An Open Letter to Hiring Managers

Dear Hiring Manager who was too busy playing Spider Solitaire on their computer to respond to my job application,

I hope this letter finds you well. (I’m well too, thank you for asking).

Here’s the deal. You probably don’t remember me, because you didn’t care for my application (no hard feelings – the mascara stains on my pillowcase are from something else, though I can’t think of what). I’m writing to you because I never heard back on the outcome of that application.



Now, before you protest with something along the lines of, “We said we’d only notify shortlisted candidates in the first place,” let me just say this: I get it, the modern world’s hectic and you don’t have enough time. I also get that most applicants don’t spend enough time reading the job description and tailoring their résumé to fit the role they’re applying for.

But my question is – what happened to common courtesy? Remember the days when people used to ride in on horseback with a message written on paper?! (If you do, you’re blatantly lying, because horseback courier was fazed out in the early 1900s.)

Seriously though, when did it become too much effort to send out a mail merge email to all the candidates who didn’t make the cut?

Actually, forget the mail merge bit – what about a generic, “Dear Applicant” sort of email? The type that goes, “Dear Applicant, We regret to inform you that the position of [sort of useless desk job you didn’t want in the first place, where you’d likely spend your days playing Solitaire and minimizing the window and pretending to look productive every time someone walks by] went to someone else.” That’s it. I don’t even need the literary magazine rejection lines that usually follow (“There were so many great options to choose from, and we couldn’t take everyone. We encourage you to try again.”) Lit. magazines might take three to six months to respond, but at least they do – and most are crazily understaffed and underpaid.

I mean, if you know who made the cut (which, let’s be honest, you do – you’re the hiring manager for gosh sakes), you should know who didn’t make the cut. A little something I, Nancy Drew, and other people, call the “process of elimination,” FYI. Just draft a “no-go-bro” email, and send it.

Here, I’ll even draft it for you:


Dear Applicant Whom I Don’t Care About Enough To Draft a Mail Merge Email For

You applied for a job with [Company You Probably Remember Because You’ve Been Refreshing Your Email Every Two-and-a-Half Minutes]. I, the Emperor of Employment here (aka the hiring manager) regret to inform you that you didn’t make the cut, reach the bar, succeed to proceed – you get the idea.

Don’t worry though – chin up. Maybe you’ll be the next Meryl Streep and we’ll regret this. Soz, and all the best with your future endeavours.

Hiring Manager Who Has a Name


Don’t get me wrong, my issue’s not with you, personally, it’s with your inability to acknowledge me as a human being. Or at least fake-acknowledge me through some applicant-tracking-system. (Okay, so I guess it is with you.)

My point is, you need to know that this is not okay. Granted, we live in a world where we’re all connected but exceptionally bad communicators, but there’s some etiquette still in need here. When you don’t reply to a candidate’s application, it sort of says more about you than the applicant themselves.

Do you really want to deter potential employees? Once they see “Only shortlisted candidates will be informed,” they’ll get it (albeit two years too late, like yours truly) – they’ll see that you don’t care enough about them to invest a few minutes reading a tutorial on Mail Merge Using an Excel Spreadsheet. (Kinda makes you seem lazy now, doesn’t it?)

And remember, if all potential employees band against you (and I hope they will until such time that this whole “it’s okay to take applicants for granted” attitude is abolished), you’ll be left with no one to hire. Quite a pick, eh?

Anyway, I was going to write to you in person, but since you’re not big on replying in the first place, I figured an open letter was the way forward.

Yours faithfully,
The Disgruntled Employee That Never Was


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