Your Job Rejection Emails Suck

(or But At Least You Told Me That I Didn’t Get The Job)

I recently went through a very lengthy job hunt. This is the same job hunt that prompted this mental head clearing rant I posted a few months ago (though I wrote the post back in February…I didn’t want to talk about the search while it was going on though), as well as the epitaph to my job from a couple of weeks back. Truth be told, it’s something I have no intention of going through again at any point in the near future. Even though I learned a lot during the job search process — some things good, some not — that would help me in future job searches, those things weren’t the thing that stuck with me once the search was finally done.

Of the 392+1As I mentioned in an earlier post, I received emails confirming my application submission for 392 jobs. There are at least 2 — likely quite a few more — jobs that I applied for that never sent a confirmation email. jobs I applied for between finding out our office was closing and when I was offered my new job, I received rejection emails for 108 positions. These rejection emails came at various points in the interviewing process2Most came before even a phone screening, but I had some phone screenings and a handful of interviews in there too., though all of them told me I wasn’t, for whatever reason, getting the job.

Just because I got 108 rejection emails out of 392+ jobs applied for doesn’t mean that I got offered 284 jobs. That would be ridiculous. What it does mean, however, is that 72.4% of jobs I applied for didn’t even bother to send any sort of communication letting me know that I didn’t get the job. Some of the companies that didn’t reply back didn’t mean much to me. They were just jobs I found on job boards that sounded interesting, so I applied. There were three companies that I applied for that were dream companies that I would have considered leaving a great job for. Of those three companies, only WordPress took the time to send me a rejection email3Nothing against the other two companies, hence not sharing who the other two companies are. But it was incredibly disappointing, particularly considering how both companies present themselves to their client base..

That said, there were still 108 rejection emails that I got. Most of those emails were form emails that looked something like this.

Dear Timothy,

Thank you for your interest in 55555EX – Business Worker at The Business Company and for the time you took to submit your interest in this position. We carefully review hundreds of resumes daily, and while your skills and accomplishments caught our eye, we have decided to pursue other candidates.

However, this isn’t goodbye! Just as we value our customers, we also value you and appreciate that you considered The Business Company during your job search. We invite you to keep checking our careers website, as new opportunities are added daily.

We wish you much success as you continue your job search.

Best wishes,

The Business Company Talent Acquisition Team

I understand that large organizations receive countless resumes on a daily basis. If that organization is telling me no without even giving a phone screening for the position, as the email above was for, I find this to be an acceptable email. Sure, it’s impersonal. And after you’ve received 12 of these emails from the same company4The company who wrote this particular form email employs a ton of people in Northern Ohio. As such, they have numerous job postings year round., it does come off as disingenuous. But that said, it’s not a bad email, per say.

On the other hand, there’s emails like this.

Dear Timothy,

Thank you for submitting your application for the Business Worker position. We appreciate your interest in The Business Company.

We received numerous applications for this position and were not able to consider them all. Unfortunately, your application was not reviewed for this position.

We look forward to speaking with you in the future as new opportunities become available.

Thank you again for your interest and good luck in your job search!

The Business Company Talent Acquisition Team

While this wasn’t the worst rejection email I received5It wasn’t even the worst form email I got., it is representative of some of the most frustrating ones I got. To tell a candidate that the time they took to apply for your job was so wasted that you didn’t even look at their application is an embarrassing way to represent your company. Not only does that deter someone from applying to work for your company in the future, it also deters them from being one of your customers.

I recognize that not ever employer can take the time to give a personalized response to each and every applicant that applies for a job with a company. I also recognize that not every applicant to a position will meet the basic qualifications for the position they’re applying for6Oddly enough, I was better qualified for the job in the second email than the first one., hence complicating individualized candidate review processes. So how does a company make a rejection email better? Oddly enough, I think another form rejection email I received can point us in the right direction.

Dear Tim,

Thank you for your interest in the Business Worker position at The Business Company. Although you were not selected, we wish to thank you for presenting yourself for candidacy and encourage you to continue to review our employment opportunities at [website redacted] and apply for any position that meets your qualifications as they become available.

We sincerely thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Business Company family and look forward to you presenting your candidacy again.

