Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: How to...

  1. #1
    Loves Beaver Halo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,196
    Thanks
    1,765
    Thanked 1,456 Times in 818 Posts

    How to...

    ...reject 900 people at the same time while giving them some helpful advice.

    Here's How to Condescend to 900 Job Applicants With a 3,000-Word Rejection Letter

    ————— Forwarded message —————
    From: Shea Gunther
    Date: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM
    Subject: You applied for a position at my clean tech news site

    Hello,

    If you're reading this, it means that you applied for one of the positions open at my new clean tech news site (this ad-> http://louisville.craigslist.org/wri/2894902027.html). I'm Shea and it's been my job to do the first read-through of the 900+ applications that have poured in as a result of our ad.

    I have gone through each of the applications as they have come in and picked out the best 50 or so to be passed into the second round of consideration. Some of you are amazing candidates that I am really excited to learn more about. Those of you who are passed into the second round of consideration will be hearing from us soon, if you haven't been contacted by us already.

    Others applications have come in from strong writers who just aren't a great fit for what we are trying to do. When you have a pool of 900+ applications, you can be picky, and we passed over many worthy people simply because they don't have enough experience in clean technology and green media. I would advise anyone without enough of the right experience who wants to break into environmental writing to start a personal blog and write about the things you want to get paid to cover. You are welcome to get back in touch with us in the future after you've built a more focused portfolio.

    Beyond those two groups, there were applications that were skipped over after just a quick read—the brutal truth is that the very worst applications got less than a few seconds of consideration. Often I could tell from the first few words of an application that it would be passed over. I was helped by the fact that we are hiring writers; if a person can't craft a good email applying for a writing job, she's unlikely to be the kind of writer we are looking to hire.

    As I went through your applications, I couldn't help but jot down ideas on how some of you could improve your job hunting email skills. As evidenced by the response to our ad, there are a lot of people out there looking for work right now and you need every advantage that you can get if you want to beat them to a good job. If your application email sucks, you are going to be left looking for work for a long time because you will get flushed out with the first filter every time you apply for a job. Some of your applications are that bad.

    I have broken my suggestions down into a list of 42 writing job application dos and don'ts.

    Good luck.

    • 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.

    • Do read the ad and do exactly what it asks.
    Here's the section of our ad that describes how to apply:

    ——————————————————


    If you would like to apply for any of the positions detailed above, please send an email with "Clean Tech Application" in the subject and the following information included or attached:

    - Your resume
    - 2-3 social media links (your public Facebook account, Twitter, StumbleUpon, that kind of stuff)
    - One paragraph on why we should hire you
    - 3-5 links to great things you have written

    Please note: We're sticklers for details.

    All initial hiring decisions will be made by April 1st.
    ——————————————————

    I made it very clear that anyone interested in the jobs described in the ad should send an email with "Clean Tech Application" in the subject with a resume, 2-3 social media links, 3-5 links of great portfolio pieces, and a paragraph on why the applicant was worthy of a hire. Right below that I even included a strong hint that we're sticklers for details. I meant it.

    The ideal application was a correctly subjected email with a paragraph of text, 2-3 social media links, and 3-5 portfolio links. It was a test for how much attention to detail you actually pay and it was a valuable tool to have in the filtering process. I didn't adhere to a strict policy of passing over applicants because they didn't exactly fit into the ideal, but when I was faced with a borderline applicant who shared eleven stories he had written, I was more inclined to pass him over.

    • 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.

    • Don't tell me how great this job would be for you.
    One of the best things about starting up a new site like this is being able to give good work to great writers. I am happy and excited to help someone further their career goals and pay their bills, but that is not the first thing I want to read about in your application email. Focus on telling me how you can help out our organization.

    • Don't boast about how many articles or posts you have written.....
    Maybe the writer of the email was being a bit arrogant/ a dick, but is after sifting through nearly a thousand crappy responses is the problem these days folk don't like to be given constructive criticism?

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Halo For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Super Moderator Strong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    10,424
    Thanks
    2,940
    Thanked 1,850 Times in 1,267 Posts
    Strange that, but you know, getting feed back from people you applied to isn't a bad thing.

