Jobseeker woes: The Ghosting

How many times has this happened to you?

You find a job that looks great, craft your cover letter until it’s perfect and begin filling out the application. Nervously, finger hovering on your mouse pad, you hit send. You wait a few days, maybe a week, until you receive an email asking you to come in for an interview! All of your hard work seems to be paying off! All of those internships you took on, paid or unpaid (the former should be illegal but that’s another blog post) and the hours you spent filling out similar job applications to no avail, finally you’ve got a lead!

This moment is great, but is often short lived. Right away, because you’re a PP (prompt professional), you email them back with a list of availabilities and polite banter. (How exciting!) Then you wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

I thought relationship ghosting (the seemingly millennial inspired phenomenon wherein you go on 1-2 dates with somebody and then stop responding to their texts/FB messages/smoke signals) was bad enough, but truly nothing feels worse than being ghosted by a job application.

Sometimes, when the above scenario happens to me I wait a week or two before hearing back from the company that they’ve filled the position already. Sometimes I wait for months and months and never hear from them again. I have double emailed before, always politely and with a sensible excuse (“Oh, my availability for that interview changed!”) but oftentimes I just let it go. There’s no use in crying over ghosting; whether its from someone you had an excellent first date with, or the company behind your “dream job.”

If I was being haunted by a real ghost I would probably cry a lot. But job applications, and dating partners, are truly a dime a dozen. As my current internship boss told me “It’s a numbers game.” The more applications you send out into the void, the more likely you are to get interviews with companies that won’t blow you off.

No one ever apologizes for getting my hopes up, but that’s OK because I’ve developed a thick skin, which is something older generations like to make fun of millennials for. I’m not being sensitive, I’m being a reasonable human being. The jobseeking process and dating are actually very similar, and I believe that in participating in either we (both jobseekers and businesses) should strive to treat each other with compassion and respect.

I’ve had a lot of wonderful recruiters (okay, more like four) be upfront and honest with me at every stage of the interview process. I appreciate honesty, whether the interview went poorly or very well, because time is one of the most valuable resources we have as working humans.

I’ve also experienced a lot of ghosting. I think the worst was when a communications firm blatantly lied to me about the interview process, saying they’d be in touch with next steps “later this week” when they had posted to social media about their new hire three days prior. You would think a communications based company would be more professional in their communication but alas. I’m not angry, I’m grateful for the experience and the additional layer it’s provided to my already thick skin.

tl;dr: The company behind a job application might ask you to do an interview and then blow you off. That says a lot more about the company than it does about you.



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