Cordially,
The Business Company Human Resources Group

When I got the email above the first time, I didn’t think much of it. I had applied for a position that was a massive reach for my qualifications and experience. I applied for three more roles with this company at various points in early 2018, only to get the same form email back each time. That said, this one never got on my nerves. If anything, I felt a bit uplifted when I read it. I think the main reason for this is one small section of a giant run-on sentence.

“Apply for any position that meets your qualifications as they become available.”

To me, this specific sentence reads as “hey…you didn’t get this role…but you should apply to the roles you feel you’d succeed in as you continue your job search”. After reading repeated form emails where I was told my qualifications didn’t exactly fit the role’s requirements7If I had a dollar for every “entry level” job where the job poster wanted 3-5 years or more of experience, I wouldn’t have needed a new job., seeing this sentence was a welcome light in the sea of frustration that was my job search. If you can’t, as a company, find a way to review every application8You should. or give a personalized rejection email to every candidate who isn’t considered, at least give them some encouragement to continue their job search on their terms.

Oh. And if you’re one of the companies that can’t be bothered to send rejection emails to people you’re not considering for a job, get your shit together. People don’t spend two hours filling out an application that has five essay questions to be ignored.

Update: Since writing this post in May, I received an email from a company I applied for back in February that was apparently just getting through their resume review process. It holds a special place in my heart because of this post, as you’ll see once you read it.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your interest in the Business Worker position at The Business Company. We have reviewed your application. I must regretfully inform you that the position has been filled. However, we will maintain your resume on file for a one-year period. We will contact you should there be an opening that matches your profile during that time.

We wish to thank you for your interest in our company and wish you great success in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,
via email only

 

5 Things I Want to See in the Next Pokemon Game

It’s been a few weeks now, but we finally got confirmation that a new main series Pokemon game — effectively generation 8 of the series — will be coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2019. Even though the entry-level games Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Let’s Go! Eevee will be coming later this year, I would argue that most long-time players of the series are much more excited about the next generation game than they are a game that is essentially a remake of Pokemon Yellow with a lot more bells and whistles1I feel like I’m an exception to this rule, as I think that there’s a lot of potential with the Let’s Go! games. That said, I recognize that my opinion is largely biased by the fact that I play Pokemon Go regularly..

There is, of course, potentially a lot to be excited for with a new main series Pokemon game. In the past two generations, we’ve seen The Pokemon Company introduce mega evolutions, Z-crystals/Z-moves, replace the gym system with the trial system, ride Pokemon, plus the addition of a new typing to create additional game balance. Some of these changes are for the better, some are for the worse, but the one thing that’s for sure is that the games will continue to experience change.

With that in mind, I thought I’d present five changes I’d like to see in the next generation of Pokemon games. Since we don’t know a ton about what’s coming in a true next generation Pokemon game2As most of the focus is on the two Let’s Go! games at this point., all of the items on my list will be what I truly would like to see added to those games, rather than any thoughts based off of speculation or rumors about the games found online. If the changes you’d like to see in a coming game aren’t in this list, tell me what you’d like to see in the comments.

1. Reintroduce Competitive, Non-Friendly Rivals

There’s a lot that Pokemon Sun and Moon did really well while trying to rethink how a core series Pokemon game should be played. One of the biggest areas where it fell short was Hau being your primary rival for the series. I get that he’s supposed to be this happy-go-lucky character whose story intertwines with yours as you’re going through the game. That’s great. Lillie is kind of like that too and she’s a great character. But you don’t battle Lillie. And she’s not the main person you have to battle over and over again while being presented with little to no challenge. If Hau was even a little competitive, it’d be fine. That said, Sun and Moon make beating Hau feel like you’re curbstomping your likeable little brother. No one wants that.

We need the jerk rival to return. We need a rival on the level of Gary Motherfuckin Oak. The rivals have been getting progressively easier while also getting nicer. But…why? Make the next rival the schoolyard bully. Or an adult who hates kids because he resents not being able to go on his own Pokemon journey. Just stop giving me this as a rival I’m supposed to take seriously.

