stupid candidate behavior: not checking email

Here’s a thought: If you’re applying for jobs, you might want to check your email on a somewhat regular basis.

In the last week, I’ve had three candidates say they didn’t know that we emailed them some questions about their applications, because “my Internet has been down for a week” and other variations of this.


If you’re job hunting, and you’re including an email address on your resume, ignoring your email is the same as sending out a bunch of resumes and then turning off your phone for a week.

There are ways to check your email when your Internet is down — for free at a friend’s house or at many public libraries, or for a few dollars at a Kinko’s (update: which I have just been informed is now called FedEx Office).

We happened to call these candidates after not hearing from them because I am incredibly anal retentive that way. Most places aren’t and would have just tossed them from their candidate pile.

If you’re job hunting, check your email.

{ 10 comments… read them below }

  1. Evil HR Lady*

    Yes. And change your answering machine message to a professional sounding one. And if you get a phone call at noon and you’ve been sleeping, don’t try to answer. Just let voicemail get it and call back after you’ve woken up.

    I feel better.

  2. HR Godess*

    Amen Sister!

    I’d also like to add to the list, don’t have music playing on your phone when you get a call if you are interviewing for a professional job.

    Seriously people, think it through!

  3. Valerie*

    Too right.

    Just called someone (for a vocational rehabilitation appointment) and the phone message was some bubbly/watery/foghorn type sound effects and “Hurry up and leave a message, the ship’s going down!” (Or something to that effect.)

    First recommendation to the new job seeker is going to be change your danged message!

  4. Anonymous*

    Actually, after you send in your application, please don’t check your e-mail, and please don’t have an appropriate message on your answering machine either. And please don’t clean up your public facebook page. All this will help applicants like me, who wouldn’t dream of skipping these steps, rise to the top.

  5. Wally Bock*

    Anonymous has a worthy sentiment. I consider not following standard business practice a reason not to hire. I can’t help but thinking, “If you aren’t available now when you’re trying to convince me you are my best possible choice for an open position, what will you be like when you’re on the payroll?” No thanks. There are two many qualified souls out there who check their email.

  6. The Office Newb*

    This makes me laugh because I had a very similar experience recently. A co-worker recommended a friend of her for a position on my team.

    HR tried contacting the candidate but her phone was disconnected (wth?!) So we got a new phone number (that worked) and the candidate did not respond to our voicemails.

    We were about to give up, but the candidate finally contacted us and we scheduled an interview. The candidate rescheduled the interview twice and then failed to show up for the interview. No call, no email, no nothing.

    Why do people do this? Not only will we never ever consider this person for a job at our company, but it makes the person who referred her look bad too.

  7. Just another HR lady...*

    My personal favorite is the candidate’s phone number that doesn’t have voicemail. What do you think an employer is going to do when they are calling dozens of people for interviews, and one contact’s number only rings and rings each time they call? Yup, they’re moving on to the next person where they can leave a message.

  8. Global Trends in Human Resources*

    I will agree to the HR Godess that one should not have any music palying on their phone. It really gives a bad impression and is quite unprofessional.

  9. Anonymous*

    Some of these comments seem a bit nasty. Sometimes, when a person submits a resume/application, I think they’re honestly afraid to call back the hiring manager. Allow me to explain. These days, you can find just about anything on the internet. What-I think-happens sometimes-is that-many applicants will do some research on the internet, read reviews about a company (if they can find one) and then suddently bail out and don’t want to talk to the prospective employer/hiring manager. Yes, I agree, this is very disrespectful.

    I am certainly culpable of type of situation. I’ve read many reviews about companies on the internet and then suddenly say, “Oh boy, no way am I going to work there.”

    Many people are worried that they’ll be fired the next day. I’ve been fired after 4 weeks on the job.

    Anyway, I digress. That’s my two cents. I highly doubt their internet was down or their cell phone was down. C’mon guys, in this age of technology, people are usually pretty accessible. And, if their internet is down-as one of the previous posts said-there are ways to check e-mail such as the library.


  10. Anonymous*

    Spell and grammar check your resume.

    Have someone else look at it if you’re not a spelling wiz.

    We received a resume from an applicant wanting to work in our warehouse. He was happy to announce under his employment history that he had been a “stalker”. He “stalked” donuts at the local donut shop.

    After a very long laugh, we tossed it.

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