I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you’re frustrated, annoyed, sad, angry, and despite your efforts, still trying to get a new job. I’m writing you this letter so that you’ll understand that it was not my intention to ignore you, leave you hanging, or cost you your dream job. I hate that your application got trapped in the black hole known as our ATS. I apologize for taking 3 days to respond to your email and even longer to call you back. In the interest of giving you a better “candidate experience” (latest in a line of HR/Recruiting buzz words / nonsense phrases) I thought I’d share with you ways to make both our lives a little easier. We both want the same thing, after all. A filled position means SOMEONE got hired. Let’s make it you.


Know yourself. What are you good at? What are you trained to do? Where have you been successful? What do you have to offer your next employer? Your resume is more than just a list of job titles and duties. Understanding who you are and what you have to offer is a critical first step in your job search.


Find companies that hire that. Remember who you identified in step one? Ok, companies that pay people to do that stuff should be on your target list. Assuming my company does, then yes, we should talk.


Talk to me. There I said it. Call me. Email me. Tweet me if you must. Just remember I am going to want to talk about steps one and two. Will you have an answer for me? Because if you say something like “I don’t really know what you do, I just need a job” I reserve the right to hang up on you. And probably say bad words.


Apply selectively. I’ve already written about how much is too much when it comes to online applications. Are you really qualified for this job? I’m not asking if you can “learn” it. I’m asking if you’ve “done” it. (Besides entry level trainee roles, of course) I included this step AFTER our conversation on purpose. If you are not comfortable with our online application I am happy to take a few minutes to talk to you about it. I will tell you what I’m looking for and how best to get my attention electronically through the ATS. All I ask is that you’ve actually considered steps one and two. I will ask.


Be patient. It’s not just a virtue. Pleasant, professional follow up can be a critical piece to landing your dream job. Don’t believe me? Check out this absolutely true story about a candidate who did just what I’m talking about here.


Sounds easy, right? Try it out, even if it’s with another company and recruiter. Let me know how it works for you – I really want to know. You can find me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/amyala , Twitter http://twitter.com/alarecruiter and desperately trying to quit Facebook for Google + at AlaRecruiter@gmail.com .

Views: 4090

Comment by Elise Reynolds on February 1, 2012 at 12:13pm

I think David Gaspin has a good point that as recruiters we need to be forthcoming.  We need to have enough consideration to tell a candidate they won't be considered or probably won't be considered if that is the case.  Usually it is because there is not the kind of match the hiring manager is looking for.

I don't think everyone who sends a resume into a recruiting database deserves a real conversation.  However, if the employer had a phone or in-person interview with a candidate then common decency dictates that they owe that candidate timely feedback. 

It is understandable when a candidate gets frustrated because they are left hanging for a long period of time.

Comment by Jacob S. Madsen on February 1, 2012 at 1:58pm

Nice post Amy and very true

I am a senior tried and tested corporate recruiter AND a job seeking candidate and boy have I learnt a thing or two about being on the other end.

Quite a shocking experience let me tell you, even when you as a recruiter know all the trick of the trade, buttons to push, things to place emphasis on etc.

I thought that applying my utmost professionalism, my unrelenting focus on results, my sincerest and deepest passion for my profession and being totally on the forefront of all things recruitment that that would do.

What I have seen now more times that I think is healthy is a total lack of professionalism and application of what I consider good practice.

I have stopped in having much belief in that you through beforesaid can truly make a difference and that this will place you in a better position. I have come to believe that luck, fate or whatever there is between the sky and earth is the deciding factor as it surely isn't all the reasonable and logical aspects that I thought they were.

I have across 20 roles that I have interviewed and been considered for experienced more nonsense and utter unprofessionalism than can be imagined, stupid questions such as 'tell me something about our company that I do not already know!!! (this coming from a HR Director of a 500 employee company with 4 years in the company!!!!!)

As for candidate experience, please Amy do not shoot that one down in flames, it is there, it is real and it is a really really BIG problem whether you are being dealt with by agents, corporate recruiters or hiring/line managers and it is mildly speaking shocking beyond words.


Comment by Candace Nault on February 1, 2012 at 2:47pm

Great perspective Amy!

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 1, 2012 at 3:01pm

Thanks everyone! Jacob you are so right - a positive candidate experience is critical and I hope it doesn't become so much of a buzzword that we forget what it really means. My first ever blog last year was all about the comparison one of my candidates had interviewing with 2 very different companies in terms of candidate experience.

Before I got hired at my current company I was working for the state employment agency after several years in agency recruiting. I was rejected by a large local company because I didn't have previous "corporate" experience. The junior HR assistant who did the rejecting gave me this sentence so full of jargon I almost needed a social media expert to translate. Come on now - simple, honest, and direct is best. :) It was in that moment I realized I had actually dodged a bullet.

Comment by Suzanne Levison on February 1, 2012 at 8:42pm

Well stated

Comment by Lisa Ravina on February 6, 2012 at 12:26pm

Good Post!

Comment by James Rowbotham on February 14, 2012 at 1:54pm

Great article Amy. I'm a big fan of the "apply selectively" section. It's so sad when I see a candidate in our ATS with pages and pages of applications for our jobs and most of them have nothing to do with their background.

Comment by Lauren Smith on April 10, 2012 at 4:40pm

Well said, Amy.  It complements Ascendify's applogy nicely.  Keep up the great work! 



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