How many times have you posted a resume to a job that you thought was perfect for you? I know I have quite a few times. You get that little sense of satisfaction and walk around with a smile the entire day because you are certain that they will consider you. As the week progresses a timeline of emotions ensues:



What could have saved you from this horrible downward spiral of emotions? Well, what do all humans crave when interacting with others? Let’s just say if you were to have ignored this question I would have experienced the entire spectrum of emotions in the awesome timeline that I just made in a matter of minutes.




In a world of growing technology and increasing amounts of physical disconnection, it is very easy for employers and recruiters to forget that there is a real person behind the resume you are providing them. So my question to all of you job seekers out there is this: do you believe that all places of employment and recruiting should give you a response regardless of qualifications for the job applied for?


As of November 1st, a Presidential Memorandum has come into effect that makes federal jobs have to not only provide multiple responses to potential candidates, but they have actually done away with having to provide any information outside of a resume. In addition, the amount of time required to fill a position is supposed to be cut in half. Oh joy, instead of waiting the previous 6 months to find out I wasn’t right for a federal job, now I only have to wait 3 months…


Job seekers that I have discussed this topic with have mostly stated that a response should be mandatory. Many have said that they would love the courtesy of a phone call just to let them know the position is filled or the resume did not fit what the employer is looking for. While a call might be a tad unobtainable, even a generic email would be better than nothing. Applying for a job is actually quite like a break up. The best response you could hope for is face to face. A phone call will only make you talk bad about the dumper a little, and anything that involves written text will just cause you to hate him/her, but at least you know what is going on.


This is where the trail gets sticky, however. Some clients go through thousands of resumes a day. That is far too many people to send a reply to when trying to be efficient. Companies like this usually have an automated email that tells the job seeker that their resume is being considered and contact will be made should he/she fit the criteria. But is this enough?


In the recruitment field, it is vital to take the extra time to keep your candidates up to date. EVERY recruiter I have ever talked to has made this clear. If you don’t, the following conversation could happen:


Recruiter- “Hey Joey, I just found a position that I think you will love-“


Candidate- “Oh hey, it’s nice to hear from you after 3 months. What happened to the other amazing position you contacted me about? Yeah, I think it best we don’t continue this conversation.”




In the end, there has to be a common courtesy between job seekers, employers, and recruiters. It is only natural to want a response from a position, but just how much of one is up to the client and the time that they have to put into it. Federal jobs are taking a step up, but this is not a situation where just saying “all the cool kids are doing it” will suffice. 

Views: 283

Comment by Sandra McCartt on January 18, 2011 at 10:48pm

Dear candidate,

Thank you so much for hitting the button so the job board could send me your profile.  We always appreciate that looking for a job is time consuming so really there was no need to worry about attaching a word format resume or taking the time to include your current or asking salary as requested.  I found your cover letter interesting and while i too believe in the power of prayer and divine providence i am afraid that my client, even with God's intervention, will not consider your two years as a dental assistant as quite enough experience to qualify for their position as VP of Medical Affairs. 

 As i have been informed that good recruiters reply to 99%  of applications i wanted to be sure and take the same amount of time to respond to you(including the several days you mention having prayed about this position) to get back to you.  Actually i prayed about it too, God has let me know that you need to quit praying so much and go back to school to get the 10 years experience required for this position as well as a masters and a PhD.  He also mentioned that he is a stickler about following rules and stuff so it would be good to read the directions and follow them when you respond to other positions that you are led to through divine direction.


Keep praying and by the way, i am forwarding your application to a great recruiter i know named Morgan.  He is a super guy, kind and compassionate.  I really like him because he loves animals and people.  I know he would love to hear from you and may be able to assist you in your search for an executive level position that will enable you to move your 5 children and their respective fathers out of the commune.  Stay with it honey, there are some good recruiters out there who can work miracles.  Honestly, i am just one of those mediocre types who has to make sure i focus on spending most of my time looking for people who fit all these pesky requirements that my clients force me to comply with or i will looking for space in the commune myself.


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for a very impressive resume.  After a quick check of your employment background we have determined that your dates of employment are off on three of the positions you show on your resume by two or three years on two of them and one of them has never heard of you.  Additionally the university you indicated awarded you a masters has never heard of you either.  If your name changed several times please so indicate.  I can understand that you are negotible on salary.  Should we assume that you would be willing to go to work for minimum wage if anyone will consider you as we are unable to verify any of your information.  I could lie to you and tell you that the position has been filled but wanting to be both honest and courteous with a response to your application and resume it appears that the truth ain't in you and you ain't who you say you is.


Dear Candidate,

You appear to have most of the experience we are looking for , if we combine the 19 jobs you have had, all lasting a year to 18 months.  I more than appreciate you listing your reasons for leaving each job.  My question here is, how did you find that many places to work where you had a personality conflict with your supervisor or coworkers?   Based on the nature of the personality conflicts you mention you would hate the asshole i am recruiting for so to protect you from another bad situation that would cause you to have to resign or be terminated i will not be forwarding your resume.  I do wish you the best, have you ever thought about working for your mother?  That might be a solution, hope that helps, as a recruiter dedicated to candidates i always try and offer a suggestion if i am unable to represent a candidate.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on January 19, 2011 at 10:53am
1 minute per review, cut and paste. 450 apps.= 450 minutes. 60 minutes = 1hour 7hours= 420 minutes. Assume 30 qualified/semi qualified. Productive time management seminar will be held prior to tutorial on cut and paste. Focus on qualified, possible qualified required. :)
Comment by Scott Bruman on January 19, 2011 at 11:12am

Take Sandra's time estimate and multiply times 2, since in reality not only are you spending that time on a wholly unprodutive task but you have also lost that time for what you should/could have been doing - spending it with candidates who were qualified (while you are copy/pasting someone is dialing the phone to call a truly qualified candidate).  Oh, and you think writing  "Thank you for your interest, we have proceeded with another individual" is not going to prompt a follow up email requesting to know why?  Should I also respond to that one also?    This is all moot if a candidate is anywhere close to qualified, but if they are wildly off the mark and have absolutely none of the "must haves" that a manager has taken the time to determine and write up, again I ask:  why do I owe them my time and a thoughtful response?   

Comment by Scott Bruman on January 19, 2011 at 11:20am
@Morgan:  believe me I was thinking the same thing!  But its an important issue for this industry and actually deserves some thoughtful dialouge.  It is a best practice for sure, but the realities around the demand for producing results vs. activity make it impossible to fulfill.  Impossible?   Maybe not for your employment situation, but for those of you that are projecting your circumstance as the only one - it is not.   And with that as my very final contribution to this thread, I gots to gets back to work!!  :-)
Comment by Sandra McCartt on January 19, 2011 at 11:36am

I of course am overstating Morgan but Scott is right based on my experience.  Those emails at least half the time will generate at least 50% responses that either have to be answered or we are in the same position of not responding.  I truly wish i could afford to hire someone who did nothing all day but send nice thank you emails and answer calls from people who are not even close to qualified.  I am from a part of the world and a culture where we send thank you notes for thank you notes.  It's not just about time it's also about the frustration of trying to explain to someone who is way off the mark when they should know or in the marginal cases gently try to explain without making them feel like a lesser life form.  It only takes two or three that want to argue or throw a fit to upset a big part of my day.


Interacting here is a respite from the onslaught of people that hammer my email and phones.  Enables us to blow off some steam if you will so the next 20 minute call that i take will not result in me saying something to a candidate that i will regret.



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