Dear Recruiters, don’t let me down easy.

This is an open letter to all those companies, who publish open job positions that inspire in me, a rare self-confidence and some amazing non-fiction in a well-tailored cover letter.

This is an open letter to all those companies, who then write rejection letters in poorly formatted emails, with beige wallpaper tone and unseasoned tofu sentences.

“Dear Kiana, We took a great interest in…but…highly competitive….high number of applications….Unfortunately…..a better fit for our company’s needs…We wish you…”

Dear Automated Response/Bored Recruiter,

Thank you for your response, and giving me the same dry response I’ve received from many of the 37 other positions I’ve applied for since August. 

I do hope the day there are so many overqualified, high caliber, graduates in the world (is that already upon us?), employers will consider an applicants ability to stay engaged and learn; over their ability to refine their experience into a linear, distilled and neatly summarised document. 

I’m going to assume you actually read my CV, albeit quickly. I appreciate your rejection of the fact I took 7 years to complete a bachelor because I was experiencing significant challenges you’ll probably still feel an inkling of stigma to (in this highly professional setting), that my creativity hasn’t made it into a neat portfolio yet or you don’t respect certain job roles (perhaps those with children?) have skills that can be applied universally. I appreciate the fact you still believe a university degree teaches you a particular field of knowledge more than you believe university also teaches you how to research, how to be resourceful, how to work to deadlines, persist, ask for help, how to focus, how to break things down into manageable chunks, how to acquaint oneself with professional communication (of which I’ll admit this is not), how to structure information for non specialist audiences, and continually strive to be better. So tell me, what about my background can an A4 sheet of paper tell you, that nullifies the experience we all have, to learn just about any non-specialist job? (Again, I’ll admit, this doesn’t always apply: I probably wouldn’t want to be operated on by a brain surgeon who got the job just for his ‘passion’)

I appreciate the fact perhaps I missed out on the job because maybe my CV photo didn’t appeal to you and I (potentially) look naive because I’m wearing a purple sleeveless summer shirt which doesn’t look business-like and serious. Perhaps I’m not stereotypically attractive enough for male recruiters (in this particular instance) to offer me an interview based on their inherent bias’s, concepts that all humans act on but cannot admit to out loud. In fact, I’ll be silent and impressed if you tell me you gave someone a job from an underrepresented community, but judging from your team I saw on LinkedIn, you still have a large, white, mostly male board so that also seems unlikely. So was it the way I formatted my CV, or do you always hire people with a particular font?

Furthermore, I appreciate the fact no one (including you) will take the time to turn someone down with the truth. No one has the time to actually read a CV and then tell someone why they don’t suit; only that they don’t. The only truth I see is, that there were a lot of applicants and you probably picked someone who is going to make your choice look good. And if your choice looks good you probably won’t get fired. So thank you, for playing it safe X and Y, you really missed out. Because I would have applied the same energy to my job with THIS COMPANY as I have responding to this rejection ‘letter’.

You know, for a team who is supposed to understand marketing, you should learn to craft rejection statements that leave your target audience feeling like it might still be possible to find a job they enjoy, or at worst, tell the truth behind the mysterious “Sorry, you are just somehow not good enough”.

I just needed to prove I can be more than my CV because I’m dying of un-stimulating work and I think sometimes people forget they’re rejecting real people, who didn’t just apply to a certain position for the hell of it. Go on, laugh at me and call me crazy or a weirdo, and invalidate my feelings to your colleagues in your lunch hour. Actually, a genuine criticism might be that you sense my white girl entitlement that’s fuelling this typo-tantrum. Because if you really want to know, I’m writing this in all awareness of my privilege, in my pink flannel pyjamas in bed, after being thrown into an existential despair, because dammit, I wanted that job. 

I just want to be let down like a person, truthfully. Wouldn’t anybody in this position? I want you to tell me you hired someone who makes you think, who challenged you a little bit, someone you took a risk for, and tell me “Actually we feel like the fact you’ve never worked for a large company means we’re hesitant because we need someone who doesn’t need training” OR WHATEVER. Just don’t let me down easy with your bullshit.

Cheers and all the best for the future, I hope the new guy is everything his CV promised he will be.


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