Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Two REsume Questions for Joel

Do you notify apllicants:

1. when you throw away their resume?

2. when they make it to the interview but don't get hired?

It's an all too common practice to tell applicant that "we'll get back with you" then just leave them hanging.

There is proper etiquette  on both sides of the interview process.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Our current policy is to respond to all resumes.

For a while there we weren't hiring anyone and we weren't even really looking at the incoming resume queue, just filing them, and we didn't respond, but several months ago I decided it wouldn't hurt to give every submission at least a form letter.

Most people tell me that this is quite rare, and most companies' standard practice is not to respond unless they're interested.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Back when I was hiring people, our policy was to reply to every applicant with a form letter that said something to the effect of, "we'll get back to you by [date] if we decide to schedule an interview with you." That way, if a person didn't hear from us by the stated date, they could assume they didn't make the cut. Anyone who came in for an interview, but who didn't get the job, got a letter telling them that they weren't chosen.

Our ads always said "no phone calls, please." Occasionally someone would call us anyway, and we always told them that we would remove their resume from the stack, since they had just demonstrated to us that they could not follow directions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

That would work out really well for me, as the job applicant, if I claimed to be another candidate who I knew I had applied for the job.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Our current policy is to respond to all resumes. "

Thanks. It's nice to see someone do it right for a change.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"That would work out really well for me, as the job applicant, if I claimed to be another candidate who I knew I had applied for the job."

You're assuming that you would somehow know that my policy is to throw out the resume of anyone who calls me when my ad clearly says "no phone calls, please." But as a job applicant there's no way you would know that, so unless you are in the habit of impersonating other people, it's very unlikely that you would try this trick.

There was a book called "How to Hire Yourself an Employer" that came out in the 1970s, written by a guy named Dick Irish. It was full of all kinds of aggressive techniques for getting an interview and getting a job, and he gave all kinds of crackpot advice, including calling people after you send them your resume, even if their ad clearly indicates that they don't want phone calls. I followed some of his strategies when I first started job hunting back then, and they almost always backfired on me. Ever since then I've been very wary of advice given in "how to find a job" books.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home