A reader writes:
I’ve been looking for a position in the creative industry. My application generally consists of a resume, cover letter, “teaser” images, and a link to my portfolio website. An agency I would love to work for informed me that they’ve decided not to move on to the interview phase with me. Their email included the typical “we’ll keep your information on file for future opportunities.” They also offered to send feedback regarding my application. I’d love to find where I can improve and expressed my interest in receiving their feedback.
It’s been about a month, and they haven’t sent me anything yet. Just a string of emails (all initiated by them) along the lines of “Sorry, we haven’t had a chance to send you our thoughts, but we’re still busy compiling all our notes for you into a document.” Honestly, I was just expecting a few sentences, not an entire document! It just seems odd that a firm that wasn’t interested in moving forward with me is going through all this trouble. Could this mean they’re reconsidering me for the position?
I have no idea what’s going on here — this is very strange. As I was reading your message, I thought you were going to complain that they hadn’t sent you the promised feedback yet, and I was going to tell you to let it go because sometimes these offers are made and then end up falling through the cracks. (Which I’m not defending, but if it happens, you’ve got to just let it go.)
But then I got to the end of your letter and discovered that that’s not your issue at all. Your issue is that they’re implying that they’re creating some sort of detailed feedback document for you, which is really unusual. And maybe incredibly kind of them too. I don’t know whether it indicates that they’re considering you for a position (either the original one or something else), or whether they think you’re really promising and could be a strong candidate for them in a year or two with some feedback now, or whether they’re for some reason in the business of giving people who they never intend to hire detailed feedback on the side. Or, hell, maybe they’re just going to send you a paragraph, and they haven’t gotten around to writing it up yet, and their choice of words inadvertently implied it would be more than that.
All you can do is wait and see what they end up sending you. Please let us know once you find out, because this is an intriguing mystery that I want an answer to.