)

I'm big on making the applicant feel good and cared for and considered from the minute they look at our Jobs/Careers page onward. Forever. Even if they don't get the job, I want them to respect us as a company. (I'm in the middle of revamping our recruiting and hiring, so this is of particular interest right now)