Re: Acknowledge Resumes?

Subject: Re: Acknowledge Resumes?
From: Jim Purcell <jimpur -at- MICROSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 12:44:47 -0700

Barb Philbrick ponders:

> As you might remember, I'm in the hiring process. I've received a few
> resumes and need an opinion on whether and how to respond to them.
> I would like to send postcards out that say, "Thank you for submitting
> a resume. Unfortunately, we cannot hire you at this time." (Something
> like that; suggestions are welcome.)
A form rejection letter is perfectly appropriate. Unless you're handling
hundreds of applicants or your company is really strapped for funds, the
rejection letter should be a letter, in an envelope, on company
letterhead. People who interview deserve a phone call and a personal
letter, whether they get the job or not.

Really large companies often send a postcard acknowledging receipt of a
resume and saying basically that if your qualifications meet the
company's current needs, we'll give you a call. This implied rejection
may be OK for unsolicited resumes, but I think it's tacky for people who
are responding to a job posting. If you ask people to send a resume,
they deserve a (form) letter telling them which pile their resume ended
up in.

> Now, the tricky part: Should I tell them why? For example, one
> person's cover letter had two, possibly three errors in it.* Am I
> doing him a favor by pointing out the errors, or am I nit-picking? How
> would you feel about it if you received a response like this?
I don't want to revive the perfect resume thread, so I'll just advise
you not to say anything to the applicant. People don't expect it--at
least, they shoudn't--and justifying yourself to everybody you reject
can turn into a huge time sink. If somebody doesn't make the cut often
enough, they'll take another look at their resume and then fix it, get
someone to help, or find another line of work.

Jim Purcell
jimpur -at- microsoft -dot- com
My opinions, not Microsoft's

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