A hiring manager sent job applicants a long email detailing why they didn’t make the cut.
Have you ever applied to a job that seemed to match up perfectly with your skills and experience — only to get absolutely no response?
You probably thought how nice it would have been to just get an acknowledgement that a person actually received your application. Heck, I bet you even would have appreciated a rejection letter! You applied because you felt certain you were well qualified for the job, so it would be kind of helpful to know why you didn’t even get an interview.
Be careful what you wish for.
A hiring manager recently did just that — he emailed the people who applied — and were not selected — for a web writing position. The emails weren’t personalized though, he identified 42 pieces of advice after screening 900+ applications and BCC’d all the applicants who did not get the job.
Gawker published the full email, which it received from a rejected applicant who said he didn’t consider the hiring manager’s manifesto helpful.
Here are some excerpts from the email:
This dude’s very first tip is to basically be good at what you do.
Do be a badass.
I actually hired one of the 900+ applicants within minutes of reading his application. He writes for a popular site that I’m a huge fan of and is a terrifically talented writer. After I first read his email, I looked up his writing and found a lot of articles that I have enjoyed over the years. I replied back asking if he’d like to work for us. Later that day, his friend and colleague applied and was similarly insta-hired. These two guys are dream hires for us (don’t tell them that though, don’t want them to get cocky around the virtual office) and it was easy to pull the trigger and bring them on board quickly.
A lot of those applicants who passed into the second round have experience writing for outlets like the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, CNN, MNN, and Mashable. When I saw a portfolio link from sites like that, I quickly added the writer to the second round list and moved on to the next new application. A prominent portfolio link won’t get you hired by us, but it will earn you a closer consideration.
This is actually good advice…
Don’t talk yourself into being filtered out.
An application email is not the place for over-zealous humble self-awareness. Some of you lead your email saying that while that you may not be the greatest writer or have any experience in clean technology or an English degree or even ever blogged before, that you are ready to prove yourself with your hard work and perseverance. While I appreciate the admission of not being the perfect candidate, you don’t want that to be the first thing you tell me if you want me to hire you. It shouldn’t be the third or ninth either. Talk about your strengths, not your weaknesses. Let your work speak for you.
Haha, Gawker is funny!
Don’t use the word “passionate”. [Ed. note: DO keep your punctuation inside your quotation marks.] It’s entirely over-used. Don’t say you have a passion for something or are passionate about a topic. “Ever since I can remember” and “Ever since I was a little kid” showed up a lot too.
What do you think? Is the email helpful or annoying?