Rejected Redacted Retired

The following email exchange is genuine.  The job-seeker responded to an advertisement for a high-level position that offered on-line by a local head hunter.  I’ve redacted data that would identify any of the parties.

Sent:               Monday, January 07, 2013 1:36 PM
dep_4167833-Rejected-stampFrom:             REDACTED

To:                  REDACTED

Subject:        REDACTED

I emailed materials regarding the above-noted position on 10/31/12.  Can you tell me the status of my application?

Thank you.


Sent:            Monday, January 07, 2013 1:55 PM
From:          REDACTED
To:                REDACTED

Subject:      REDACTED


This search was closed. We can certainly notify you if we have another opportunity.

Thank you,



Sent:               Monday, January 07, 2013 1:55 PM
From:             REDACTED
To:                   REDACTED

Subject:         REDACTED


Please do.

Perhaps you can also provide some guidance regarding etiquette here — when a search is closed, is it no longer accepted practice to inform applicants, leaving the initiative to follow-up to the applicants themselves?  If this is the case, I have some additional emails to prepare.

Thanks again.


Sent:               Tuesday, January 08, 2013 9:55 AM
From:             REDACTED
To:                   REDACTED

Subject:          REDACTED


We are following up with our clients and positions placed for search. Many of our clients are terrible in communicating with us as we are sourcing resumes and collecting resumes for review. We were just notified that this search was closed. We apologize for the lack of communication. It is difficult over the holidays as many vacation. Again, if we should have another opportunity in the area of a REDACTED we will reach out to you.

Thank you for your follow up.




Got that?  The applicant submits credentials in pursuit of an advertised position.  Hearing nothing for over a month, the candidate requests a status update and learns that (s)he’s already been eliminated, just not informed.  When asked about this clumsy, unprofessional treatment, the headhunter blames the client.

I reiterate that the position in play here is a high-level executive one that often commands a 6-figure salary, and plays a vital role in any organization that requires it.  Furthermore, the field is a rather narrow one, so that word of this exchange is quickly shared among professionals in the field.

And yet from my own recent experience, and from reports of many others in similar circumstances, this is in fact the New Normal.  There is scant professional courtesy, and what used to be called rude is now thought of as efficient.   It’s not just the headhunters, it’s the agencies themselves.  After all, if employees are not valued, why should non-employees expect any better?

Reviewing all this, I feel very old.

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5 Responses to Rejected Redacted Retired

  1. Ella Vader says:

    This is good preparation for the way your new employer will treat you once you do land a job.

  2. julesagray says:

    What Ella said. And be happy that you didn’t get a gig with a company that is terrible with communication with head hunters because I bet that same company is just as terrible at communicating with its employers.

  3. Barbara Ganousch says:

    I was laid off and out of work for about 18 months. I sent out no fewer than 250 resumes, and applied on-line at least 50 times. I might have gotten back maybe 10 responses (all negative). The rest were just ignored. It’s tne new normal, alright. btw — eventiually my former employer called me back and rehired me. I got a raise, too!

  4. Stan Garde says:

    This is what happens in a buyers’ market. They can be as rude as they like because they have something everybody wants — jobs — and don’t need to be nice about it. It would be a different story if they were desperate to hire. Then the applicants would be rude.

  5. Living Will says:

    I wonder if the head hunters are as tolerant of their clients’ sloppiness when it comes to collecting for services. Actually I don’t wonder that at all.

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