Manage Labels In Gmail How Should You Respond to an Automated Human Resources Rejection Email?

This is an example of standard wording being used by humans in the human resources field, along with non-human automated applicant systems: We regret to inform you that we will not be pursuing your candidacy for this position. Though your qualifications are impressive, the selection process was highly competitive. We have reviewed the qualifications of each candidate, and after careful consideration, we have determined that the credentials of other candidates may better fit our needs at this time.This form letter is meant to assure job candidates they were given the best possible consideration for a position, whether or not they were ever contacted for the position. The job applicant is also supposed to trust the process, the automated applicant tracking or review system, and/or the person who may or may not have reviewed the candidate’s resume. This type of form letter or email is send out regardless of how much time a job candidate has invested in filling out an online form, even if there have been multiple screens requiring an extensive investment of effort to complete. The job applicant must now trust that a “careful consideration” was given to the application, and feel good that their “qualifications are impressive”, but not impressive enough to warrant further job consideration.Why is it though, this form letter is no longer believable and only prompts feelings of anxiety and worse by job candidates? I have felt it myself, even as an educator and career coach. I have sent out resumes for online teaching positions and it would be natural to assume with my background there would be endless opportunities available for me to choose from at any time. Yet I am subject to the same impersonal form email as other job candidates, without any available recourse, and this is the reason why so many people find this type of wording so infuriating. There is often a lack of human interaction, connection, and attempt to actually get to know the background and experience of the job applicant. When you meet and far exceed the requirements of a posted position, and no one takes time to call and speak with you, how is that careful consideration has been given?What does a job applicant do when the process of applying for positions with human resources departments no longer seems to involve humans, and no longer involves actual human interactions?


The Automation of Human ResourcesWhen I began my professional career, the process of job searching was much different. At that time, you could contact a personnel department and find out who the hiring manager was for a position and then send your resume directly to that manager. In other words, a personnel department was personable. When you were told your resume would be put on file, you had a fairly reasonable assurance that if you were suited to the type of work this business performed, or services offered, you might hear from someone again. You could send a follow up letter or make a follow up inquiry phone call, and develop a productive relationship with the personnel department or hiring manager.Fast forward now to the current state of human resources. I am educator who has taught business courses and has been immersed in the business field. I have some insight into the field of human resources as well from my work as a career coach. What I can tell you is there is a lot written about nurturing and developing employees, existing employees that is. There is very little written about developing relationships with external job candidates. In fact, there is growing shift towards the automation of human resources, with the use of an automated applicant tracking system. There is a belief among many experts this type of system is the future of human resources and actual humans will no longer be needed in the future for evaluating candidates.I find this extremely alarming and my perspective is based upon seeing two extremes. The first is the perspective of treating job applicants like human beings and developing relationships with them. The other extreme is treating job applicants like disposable numbers, which is where the field of human resources is heading now. I wrote an article about this subject earlier this year and the reaction was as expected from many in the field of human resources; they are overworked, the job market is overcrowded, and most human resources departments are understaffed.There is also an assumption here that many are overlooking and failing to discuss about the automation of the human resources. The assumption is that you can get to know a job candidate strictly through use of an algorithm. I have also been a professional resume writer for over 12 years and I know what most homemade resumes look like, which means most people do not know how to convey their skills and abilities well on their own. I have learned how to write a resume that can use keywords and pass the automated applicant tracking system test, but few people can do this on their own and this means many individuals could easily be ruled out simply because of their resume.What Are Job Candidates To Do Now?If you have received an email or letter with the wording described above, what should be your course of action? I know there is going to be an emotional reaction as I have felt it myself and I still can experience it. It is natural to feel strongly about an impersonal reply when you make an investment in your career, and you take time to apply for positions – especially online positions which require you to fill out what seems like an endless number of forms. You have to first address your feelings and allow yourself to move from an emotional to a rational mindset.Unfortunately, when you receive an automated email you have received something impersonal, and there is likely no follow-up available that involves personal contact of any kind. There used to be a time when a job candidate could network with employees at an organization, or even find direct contact information for human resources employees. However, this seems to have changed as many human resources departments and/or human resources employees can no longer be found on organizational or institutional websites, using anonymity to prevent any form of direct contact. If this is the case, and you have received the standard rejection form email, there is nothing further you can do but apply again if you see another position.What more can you do at this point? It would also be advisable to review and re-review your resume to determine if you have marketed yourself well, to show you have skills which are transferrable to the job or career you are applying for now. The automation of human resources is apparently not going to change any time soon, which means job applicants are going to have to accept and adapt somehow. What makes this matter even more frustrating is the lack of personal contact. If the process of evaluating a job candidate involved a phone call as a matter of routine practice, even a five-minute screening phone call, then I believe a job candidate would more likely accept an email that states their qualifications were carefully reviewed.