    In fact I got a call from a potential employer after apply once, it was a rejection, but I checked they had the time to talk and asked if they could give me some feed back. Admittedly it was after an interview and not just a written application. The guy, from human resources took the time and gave it a go. I don't remember a thing that he said, but a few weeks later I got a call from him asking me if I wanted the job. Apparently the person they chose decided against continuing with the job and walked out, and the guy remembered me. I got the job on the strength of asking for advice. Go figure.

    Stand out in the right way I guess is the moral of the story there.
    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost." Dalai Lama

  4. #3
    Lives Here Now ewomack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    9,604
    Thanks
    879
    Thanked 2,458 Times in 1,409 Posts
    Yes, I've had similar experiences when getting turned down for a job. I always try to follow up, but a few years ago when I was on the market I had a 0% success rate of getting a response. But previous to that I generally did get a response and more than once I heard from a company that turned me down a few months late. I already was in another job at the time, but the fact that I actually cared that I didn't get the job apparently made an impression.

    Though feedback is nice, carpet-bombing feedback like the letter above likely will have little effect apart from causing some people to have anxieties that they fall into the "horrible" category. And the ones who did send in terrible applications will likely not think it applied to them. I'm not sure how constructive that letter was. If I had received it I would have no idea where I stood, but I would worry that mine fell into the "that bad" category. I would try to follow up and probably get nowhere. In the end, I think he wasted his time and came off as arrogant. It often reads like he's trying to prove something even to people he turned down. It's a strange letter.
    Ed Womack
    Hidden Content

  5. #4
    Loves Beaver Halo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,196
    Thanks
    1,765
    Thanked 1,456 Times in 818 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Strong View Post
    The guy, from human resources ....
    HR people are weird. Different somehow. Funny it's Human Resources as to work there imho it helps to be not quite human.

    Was it a good job Strong?

    Quote Originally Posted by ewomack View Post
    Yes, I've had similar experiences when getting turned down for a job. I always try to follow up, but a few years ago when I was on the market I had a 0% success rate of getting a response. But previous to that I generally did get a response and more than once I heard from a company that turned me down a few months late. I already was in another job at the time, but the fact that I actually cared that I didn't get the job apparently made an impression.

    Though feedback is nice, carpet-bombing feedback like the letter above likely will have little effect apart from causing some people to have anxieties that they fall into the "horrible" category. And the ones who did send in terrible applications will likely not think it applied to them. I'm not sure how constructive that letter was. If I had received it I would have no idea where I stood, but I would worry that mine fell into the "that bad" category. I would try to follow up and probably get nowhere. In the end, I think he wasted his time and came off as arrogant. It often reads like he's trying to prove something even to people he turned down. It's a strange letter.
    We are sorry Mr Hedgehog. Thankyou for your very kind post but we at BTWIMHO deem it contain too many instances of the letter I. We wish you the best of luck with future posts.



    The ultimate rejection letter from here.
    Herbert A. Millington
    Chair - Search Committee
    412A Clarkson Hall, Whitson University
    College Hill, MA 34109

    Dear Professor Millington,

    Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I
    regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me
    an assistant professor position in your department.

    This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually
    large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field
    of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

    Despite Whitson's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in
    rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at
    this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor
    in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.

    Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.

    Sincerely,
    Chris L. Jensen


    Getting a job in tougher economic times is difficult so:


    How to...

    ...be a crook:
    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Halo For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Super Moderator Strong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    10,424
    Thanks
    2,940
    Thanked 1,850 Times in 1,267 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Halo View Post
    ...
    Was it a good job Strong?
    ...
    Well I wouldn't say it was a good job, but certainly interesting. Assisted Conception Unit at Kings College Hospital.
    Last edited by Strong; 09-04-2012 at 09:48 AM.
    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost." Dalai Lama

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Strong For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Super Moderator Strong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    10,424
    Thanks
    2,940
    Thanked 1,850 Times in 1,267 Posts
    Quite tiring. But I made a lot of women very happy.
    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost." Dalai Lama

  10. #7
    Super Moderator Strong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    10,424
    Thanks
    2,940
    Thanked 1,850 Times in 1,267 Posts
    Merely in a computing capacity mind.
    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost." Dalai Lama

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •