Date: Thursday 6 May 2010 12.19pm
To: John Smith
Subject: Your Application for Job No. 12345
Thank you for applying for the position of Operations Manager at XYZ Corporation. (Job No. 12345).
Your application was very impressive, however there were other applicants with experience more suited to the role. While you were not successful on this occasion, we have kept your resume on file for any future, similar positions.
Thank you again for your interest. All the best for the future.
Yours sincerely, Jane E. Recruiter, Human Resources
From: John Smith
Date: Thursday 6 May 2010 12.39pm
To: Jane E. Recruiter, Human Resources
Subject: Re: Your Application for Job No. 12345
Are you KIDDING me????
I cannot BELIEVE this! I know for a FACT that there are only three people with my qualifications and knowledge currently on the market! Your employer must either be a complete imbecile or YOU failed to provide advocacy for my candidacy as is your JOB!
Anyway, if anything else comes up PLEASE keep me in mind!!!!!
PS…Who got the gig???
Put yourself in Jane E. Recruiter’s position right now. After receiving this reply from John Smith is she likely to:
- Think fondly of John as a highly professional, competent candidate and recommend him for any future roles?
- Roll her eyes, make that kind of harrumph noise people make when they are insulted and decisively hit the delete key?
If you guessed that Jane would send John, his candidacy, and his outraged electronic rant to the dark void of cyberspace for all eternity, you’d be probably be close to the mark.
John made the mistake that all of us make from time-to-time; he responded immediately from a place of emotion rather than one of thoughtful consideration. He’d “scratched an itch” and for one wonderful, glorious moment of insanity, it felt good.
In the cold, hard light of day though, John responded to a perfectly professional email from Jane by scorning the employer, insulting Jane’s capabilities, claiming to know every qualified candidate on the market, and shouting at her (capital letters are considered shouting in electronic communications). Let’s not even discuss the unprofessional and childish punctuation! As John’s rant wound down, he demanded that Jane “PLEASE keep him in mind”.
Keep him in mind? The likelihood that Jane would enthusiastically advance John’s candidacy for a similar role in the future is next to nil; and who knows how much influence Jane has across her professional and personal networks?
Next time you are tempted to “scratch that itch”, vent to a friend instead. Cry on your girlfriend/mother/wife’s shoulder and kick the fence. Then when you have cooled down, rise above the emotion and start writing the most gracious, professional letter of thanks you’ve ever written. Your future may depend on it!