June 6, 2013
An open letter to hiring managers
Dear hiring manager: You ask a lot from job seekers. Well, turnabout is fair play. We'd like to ask a few things of you.
Could you notify applicants when the position is filled? It's one thing to ignore a mailed-in resume. But if you've interviewed prospective employees, spending our (and your) valuable time, it's common courtesy to get back to us. We spend considerable time preparing for an interview, often even taking time off from our current jobs. When a decision is made, it would be nice if you'd send us a quick email, or even a form letter.
Why can't you be more upfront about how much the job pays? You insist on knowing our salary histories. Sometimes you ask us to name our salary requirements even before an interview. You know, and we know, that you have a budgeted salary range. Playing cat and mouse smacks of unfairness and is not a good use of anybody's time. If you share your range with us, we'll be happy to share our requirements with you.
How about providing a hiring timetable? We know that the hiring process takes time. But giving us an idea of how your recruiting cycle works would set expectations and eliminate a lot of angst -- not to mention annoying (for you) emails from applicants "just checking in."
Would you make your job descriptions more descriptive? You expect us to tailor our resumes and cover letters to the specific position we're seeking, but it's hard when the job posting is vague or jargon-filled. It would save us, and you, time if we had a better idea of your needs.
Those are the biggies, but we job seekers have more pet peeves: for example, job postings that don't identify the company; long, complex online applications with no "save" function; making us wait a half-hour or more past the appointed interview time.
We realize that you hold most of the cards. But great power brings with it great responsibility. And job seekers do talk. An upfront, courteous and fair hiring process is good for your reputation, as well as your karma.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at email@example.com.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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