2. Revive the Gym System, But Not Fully

While there was a bit of an uproar about the fact that Sun and Moon replaced the traditional 8 gym system with the trial system, I will say that I didn’t mind it. The trials were (mostly) better at difficulty scaling than gym leaders were at their place in the game, so it was a bit more of a challenge3Particularly if you went into the trials blind as I did for most of my run through Moon.. The only problem was that the reason the trials were as difficult as they were was because of the SOS mechanic, which forced you to fight the trial’s totem Pokemon two-on-one rather than one-on-one.

From a nostalgic standpoint, I love the gym leader system. My favorite characters in the first three games — Sabrina, Whitney, and Flannery — are all gym leaders whose battles I enjoyed taking on. That said, if the gym system could be re-instituted where you have a gym leader you take on after completing a trial-style battle, that would be the ideal situation. It would certainly make for a more climatic encounter than the Captain-less trial in Sun and Moon.

3. Make Ice Types Matter

I recognize that this is 100% personal bias. I love Ice types. They’ve been my favorite type since Generation I. But good lord are they garbage defensively.

There was clearly an effort to try to remedy this with the introduction of Aurora Veil in Generation VII, but one of the major threats to Ice types — fighting type moves — has a direct counter to Aurora Veil in the form of Brick Break. It’s not a soft counter either, it’s the hardest of hard counters, as Brick Break not only removes Aurora Veil, but it also deals super effective damage.

So…how do we address it? Perhaps having Ice types resist something other than their own move type4Water and Bug come to mind here.. Maybe give a bulky Ice type an ability like Thick Fat which reduces damage from certain types. There’s also the option of removing the weakness to Rock or Fighting or pairing the Ice typing up with Fire as we’ve discussed before on this blog. Just give me an Ice type that doesn’t have to set up screens or get baton passed stats to death in order to survive.

4. Give Expansive Move Tutoring Options Before Part Two of the Generation

If you’ve only bought the original games in each of the generations of Pokemon5Or if you’ve only played Gen I., you’re likely only lightly familiar with what a move tutor is. The move tutor characters in the main games teach moves to certain Pokemon, either for free or at a cost. The massive problem with this mechanic is that you’re almost forced to wait until the second part of a generation of games comes out in order to take advantage of this feature. Sun and Moon were the main series releases that had the most move tutor moves to date, with 11 possible moves to teach certain Pokemon. Their follow ups, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, had move tutors for those same 11 moves, plus an additional 67 moves. SIXTY-SEVEN. Why. Why not have this in the original games?

While we’re at it, can we bring back the move tutor mechanics from Black and White 2 where you could purchase move tutor moves with shards rather than needing to rely on doing the battle tree? The battle tree is my least favorite part of Sun and Moon’s post game, as if I want to do competitive battling, I’ll just play online. I get that some people like the feature. That’s great. Don’t tie move tutoring to it. That’s all I’m asking.

5. Region Lock the Pokedex Until the Post Game

I can hear the rage coming from the internet now about this item’s inclusion on the list. As much as I liked Sun and Moon, the fact that I could catch so many Pokemon from previous games in the series made me care much less about using Pokemon from Alola, save for my starter, on my first playthrough. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as knowing the intricacies of my team allowed me to beat the game (Moon) a bit more smoothly. When I did a playthrough of Sun, however, I made an effort to take only Alolan Pokemon as my primary team.

The major reason to this change of strategy was that I played Pokemon Black in the middle of these two playthroughs. Generation V forces you to use its regional Pokedex until you beat the main game, only then allowing you access to Pokemon that aren’t native to Unova. I truly think that this forced me to think more about my game experience, which made my run of Pokemon Black much more enjoyable. I’d love to see this brought back in Generation VIII, even if that means Pokemon I love aren’t unlockable until I beat the game’s Elite Four. While we’re at it, if we could have every Pokemon ever in Generation VIII without needing special events to get mythical Pokemon, that would also be nice (though likely very unrealistic).

 

What features would you like to see in a new generation of Pokemon games? Hate or love my ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Mid-Month Short Story Challenge #12

It’s the middle of summer if you’re in the northern hemisphere. If you’re like me, that means you’re struggling through the worst part of the year, begging and pleading that fall and winter will come sooner rather than later. Since there wasn’t much of a spring time in the Midwestern USA this year, it’s doubly the truth.

