On Manners

Between university and connections, I have not had to apply for a job in over ten years and I’ve noticed a few changes in that time. There seems to be a soul destroying consensus amongst hiring companies to not reply to either your initial application to acknowledge you or to reply in a timely fashion after an interview. Not only is this incredibly rude, disrespectful and a tacky power play, but it cheapens the entire process for those who work hard to craft an application. After tailoring your CV and composing a cover letter, applying for a job convincingly can take between 1-2 hours so I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a brain dead HR employee to hit a key that sends a generic email to confirm receipt. (Assuming they’re too stupid to set up an auto-reply.) The reason that these ‘dynamic’ companies can’t reply is because they’re apparently inundated with applications. What a burden that must be for you, especially given that studies seem to confirm that you glance at a CV for less than six seconds. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t take more than a day to sort through this torrent of paperwork and immediately reply to at least half telling them to get fucked, in the most PC way possible of course because we live in the age of Hurt Feelings. And while I’m on the topic, if I apply to a recruitment company whose job it is to read CVs and screen candidates and I still don’t get an auto-reply then you must be the most illiterate, useless recruiters in existence.

I applied for an editorial job I was immensely qualified and far too much fun for via a CV, cover letter and a 1000 word piece of writing on a topic of my choice. I spent a few hours crafting and proofing my work – not wanting to send in anything with spelling errors on a piece of writing I composed especially for the job in question. They replied by email a few days later to tell me I’d been shortlisted, but to be sure I wasn’t a sexy internet robot I had to regale them with another piece of writing of 500 words and re-write two more of their online ads of approximately 200 words each. This task took me another 4 hours because I wanted to make absolutely sure I nailed it so I injected a little humour, a little pizzazz and a little chutzpah into their already adequate ads and emailed them back the next morning with all of my hopes and dreams contained within.

After week three, I stopped expecting a reply and the only word I can think of when I see their stupid name pop up on any Google search result is ‘cunts’. How is it possible that anyone who is a writer by trade could relegate another’s writing into the trash without a simple acknowledgement? Perhaps I injected a little too much pizzazz – maybe it was over pizzazzed like a pair of bedazzled jeans, (ugh, so many sexy z’s) but so what? Does that mean I don’t deserve an acknowledgement of all the work I put in to their application? Serious cunts. (Sorry, mum.)

It’s really fucking rude when you interview for a role and they never come back to you. I am the absolute pinnacle of job interview self sabotage but even I’m surprised by the ill-frequency of post interview contact. One interviewer told me that they needed someone to start on the 10th of the month – they sent me an email on the 20th telling me I was unsuccessful. I replied, “No shit”, figuring it couldn’t do anymore harm than I’d done to myself in the interview anyway. It’s a small job market, but that doesn’t mean that people can get away with being assholes.

I understand the need to screen candidates because you’re only one middle aged, over-Xanaxed recruitment lady away from total workplace anarchy but there is not one good excuse for failure to acknowledge an email from a job seeker. It’s a classic power play just like the job interview, where one party wields the little power they have over the other for erotic feelings of superiority. You’re not better than me because you work in HR you nasty bitches, so stop trying to disparage my awesomeness by pretending you didn’t get my CV.

This is why it’s easier to know people and get a job that way – no inane interview questions, no corporate HR bullshit and no wearing of an itchy, ill-fitting suit jacket. Unless you’re going for a career in used-car sales. And if you are, don’t forget the white shoes.

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