Three minutes. While in some cases that’s a lifetime (say, if you really need to pee or if you’re caught with no jacket in a snowstorm), in others it’s just the blink of an eye. The latter applies especially to applying for jobs, where sometimes answers arrive months after the application had been sent and forgotten about.
Well, if I usually complained about the lack of answers during the summertime, this story is here to illustrate that sometimes your grumpy wishes can be answered. So here we go!… Ready?
One fine day I was sitting (yup, you guessed it!) at the kitchen table searching for jobs and sending applications out. I stumbled upon a small company doing work that I thought was super interesting so, being the ultra-perfectionist that I am, I made sure that my CV was tailored to the type of company and drafted what I thought was a pretty interested/motivated e-mail. See for yourselves:
Nice, right? This is something I always make sure to do, whether I attach a motivation letter or not. It is important that a company feels the enthusiasm in the candidate’s words, that they feel that this person is different and could be a great asset to the team. Which is why I will always do the best I can to cause that impression.
Well, to be fair, the people over at this company didn’t ignore me! :p But they weren’t nearly as impressed by me as I was by their product. It took them exactly 3 minutes to reply:
Wait, what?… This could’ve been soul-crushing if I were more fragile or naïve about the world of job seeking. I could have felt demotivated, frustrated for putting the effort.
Instead, I laughed. I could do nothing more than to laugh at this answer.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that they answered as I think it’s always better to get a “no” than to hear nothing at all. But, if you’re gonna answer, and being that the person is clearly excited, there are a few other ways to reply to this without investing too much time. Maybe something like:
“Thank you for your interest! We take pride in this idea and the work we do and always look out for ways to make a difference. Unfortunately, we don’t have any vacancies at the moment, but good luck with the search. Best regards, XYZ”
It would have given me a good impression of the company, it would have taken them maybe 30 seconds longer (took me about 1 whole minute to write it). It definitely would have made the whole application process more human, which is something that, as a job seeker in this digital black hole era, I so often feel it’s lacking. I’m guessing I’m not the only one? 😉 Oh well, moving on!
In any case, my point here is: it takes so little to make a difference in other people’s lives, whether it be in the job hunting world or in daily life. Yes, it might take you 30 seconds longer, but it will matter for that person. A gesture of kindness, interest, politeness — they all matter. This is a lesson that I’ve learned in the last few months and one that I hope I’ll remember if I ever find myself on the other side of the applications.
P.s.: Today’s post was inspired by a conversation with my friend Val, who thinks that my life is actually more interesting than it is and encouraged me to share my application experiences, and to post more often! Thanks, V. 😘