The job and internship market is competitive, yes, and as college students we are painfully aware of this. But the most annoying part of the entire application process is the lack of responses from the possible employers we seek to work for.
Would it kill them to just send an e-mail with a big fat no? Tell me you don’t want me for that internship, that you went with somebody else, that although my résumé is impressive, it just doesn’t suit the work that you’re looking for.
I believe that in the past year, I have filled out about 30 applications for both part-time work and small internships alike. Of those, I was rejected three times and was successful with two.
The other 25 pieces of me are either in some pathetic filing cabinet or still floating around in cyberspace.
I’m honestly lucky to have even a grand total of two successful applications to be proud of. The other 25 were simply a waste of time. Maybe, if I were more optimistic, I’d call it real world experience, but my empty AOL inbox is really just a slap in the face. Less of a slap? Maybe just telling me “no,” even in a few measly words.
Maybe it’s the shift to online applications that has made the process more frustrating. The online application system puts you in a larger pool and makes everything less personal. Maybe employers look at a long list in their inbox, sigh and don’t care enough to read them all.
But besides busy schedules, what is the real reason that so many applications are met with absolutely no responses? Do they not care? Maybe. Did they actually mean to say the job is no longer available and eager applicants are waiting in vain? I’m sure it happens.
Sending in an application for a job where they say, “We’ll keep it on file and if anything comes up we’ll let you know,” I understand. Those are long shots. But if someone applies to a pending “Now Hiring” with an application deadline, I think the receiving end should take the time to send out at least a generic e-mail to say the job has been filled, not by you.
Closure is an important thing. The decency to allow someone to move on in search of other opportunities is more of a progressive step than waiting around and hoping you’ll get a job that will never get back to you. Those paid to hire and fire should do their jobs in notifying applicants, no matter the news. It seems simple enough.
I also feel that often in college settings, students aren’t taken seriously enough in an adult world, because those that are older consider us inexperienced, unprepared and unwise. We may be less wise in some areas because we are simply younger, but so many students are driven and smarter than many older adults. We’re coming fresh out of the most stressful years of our lives thus far, so to assume we can’t handle any part of the real world is wrong. In every application and outreach, take us seriously. We are adults.
So, supervisors, send a beautiful “no” if that is truly the case, especially if someone has diligently followed up on his or her application. Give them some peace of mind, an answer to their problem, so that they may go out and move forward. To say “no” or not to say “no,” that is the question and not a hard one. Please, I encourage the former.