A while back I received a resume for a job opening that we had posted on our website. As is customary I sent a reply, which I send to most applicants, stating that we received the resume, it is under review, and if your background is a match for the position you will be contacted within two weeks. I know, not the most personal e-mail, but when dealing with a high volume of resumes, it is almost impossible to send a personal reply to each applicant. I do scan each resume I receive and if the background and skills are a match, I contact the individual and begin the phone screening process. In this particular case the job had recently been filled and an individual had submitted his resume before I had the chance to take the posting down from our website. I did a quick scan of the resume (his background would not have been a match) and entered it into our database for future use if needed.
A few weeks later I received a firm (and somewhat condescending) e-mail from this individual, stating that I had not had the courtesy to contact him within the two-week period as stated. He asked if he was still being considered for the opportunity and when he should expect to be contacted further concerning the next steps. He stated that the e-mail was a simple follow-up and that if he was not being considered he would know not to follow-up on this position further. I replied to his e-mail truthfully, thanking him for his inquiry and letting him know that the position had been filled, and that his information had been placed in our database, for consideration for future opportunities.
I do not mind if people want to inquire as to the status of a job opening that we have– I completely understand the need to know where we are in the process. What I did not expect was this job seeker’s reply: a rambling 3000 word diatribe on how he was ideally qualified for the position and he had been passed over. The e-mail included three paragraphs blaming not only me but the Federal Government and how they had not done enough to establish laws and grants to help companies hire him, and so on and so forth. I read it a couple times, understanding the frustration that he must be feeling with his job search and puzzled as to why he felt the need to take it out on me (and countless others, as I am sure that this is not an e-mail that he created just for me).
The job market is an interesting one, sometimes many things have to align in order to be considered for an opportunity. Most recruiters would be thrilled if every resume they received or every person they talked to had the perfect background for the job– life would be great if it were that easy. Yet, many elements are out of our control, it is after all the company hiring the employee that is ultimately responsible for what experience and background they want their future employee to have, so recruiters are bound by those requirements. Therefore, I am always confused when people blame us for not choosing them! We would love to choose you if you are a fit for the job and the company.
The real question is, will this individual be considered for future roles? I did not get a warm, fuzzy feeling when I read his negative e-mail directed at me, so most likely I will not rush to pull up his resume when the next opportunity comes along. Much of the job search process is about making connections and forming professional relationships that can help you find new opportunities in the future.
So if you are looking for a job, my advice: be nice.
If you are looking for a new career opportunity contact Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please be nice.