HELLOOOO, Anyone Out There?

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Advice for Employers Who Never Respond

The job market is going through the annual influx of new college graduates.  It happens every year at the same time.  There are no surprises.

As the President of a college I hear from the recent graduates as they seek fame and fortune in that first job.  The process is exciting at first.  The technology allows for an incredible inventory of possibilities.  Go to any really large company website and it will show hundreds, maybe thousands of openings for a recent graduate.  Go to any big job site and enter any keyword like recent graduate or trainee or associate or entry-level or start-up and thousands more openings will pop up.   Wow.

As the newly minted graduate, you may not know exactly what kind of work you want to do so you do a little trolling.  You aced both art history and marketing so why not try a few different things?  And it looks like there are lots of positions for which you are perfectly suited.  The “send” button is hot from all the connections being made with employers.  Sure, there is lots of competition for the right spots but you worked hard.  Applying for lots of positions is not like playing the lottery.  It’s more like placing a hat in the ring for consideration.  The possibilities can put you in a mild state of arousal.  Until the silence. Total silence.

The silence creates frustration.  It is a huge frustration when applicants don’t hear back from places where they’ve applied.  Not a word.  Nada.  Zippo.  Zilch.  Aaaargh.  The arousal previously mentioned doesn’t last long.  How hard can it be to send even a little acknowledgment?

I don’t get it.  Everyone understands that a thoughtful response is impossible with so many applicants.  There also isn’t a need for a false hope message to be delivered.  All that is required is a polite acknowledgment.  “Polite” is the operative word here.

Come on employers, you can do better.  I know you can.  You have technologies that can scrape key words off of resumes.  You have sophisticated CRM systems. You have cloud computing and big data available.  You have apps, 3D printers, GPS, optical scanners, flux capacitors and talent managers.  You can do better.  Employers, you know that no reply to someone who pours their soul into an application is a little rude. The least you can do is respond with a returned note.  In the spirit of making things easier for you, I offer the following response suggestions.  None of them will burden your computing capability.  None are more than seven words.

First response:  “Got it. Stay tuned.”  Meaning that at least the resume is in the system.

Second response:  “Unfortunately.”  It may be the cruelest word in the job hunt process but everyone knows what words will follow.

Or another second response:  “Looks good.  Come in for an interview.”  Yipee.  Get the interview clothes ready.

Yes, I know there are millions of resumes that fly around every day.  And I know that many job seekers flood the applicant pool even though the qualifications fall short.  No matter.

Just a few words in an honest response would go along way towards helping the new graduate understand the prospects.  Even a “no thanks” is better than never hearing.

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