Dear Hiring Managers/Recruiters/HR,

andrea janov
3 min readFeb 24, 2021

I know you are busy. I know that you are looking at, at times, hundreds of resumes. I also know that there is a good chance that you have an ATS which you are using to weed out those who are less qualified. I often get the automated message that you have received my resume.

Now, before I have sent you my resume, I have read and highlighted keywords in your job description, I have researched the company on your site and Glassdoor, and I have done a general social media search. I use all that info to tweak my resume and to structure the body of my cover letter. I try to connect with your tone, use your keywords, and provide actionable examples of my value add based on what you have written in the job description.

Next, I send you my materials. I answer your additional questions that I didn’t know about until into the submission process, and I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Radio silence.

Now, I know that if you haven’t gotten back to me in the first 5–7 days there is a very, very low chance that I will be moving on, yet as a job seeker I hold out hope for another week. That extra week goes by and I am now extra sure the opportunity is dead, so I mark it on my spreadsheet and move on.

But, seriously, once you know you are not going to reach out to me, can’t you have your ATS trigger another auto generated message? Those come in all varieties, “Thanks, but no thanks.”, “Your experience is interesting, but not the right fit.”, “We were overwhelmed with qualified applicants, and we are sorry to inform you that you did not advance to the next round.” Any of these will work for any applicant, and we know that it is autogenerated, but at least it gives us closure. It makes us feel like you acknowledge that there is a human behind that application.

I have been tracking my applications, and out of all of the roles that I applied to that have reached that 2 week maturity time that I have specified and I was not invited to interview with, about 71.5% were total blackholes of radio silence. That means that only 28.5% of companies thought that they should reach out to candidates to let them know that they didn’t make it through the process. I even got to a 2nd/3rd round with a company (though it was all through one-way video [where they would email me questions and I would record myself answering them]) who abruptly stopped emailing me, not even acknowledging that they received my materials (I know they did because the video site notified me when they were viewed) .

So, back to the fact that I know you are busy. I have been there. I know the feeling of inundation. But I think we all need to be sensitive to job seekers, very few people are at their best when they are looking for a job. They need to change careers, they need to get out of a bad situation, they have been laid off or fired (I know that there are positive job seekers out there, those who are just looking for other opportunities or those reentering the workforce after a sabbatical or similar), these people are starting out from a place of stress. They are applying, they are laying themselves out there, asking you to judge them, asking for your approval to make it through to the interview round. Yet, we never think about how our ignoring them can affect their self esteem, self-worth, and motivation. I know that as a hiring manager, that is not your responsibility, but if a simple automated message could help ease that, for hundreds of applicants, don’t we think it is worth a few minutes of our time?

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andrea janov

Startup culture + people operations professional who believes in individuals, equity, nontraditional career paths, outside perspectives, + tattoos in boardrooms