You run a company. Great. That company’s doing well and you want to hire somebody new. Even greater. You put a lot of effort in writing a vacancy, advertising your business as a nice place to hang between 9 and 5, list up all the things you’d like to see in your new team member and put the thing online. Super. Now kick back and watch the applications coming in.
On the other end of the screen is little old me, unemployed for almost half a year now. To be fair, the first couple of months I mainly spent watching people getting drunk on MTV, but then I put my serious mode on and now I’m a hardcore applicant on a quest with a pay check as my Holy Grail. I sent you over 40 carefully written application mails, accompanied by my resume of which I made a bunch of different versions that go from “CV for jobs I really really want” to “CV for jobs that will do”. I went on several interviews, all of which I thoroughly prepared before stepping into your building. I wrote example texts and did the assignments you gave me to to do, bought several cute-but-not-too-cute dresses, switched languages when you asked me to and bent over backwards trying to fit into what I think you would expect of an employee. So far, the only thing I’ve gained by doing all of this is the extra weight of stresseating chocolate bars.
I’ve been rejected because I don’t have enough experience. Because my degree is not right. Because I don’t have enough of them or even too many. Because I’m not a native speaker of English of French or Latin or Klingon. Because - although my profile was very interesting - you found a better candidate. But most of all, I’ve just been rejected by default. Not even a phone call. Not even a mail. Nothing. I don’t understand why you, Mr. Employer, don’t even bother to reply to my application. You did explicitly ask for a motivation letter to come your way, didn’t you? Still, on most of my applications I don’t even get a lousy automatically sent mail saying “thanks, but no thanks”. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but that’s just bad manners. It makes me feel like the nerdy kid in a high school drama gathering all his courage to ask the pretty girl out to prom. On which she doesn’t even decline him politely. She just turns the other way and walks away, laughing with her friends.
Where do these unanswered applications go to? To the Land of the Unexperienced and Unwanted? Are they being collected on some heartbreaking website like these Lonely Tweets? Or do you print them out so you can read them again, months later during some boringsome meeting and think “Glad I didn’t hire that one.” Maybe there are offices where there are unanswered applications all over the wall, as to remind the staff that they should be glad to work there and not be one of those sad “yours sincerely”.
So, Mr. Employer, I don’t ask you to fall in love with me on first writing. I understand that my French verbs suck, my LinkedIn network isn’t very impressive and my cheap nylons don’t fit in your fancy office. But please take the time to tell me that before you say yes to the star of the football team.