I’m ready for the real world. But is it ready for me?

By Colleen Callahan, Elon iMedia class of  2010

Hello everyone out there. A special extra high-five to my fellow unemployed.

Sorry if this post reads a little more like a rant. But sometimes you’ve got to just say it, right?

As I’ve talked to my iMedia cohorts, it sounds like a lot of us are still in this job hunt together. The unemployment rates still seem to be high and landing an interview is tough as ever. Don’t get me wrong–with my MA I feel very ready for the real world and a real job. However, for one interview per fifty applications, it seems like the real world is like “Yo, hold up sister. I don’t want you right this minute.”

There’s no doubt that the Internet has made the world smaller and therefore most job applications are online. Therefore, there are more applicants per job. I totally understand that. However, I think companies should also realize if you’re going to use the internet, there are some social media courtesies in recruiting that can make the experience better for your candidates. Therefore, even if you don’t hire them, they can still have a favorable perception of your company. And who doesn’t want more supporters? Here are a few thoughts of mine that I think employers should do.

1. Send an automatic “hey, got your application” email

I always think it’s reassuring when the company sends even an automatic response after you submit your application. Something brief is even nice–that way I’m not left wondering if they even got it.

2. If you’re interested in a candidate, do not send emails from a “do not respond” address

We’ve all seen the “do not respond” thing before. Usually they come from online newsletters and whatnot. However, if you have made personal contact with me, I do not want to question whether or not I can email you back. This happened to me once I was told I was not up for further consideration. I’m totally down with that–surely I am not the perfect applicant for every job. However if I’ve had some interviews with you already, I would like to at least email you back and say “thank you so much for the consideration.”

3. Allow moderation of your application

I’ve seen this both with Disney and Nike, who I think do great jobs with their process. Both allow you to check in online on your status to see if your application has been reviewed, or whether it’s in limbo. Disney also sends emails once they fill the position, letting you know you’re no longer up for consideration. That’s a great courtesy, which brings me to my next point…

4. Let me know about my rejection

Rejection sucks, fo sho. However I would much rather take rejection than deal with the waiting around that happens instead. Instead of doors shutting in my face, it’s like these virtual doors of opportunity just stay open with a glass seal. I’d rather stay away from a closed door than run into a glass one! Sorry if you don’t get that. It makes sense in my head. Yes, I know employers have millions of applicants and whatnot, but some sort of “no way jose” note would be appreciated. If the huge corporations can do it, probably many companies can handle it as well.

Now, I know I am not a trained HR person. However, if I’ve learned anything in iMedia, it’s to have constant, honest communication with your consumer. If you start the conversation online, you should be able to respond and finish it. As applicants, we are your consumer. Give us a chat sometime.

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4 thoughts on “I’m ready for the real world. But is it ready for me?

  1. I would like add 2 honorable mentions:

    #5 If someone has a master’s degree, they are better than every other applicant by default. End of story.

    #6 “Please keep in touch” to us as applicants means “umm…I don’t give a shit.”

  2. Colleen-
    I agree with you so much. It seems that the HR departments need their own HR people to tell them how frustrating this process is. Sometimes I get the feeling that some of the jobs are only posted because they have to legally post them even though, all along, they’ve got somebody at hand who is going to get the job…know what I mean?
    I guess the part that seems so mysterious is might I just as well have shoved my fabulous cover letter and vita off a cliff? It seems most of my efforts are ending up in a cyberspace black hole…even the ones that have you send a physical (paper) version…aren’t they really just sitting in someone’s in-box, untouched? It seems so.
    O, well…we go on.
    Good luck, my friend.
    Paul

  3. Paul-
    I definitely have heard about the legality issue of job postings. Kind of sad we don’t have a chance haha.
    Good luck to you too!

  4. Same stuff applies … over 5 months later. Preach it sister! I agree with Paul, more often than not, it seems like I am just filing online applications into some vacuum where they will disappear and be forgotten.

    Given this was written in June, and here it is November … I wonder how much has changed with regard to who is still looking.

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