For now, job candidates are at a disadvantage when it comes to the use of automated applicant systems and anonymous human resources employees and/or human resources departments to apply for positions. What a job candidate can do is to leverage marketing tools, such as a resume and professional online portfolio, to help increase his or her visibility. Recently I utilized WordPress, a free online blog platform, to create a visual portfolio of my background and experience as an educator. I now provide a link to that website in my cover letter. I also keep my LinkedIn profile up-to-date, and I publish posts to share my knowledge and expertise.While the tools I have mentioned are not going to change the field of human resources, or improve the success rate of my interactions with an automated applicant tracking system, it does change how I feel about myself. I also know that when someone does contact me from an organization or institution, and they want to discuss my background and experience, I have found a place I am really interested in. Any organization or institution that will rule out my application by using an automated system, without ever speaking with me, is probably a place I would not want to work. This is especially true if the automated email was sent out without someone speaking to me directly or attempting to get to know me as a person.The most important aspect of the job application process to remember is this: A form letter holds no weight with regards to who you are and it should never be considered an evaluation of you as a person or a critique of your career. If this is how an organization or institution has evaluated you or your career, that is their loss. You are the sum of your experiences, knowledge, and skills, not just the jobs you have held. Remember this: Believe in yourself and what you can accomplish in your career, hold onto that vision, and you will make it.

Fear This My Fellow Athlete

Competition is good, just as fear is good – if you will use it to your advantage rather than letting it use you. Fear can frazzle us to make mistakes, become uncertain, and anxious, but fear used to our advantage can propel us to greatness. It’s a double-edged sword. Since fear is internal, you own it, it’s yours to use as you will, if you ignore it, it might hurt you, if you use it, it can help you, give you the edge, especially in competition. How might I know this?

Well, I supposed any seasoned competitor in the human endeavor or athlete understands exactly what I am saying, but in case you need more examples to help you better understand this concept, by all means keep reading.

Recently, I read an interesting article online and watched a great video sponsored by Expert Sports Performance, the video was titled: “How Talented Athletes Deal with Fear,” by Loren Fogelman, a well-known sports psychologist.

In my view I believe that Fear is a wonderful thing, a huge driver of the human psyche, but Loren Fogelman reminds me of the truth that: “it motivates some and stops others dead in their tracks,” which is absolutely a fact.

Still, I believe that if FEAR stops someone from achieving or causes them to choke under pressure, then I would submit to you that:

1.) They don’t understand what fear is; and,
2.) They are not using FEAR as an adrenal shot for peak performance

Well, I say; too bad for them, if they are competing against me or my team. Fear can be a weakness if you let it, or high-octane when you need it, YOU decide which. “It’s all in your head” I always say. Anyway, that’s the way I see it. A great book to read is: “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!” published by in the 80s as a motivational type book.

As a competitive runner, I used to imagine footsteps behind me and ready to pass. Interestingly enough, I was a pretty good athlete so that didn’t happen much, but when it actually did happen it’s a sound you never forget. This imagination during competitive races propelled me to stay on pace or increase my speed opening up a large gap between me and the other runners. Sometimes when I am out training even today, I will listen to my feet hit the trail and pick up the sounds of the echo and amplify them in my brain to simulate those ever-feared footsteps, thus, propelling me to run faster and faster.