A Candidate’s Letter

Insights into what a job candidate might be feeling when they interview with your company.

Dear Prospective Employer:

I’m writing this letter because I want you to know how a job candidate feels. I hope it influences the way you treat me, and others in the future.

When I come to you having lost a job, I don’t expect sympathy – I’d just like a little respect. Do you know what it’s like to be out of a job? Your self-image changes, your self-assurance slips, and you worry about the future. Money and the lack of it consume you.

My problems aren’t your responsibility, of course, but it would be nice if you recognized that the person seeking a job is not just a walking resume. We’re real live people going through a difficult period. Most of us have made valuable contributions to other employers in the past and want to continue doing that in the future. We deserve to be treated respectfully.

What does that mean?

Essentially, it means acting in a polite, businesslike manner through the entire hiring process, whether or not you actually hire us. Let me take it from the top.

First, about the job you want filled. Is it a real job? Do you have a clearly worded job description that both you and I can understand? Can you explain what success in that position entails?

Also, are you being realistic about the qualifications of the candidates you’re seeking? As a job-seeker, there’s nothing more frustrating than being turned down for a job I know I could do well merely because a human resources bureaucrat requires that I have six years of experience not five.

Next, are your job ads for real? I know that sometimes companies and employment agencies go trawling for candidates. They put ads online and in newspapers for jobs that may exist once they see who responds. Or they’ll interview people and never hire anyone. That’s toying with people’s lives.

It’s also not cricket when you ask for my salary history but don’t reveal how much your job pays. We can come to terms over money, but don’t try to trick me.

When I answer an ad or call to set up an appointment, I should receive the same attention as any another person you do business with. Be prompt in your response, be courteous and treat me as a potential colleague, not as a supplicant.

When I come in for an interview – and if you already have my resume and cover letter – don’t make me fill out other forms before I even see you. There’s time for that if you want me, and if you don’t want me, you won’t need the forms.

When we talk, don’t try to trick me with the latest in pop psychology interview techniques. Let’s have a serious discussion about what you need and what I can do for you.

If you decide you don’t want me, let me know promptly. Don’t make me call a dozen times and get a runaround.

It’s really not so hard to act decently. I just wish more potential employers did.

Signed, a job candidate.

(C) Copyright 2001 Evan Cooper. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.

Like this? Share it with your network:

I need help with:

Got a Question?

Get personalized expert answers to your business questions – free.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to purchase something using one of our links at no extra cost to you.