An Open Letter to Prospective Employers and Hiring Managers
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am writing because I am interested in working at your place of business. I have put a great deal of time and effort into crafting my resume and tailoring my cover letter to demonstrate that I possess the specific requirements you laid out in your job posting. I would not have spent hours starring at my computer screen, pondering synonyms for “experience,” were I not interested in this position or in working for your business, so please extend me a few courtesies.
Please let me know that you have received my application materials. I spent a lot of time on them, and I would hate for my application to have gotten lost in cyberspace or mail purgatory without my knowledge. Sometimes I get a response from a computer, thanking me for my interest and telling me not to contact the organization again due to the large volume of applications received. I guess that’s fine. Sometimes I get an actual response from an actual human being, thanking me for my interest and telling me that I will be contacted if I am wanted for an interview. That’s a little better. Sometimes I get no response whatsoever, which is inexcusable. If I do not hear that you have received my application, please do not be surprised when I call or e-mail you asking for confirmation. I know, you probably will not respond to my call or e-mail, because you are too busy to take a minute to write up a response. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this point.
Oh what’s that? You want me for an interview? That’s great, thank you for this wonderful opportunity! I’ll arrive ten minutes early and be my best and most charming self. I’ll make you laugh a few times to show that I have a personality and a sense of humor but I’ll make sure to be polite and business-like most of the time. As soon as I get home from the interview I’ll compose handwritten thank you notes and send them out that afternoon. If I interviewed with three people I will compose three different thank you notes, that is only good form. I will wait a week to hear from you, because you told me that you would get back to me in about a week. You don’t get back to me after a week, but that’s all right, I know you are busy. After ten days I send you a polite e-mail, reiterating my interest in the position and asking where the decision process stands. Three days go by, and I do not hear a response. I e-mail you again and, again, receive no response. I realize that by this point I am probably no longer in the running for the position, but I would appreciate hearing confirmation of my suspicions so that I can stop feeling like a lame girl sitting alone by the phone on Saturday night, waiting for her crush to call and ask her to the movies. There is no need to wait for two months after an interview to tell me that I have not gotten the job. I know you made the decision weeks ago, why string me along?
Here’s the thing, Hiring Manager, I think you are inconsiderate. I think that you have lost some common courtesies when it comes to dealing with prospective employees. We are not just a set of attributes and skills listed in bullet notes on a sheet of paper. We are people with goals and ambitions who need these jobs for our livelihoods, and we are losing a lot of self-confidence and self-worth by being treated with such little regard. Please let me know that you have received my resume, it takes a minute to fire off an e-mail. I don’t even mind if it is a form letter, I just want to know. Please do not leave me hanging after I interview with you. I am full of anxiety and all I want is a simple yes or no. If it is taking you longer to make the decision than you originally anticipated please do me the courtesy of letting me know. And if I e-mail you asking you about the status of the decision-making process, please take the time (one or two minutes, that is all it takes to write an e-mail!) to respond to me. I’d rather not have to e-mail you three times, that’s embarrassing, for you and for me.
Hiring Managers, I know that you are busy, and I know that the economy has produced a glut of unemployed individuals looking for jobs, but that is no excuse for treating people like dirt. I am doing all I can to make it easy for you to hire me. I am being persistent. I want to work for your business. I would be an excellent and valuable employee at any organization. I am a hard worker, a fast learner, and a people person and I really want to get paid for providing you my skills. But, Hiring Managers, your treatment of your prospective employees is insulting. There are a lot of us out here and we just want the simple courtesy of being treated as human beings with feelings.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon in regards to that job for which I replied.
Lindsay Gordon, Prospective Employee and Human Being