What better way to beat the summertime blues1Alan Jackson fans are free to take a shot here. than to go inside, crank up the air conditioner, listen to some music, and write a story? And even if you’re the type that likes being outdoors, I’m sure there’s a shade tree or a park where you can do the same — as this month’s prompt post is a little bit different from previous ones. This will be the start of two consecutive music related theme prompts, so let me know how you like it.

Your prompt is for this month below. Your story should be posted on August 1, 2018. Be sure to link back to this post so I can see your story and share.

  • Suggested number of words: Minimum 500 words, no maximum
  • Seven words to work into your story: Gravity, reject, narrow, relief, defiant, register, staircase
  • Genre: Open to you
  • Rating/Content/Perspective Limitation: No limitations
  • Topic: It’s up to you…but you have to write your story based on a song. You get to pick the song, you get to pick the topic, you get to write the story. Just be sure to add a note (or a link) within your post indicating what song you used for inspiration.

2018 Blog Goals – Mid Year Review

Welcome to the midway point (more or less) of the year. It’s time again to take a look at my 2018 blog goals and see how I’m doing against those goals. When we last peeked in at the end of the first quarter of this year, I was meeting one of the three goals that I had set for the year. I made an effort to do a bit more promotion of this site on Twitter, not to mention completing a minor site redesign to make it a bit easier for mobile readers to follow the blog.

Now that the year is half done, how am I doing on those goals? Let’s check in.

Goal 1: 20 New WordPress Followers

There’s both good news and bad news with how I’m doing on this goal. The good news is that I managed to pick up triple the number of followers in Q2 of 2018 as I did in Q1. The bad news is that I’m still well short of my 20 new follower goal for the year. At this point, hitting half of this goal would still mean an uptick in followers from the pace I’ve been at throughout the first half of the year, though it’s probably more realistic than the full goal. That said, I was behind pace on the next goal as well and made it up, so perhaps this will change.

Goal 2 – Average 250 Visits Per Month

Well. This changed in a hurry. Thanks to May and June being the two highest traffic months in the history of my blog (as well as April being the 4th highest to date), instead of sitting just shy of my goal pace, I’m over 1.2 times my goal pace1If we look solely at the May/June pace, it would be nearly 1.6 times my pace. That would be nice to see the rest of the year.. Averaging 250 visits per month would mean that I would get 3,000 site visits by the end of the year. If I continue my current yearly pace, this site should end the year in the neighborhood of 3,500 site visits. Hitting 3,500 would be impressive, especially considering I felt like 3,000 was a bit ambitious. I’m hoping that the launch of my Patreon will drive additional traffic to the blog, meaning there may even be an outside chance to get to 4,000 site visits. That would be amazing. The more fun fact that lets me be optimistic about this goal as we hit the second half of the year is that nearly every month this year has seen growth in the number of site visits AND unique visitors to the blog per day. It makes me hopeful that the growth is sustainable.

Goal 3 – Grow Comment Count by 20% Again

While my first two goals saw growth from Q1 to Q2, my comment count goal — though still being ahead of pace — wasn’t quite as fortunate these past three months. It wasn’t a major downtick in comment count, hence still making the goal pace. That said, I’d love to get this back on my original pace from Q1. Considering there are some extra posts going up in July (as well as potentially August), there will be extra opportunities for comments. We’ll see if that helps though.

How are you doing on your 2018 goals? If you’re a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, or other creator, have you made changes to your goals for the year? Sound off in the comments.


Like the work I do? Want to help me make more, better written content? Consider pledging your support on Patreon.

Help Me Earn Money For Writing

Hey all!

About a month ago, I mentioned that in the near future you could support me and my work on Patreon. Well, today is the near future.

MY PATREON IS LIVE. CLICK THESE WORDS TO GO THERE.

Yes, they’re all caps. Yes, they’re giant. I really would like your support. You can also click the button below, which will start appearing in other locations on my site throughout the week.

Become a Patron!

If you’re still here — and by here, I mean my blog (as this is going on Patreon too) — I bet you’re all wondering what perks you can get for pledging to support me. Here’s some information on the perks, along with some frequently asked questions.

Perks

At launch, there will be four support tiers. These are as follows. Note that if you support at a higher tier, you’ll automatically get the lower tiers (so if you support with $3/month, you’ll get both the $1 and $3 rewards).

