SEEK and reject…. Rejecting candidates responsibly

I received the most ridiculous and off putting cover letter today, alongside a very mediocre resume. The scene was what I would classify as rather pitiful and I felt compelled to take action.

A young candidate of no more than 22 had sent in his resume for a role I was recruiting for on behalf of my client in the IT managed services arena. He had sabotaged his application with the first three words of his cover letter.

“Hello job #169”, after which a subsequent diatribe of sarcasm and a poorly drawn “kitty” made up of back spaces and XX…….///// was drawn underneath, apparently for my amusement.

My first reaction was to be annoyed at this candidate wasting my time and his own. However, as I read this awful cover letter, I started to change my mind. How could someone of this age be so jaded to end a cover letter for a new opportunity with “I look forward to your “You aren’t suited for this role” email, like the past ~160 before you have sent me”

I chose my HR career and my consulting business based on a desire to teach and educate others to be the best they can be and here was a person who needed advice as well as a nice firm reminder that this approach was going to get him nowhere fast.

I did just that. I provided him with some constructive feedback about both his attitude and his resume style while most people would have either got annoyed or just smiled and politely ‘rejected’ him. He needed a reality check and I gave him one.

Human Resources professionals need to take their roles in education seriously to make a difference. I may have made no impact here, but it’s doubtful. He will read my rather long response and at least feel that regardless of the outcome, I had taken the time to read his resume and respond in a manner which gave him something to think about. What he does with it is up to him….

Yes, he was rejected but with good reason and he can change it for the next role he applies for with a few simple strategies… and no cat drawings!