This post originally appeared at Gawker.
Read more: http://gawker.com/5896584/heres-how-to-condescend-to-900-job-applicants-with-a-3000+word-rejection-letter#ixzz2CI96HzEq
We were forwarded this rejection email, apparently sent to more than 900 hopeful applicants in one bulk delivery, by a reader who shall remain anonymous. (The person is, after all, still looking for a job).
“I don’t find it helpful,” the rejected applicant wrote. “I just find it arrogant.”
“At first I thought I’d made it to the second round,” the reader said on the phone this evening, “but then I realized I’d been Bcc’d, along with 900 others, on my own rejection letter.”
Here it is, in all its bullet-point glory:
————— Forwarded message —————
From: Shea Gunther
Date: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Subject: You applied for a position at my clean tech news site
If you’re reading this, it means that you applied for one of the positions open at my new clean tech news site (this ad->http://louisville.craigslist.org/wri/2894902027.html). I’m Shea and it’s been my job to do the first read-through of the 900+ applications that have poured in as a result of our ad.
I have gone through each of the applications as they have come in and picked out the best 50 or so to be passed into the second round of consideration. Some of you are amazing candidates that I am really excited to learn more about. Those of you who are passed into the second round of consideration will be hearing from us soon, if you haven’t been contacted by us already.
Others applications have come in from strong writers who just aren’t a great fit for what we are trying to do. When you have a pool of 900+ applications, you can be picky, and we passed over many worthy people simply because they don’t have enough experience in clean technology and green media. I would advise anyone without enough of the right experience who wants to break into environmental writing to start a personal blog and write about the things you want to get paid to cover. You are welcome to get back in touch with us in the future after you’ve built a more focused portfolio.
Beyond those two groups, there were applications that were skipped over after just a quick read—the brutal truth is that the very worst applications got less than a few seconds of consideration. Often I could tell from the first few words of an application that it would be passed over. I was helped by the fact that we are hiring writers; if a person can’t craft a good email applying for a writing job, she’s unlikely to be the kind of writer we are looking to hire.
As I went through your applications, I couldn’t help but jot down ideas on how some of you could improve your job hunting email skills. As evidenced by the response to our ad, there are a lot of people out there looking for work right now and you need every advantage that you can get if you want to beat them to a good job. If your application email sucks, you are going to be left looking for work for a long time because you will get flushed out with the first filter every time you apply for a job. Some of your applications are that bad.
I have broken my suggestions down into a list of 42 writing job application dos and don’ts.