  • $1/month – You can submit questions to a Q&A that I’ll either post as a Patreon post or as a podcast. Said podcast Q&A will be done quarterly, however you’ll be able to submit questions each month. More information on this perk is in the FAQ section.
  • $3/month – I’ll be digitally signing pictures that aren’t me or aren’t of me. Some of these will be signed with my name. Some will not. It’s a new surprise picture every month. I promise terrible signatures and things that make no sense.
  • $5/month – You’ll get access to a once a month patron-only blog post. More information on exactly how this will work is in the FAQ section below.
  • $10/month – You’ll get access to a once a month patron-only podcast that I’ll be doing. More information on exactly how this will work is in the FAQ section below.

Additionally, there will be patron count goals. The first two of these goals are as follows.

  • 25 patrons – Once my account has 25 patrons, I’ll do a Q&A separate from the quarterly Q&A mentioned above. My goal is to do this Q&A within a week or two of hitting 25 patrons, though we’ll play it by ear depending on how quickly I get 25 patrons.
  • 100 patrons – In the extremely unlikely event I ever get 100 patrons, I’ll add a new tier of rewards. I’m thinking this will be related to whatever work in progress book I have at that time, but we’ll see if this ever happens.

FAQs

We’re giving you money…and yeah…we get perks…but what are you going to do with it?

The three goals I have with my Patreon are, in order of how likely they are to happen, as follows.

  1. Pay for my blog’s monthly hosting expenses. As my site is growing, these are likely going to go up in the next 2-3 months.
  2. Pay for someone to redesign my blog/website and make it a more professional portfolio style site.
  3. Make enough money to allow me to devote significantly more time to writing fiction/publishing books/researching for my writing/podcasting/etc.

If #1 happens, I’ll be overjoyed. If #2 happens, I’ll be ecstatic. If #3 happens, we’re clearly living in an alternate timeline, as there’s no way in hell that’s going to happen.

Why now?

Because I want my writing to be taken seriously. I’ve been writing in some capacity for 10 years now, not to mention fiddling around with blogging for closer to 15. It’s about time I took this seriously in terms of having some level of compensation for the amount of time I devote to it.

Why should I support you?

Because I’m awesome. Because you’re awesome. Because reasons. Pick one.

Really though…I feel pretty strongly that there needs to be more support for writers of all kinds, be they bloggers, novelists, journalists, or whatever. Whether that support it sharing someone’s work, supporting them financially, or subscribing to their paper, it’s a great and necessary thing. This is doubly true for independent creators like me.

What’s the plan with the $1/month quarterly podcast?

I wanted to do a quarterly reward, but Patreon doesn’t offer that. This was the next best way to handle it. Basically, if you donate $1/month in any of the months of the 3rd quarter of 2018, you’ll be able to ask questions for the 4th quarter Q&A. I’ll announce when you can submit questions and what not on the Patreon.

Tell me more about the $5/month tier patron-only post.

Let’s say you donate $5 in the month of July. In early August, I’ll put up a poll where you can vote on the topic that I write the patron-only post about. The winning topic at the end of the polling period (3-5 days?) will get a post written. Said post should go up in mid-August in this example.

Tell me more about the $10/month tier patron-only podcast.

Initially I didn’t have this tier. Yet there were enough of you that I shared my beta rewards plan with that said I needed this as a reward that I wanted to try it. Like the $5 reward, let’s say you donate $10 in July. In August (likely mid-August), you’ll get a recorded podcast featuring one of the blog posts I published in the previous month. This will be via a RSS available only to patrons. Some months I’ll pick the post I record. Some months I’ll hold a vote. I’ll announce more on this each month, presuming people actually are crazy enough to give me this sum of money.

Does donating to your Patreon give me free/discounted access to your professional editing/writing services?

No. That may change in the future, but it will not at this time.

Will the Patreon-only posts and what not go up on this site?

Maybe. The Q&A posts/podcasts likely will, though only Patreon supporters will get to submit questions. As for the other posts, if they go up on this blog, it won’t be until a few months have passed for sure.

Any other final words?

If you do choose to support me, thank you. That’s really all.