A no is a no, however awesome… but that no was better than most…

I've been shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards 2016 Final.

SOME slaps to the face hurt less than others. And I say that as the owner of a face much slapped.

When you apply for jobs there are a number of responses, virtually all by email. Often you receive what we might call the cold decline… “This post attracted many applicants who were more suited to what we require, so we will not be taking your application any further on this occasion. Sadly, we cannot enter into further details about our decision…”

And between the lines you read: “This post attracted many applicants who were an awful lot smarter and younger than you, and probably better looking too, so no chance – and don’t even think of asking us why.”

Others are perfectly friendly and I read one of those just now before sitting down at the blog face. This explained that I didn’t have enough experience for one aspect of the job – and added that the company in question had one ex-journalist on the staff already (well, there are a lot going spare nowadays).

So the rejection below was different. The job was part-time and in London but could be done on a freelance basis from home, according to the advert. This sounded good to me as steady money would help fill in the gaps round my freelance work: a bit of mortar to hold all those words together.

I have included the name of the company because they handled the rejection with a winning touch of humanity. Here is what they had to say: “Thanks for the application. We don’t like to leave candidates in limbo here at TalentRocket and although we think your application has lots of awesome qualities, we don’t feel like you’re quite right for what we’re looking for right now. We hope you’re not too disappointed but, trust me, there are lots of great companies out there. Our advice, don’t settle. Make sure you find a company that aligns with your personal values and that will challenge you to grow…”

Now clearly a message which said that my awesome qualities were just what they were looking for would have painted a smile on the day, but there you go. This email did at least attempt to convey something uplifting – an incline to go with the decline.

Worst of all by far are the companies you never hear from again. I could name a few and two private schools and one university are examples from among the many. Nothing and nowt, zilch and zero. How very rude. And how lacking in empathy. Another day in limbo-land.

So that’s why this one rejection seemed better than most. No is no however you dress it up; no is still no if it comes with a sparkle of awesomeness. But still, I think companies could learn from this approach which is certainly better than the auto-email slap in the face. Sometimes you can’t ever remember which job they are turning you down for, as all you get is a code of some sort (“Your application for job xyz@2&0 has been unsuccessful”).

Large and bureaucratic organisations such as the NHS don’t always let you know anything, expecting the candidate to log on to a website to check on the progress of their application. In that case all you get is one word: under status of application it will say: “unsuccessful.”

Some messages do arrive from the NHS. I received one the other day saying that although the communications job in question had been advertised publicly, only candidates who already worked in the NHS and whose jobs were at risk or facing change were being considered.

So on I go, scrabbling up that scree. Met a friend yesterday about a bit of writing work. Interviewing someone this afternoon for proper paragraphs to be typed up for a newspaper. On and up I go. There’s a spindly tree up ahead. I’ll just grab hold of that and…


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