Do Companies Owe You a Response?

As a candidate who has submitted his resume to individuals and company databases, and as an HR and Recruiting manager receiving resumes, I’ve considered many times, what is the proper response from a company after you submit your resume for a job. Actually…do companies owe you a response?

I’ve posted jobs where I have received hundreds of resumes and there were literally a handful that might have been an appropriate fit. I’ve always been the type of manager who likes to give a personal response, but with this scenario…it’s tough to say “thanks for applying for the tech support job” to the automotive technician who matched the word “tech” and blasted his resume without so much as an introduction in his email.

This ruins it for the candidates who are serious about the job who actually went to the company website and pre-qualified their skills, the location and their sincere desire to work for our company.

If you are the type of candidate that feels companies “owe you” a response, then be the candidate that gives the company the courtesy of your serious review and consideration. So much information moves so quickly these days, but when it comes down to it, if you are not a fit for the job, don’t submit your resume. This way, companies and gatekeepers at the company will have time to give your candidacy the attention it deserves when you are a fit.

Companies can do a better job by setting up an auto responder just to let you know that your resume has been received, and even better yet, been reviewed (love this bit of technology that is used on LinkedIn).

Candidates, don’t haunt companies for a response. If they find your resume and don’t want to move forward you are only putting a black mark on your file if you get upset about it. I’ve actually hired candidates that one day I say…”sorry not a fit” and because they were so understanding and professional in their retort, I found another group for them to interview with and they won that job just 2 days later!

On both sides, professionalism reigns supreme.

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11 Comments

  1. I agree with you for the most part, yet when there are not hundreds of candidates in contention for a position, and when an interview has taken place, then I think it is common courtesy and professional for companies to respond. It does work both ways, and professionalisn is a key element. When the economy turns around (and it will if we all live long enough), candidates will remember how they were treated by an organization, and organizations will bemoan the fact that candidates do not get back to them to say if they are interested in a position. Let’s all try to be professional in the job market, be curteous, and remember that we are human beings dealing with other human beings, even though it may be through electronic means.

  2. Well said Jane! Good economy or bad economy…simple courtesy should always be evident. I think the lines get muddied when defining “simple courtesy” though. People not holding doors for others behind them, cutting in line to save a minute, jumping in the 12 or less item aisle with 20 items…but you are in a hurry, so it’s OK. Simple courtesy is unfortunately left up to interpretation. Maybe I should start a school named Courtesy U!? 🙂

  3. I heard a couple of guys talking about this in the New York subway so I looked it up online and found your page. Thanks. I thought I was right and you confirmed my thoughts. Thanks for the work you’ve put into this. I’d love to save this and share with my friends.
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  4. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  5. Thank you for all the kind comments. We seemed to have made a positive splash at our NYC career fair. We had a great time in Baltimore and Boston too!

    Happy to see my silly thoughts and comments and 18+ years are actually not so “silly” and resonate with folks. It’s tough times out there and we like to have fun, but bring it back around to some constructive advice. Speaking of….

    Google + button…on the way! Appreciate the suggestions.