Not hired! First, Rejection. Now, This…

It’s like hearing from an ex who just wants feedback on how they dumped you.

How dare they send me such… smut?! Keep that laptop away from me!

There are few life experiences more unpleasant than looking for work. I’ve been wandering the aisles of the job market for much of 2017, and my shopping cart remains empty.

I feel like less of a loser than I probably should, because I’m spinning my lack of success in a way that won’t stop me from being as persistent as my mother knows I am. After 26 years as a professional journalist, I’m overqualified for most jobs out there. There are fewer positions at my senior level, and the competition up here is formidable.

That Ive been looking at positions mostly outside of the United States adds a hard-to-iron-out wrinkle, as companies generally prefer to hire local talent rather than deal with work permits and expat visa hassles. Fair enough.

I’ve come close several times, but it’s been mostly months of rejection via form letters and non-responses. Companies have strung me along for weeks, and I’ve been ghosted by once-interested parties, including at least one that had taken things as far as a second interview.

Nope, it hasn’t been a blast. But today I did get something related to my job search that made me roll my eyes and start laughing. It was from a company that hadn’t even responded to my application. That didn’t stop them from reaching out to me by email to request a favor.

I’ve removed all company names from the email below because, well, I’m sure their employees are perfectly lovely people when they’re not sending inappropriate emails with misspelled words in the subject line. Uh-oh.

Dear Jeremy,

Within the last six months you have either applied for a job… or joined our Talent Community and we would appreciate your help. We want to know about your experience in order to improve our candidate experience.

We are working with a third party, non-profit organisation to anonymously analyse and improve the experience that we deliver to our internal and external candidates. They’re administering the survey on our behalf.

We’re all about creating unmissable moments for our people and this extends to our future employees. So we are inviting you to participate and have a voice in this process. We want feedback from anyone who has joined our Talent Community or applied for a job with us — no matter how far you went in the process!

Your participation in this brief 10–15 minute online survey will help us to provide a better experience to future candidates.

Start your survey now!

Thank you in advance for your participation.


Now, to be honest, I don’t even remember applying for a job with this particular company, but I am certain that this is the first time I’ve actually heard from them. It’s like hearing from an ex who just wants feedback on how he dumped you so he can treat future partners better.

That’s never actually happened to me, thank God, but I do hate receiving letters from exes — and from people who didn’t hire me… unless they’ve changed their mind. That’s unlikely to happen in this case. I probably burned this bridge to the ground with my one-paragraph response.

Hello. I’m going to pass on this. I think my 10 to 15 minutes would be better spent seeking out a company that might actually be interested in interviewing me, at the very least.

Good luck.


When I pressed send, I knew I’d killed any chance of ever working with that particular company. But for the shot at letting at least one insensitive talent acquisition specialist know that job seekers have feelings, I’ll gladly continue my regularly scheduled job search.

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store