how to tell a job candidate to stop contacting us so much

A reader writes:

I do a lot of hiring, and I try to respond fairly quickly to calls/emails from candidates. Recently, I’ve noticed that if I don’t reply to a candidate’s email quickly enough, they get panicky.

Example: I had an applicant email me on Monday morning about an opening, and I responded to him that morning. He sent a follow-up email that afternoon, saying he had questions about the position (he didn’t tell me what his specific questions were). I didn’t respond right away. He sent another email Tuesday morning, letting me know he had applied online for the position. By Tuesday afternoon, he had sent an email through our website, asking to for someone to call him and follow-up on his questions. This candidate looks great on paper, but at this point, I’m annoyed by the frequency of his contact.

Is there a polite and diplomatic way to let a candidate know that they are contacting me way too often about an opening?

Well, yes, but I think in this case, this guy has already shown you some important information about himself, and so your goal here shouldn’t just be “make him stop emailing me,” but “factor this information into the decision about his candidacy.” I would be very skeptical about moving someone like this forward in your process, because he’s shown you that he’s pushy and doesn’t understand or adhere to professional norms around frequency of contact.

But if you’re not ready to conclude that, you could simply reply to one of his emails and say, “Bob, thanks for your interest. I’ll be in touch when we’re ready to move forward.” Or you could say, “I received your three emails. We’re speaking with a lot of candidates, but I’ll be in touch when we’re finished reviewing applications.”

If someone doesn’t pick up on the implied “back off” in that message and continues emailing, you really don’t want to continue on with them … but if for some reason you ignore me and keep him in the mix anyway, at that point you could just directly say, “While I appreciate you interest, because we’re speaking with a lot of candidates, it’s easier on our end if you’re able to wait until we reach back out to you. Thank you for understanding.”

{ 114 comments… read them below }

  1. Katie the Fed

    I *try* to have some compassion for people like this, because it’s probably the top 1 or 2 in terms of their priorities right now, and about #25 for me.

    But yeah, that’s excessive. These responses are perfect.

  2. J

    “Because of the frequency/number of emails you’ve sent, I’ve concluded that you’re a nutter and our company policy clearly states: No nutters. Thank you.”

    1. tango

      “No nutters. Thank you.”
      Well…..only Nutter Butters – the cookies that is. All the rest of the nutters need not apply or contact me, thank you.

    2. Job seeker

      I think to say that to anyone is very mean. How do you know they are nutter? Maybe just maybe they really just are making mistakes and maybe they would be an employee who appreciates this position. Haven’t you ever make an mistake?

      1. Elizabeth West

        They’re kidding, Job seeker; they wouldn’t really. It’s just annoying to keep getting all those emails. Alison’s answers with their gentle hints would work for most people. If the person is inexperienced, it’s good for them to learn what NOT to do.

        Believe me, I know it’s hard for job seekers not to be anxious.

  3. JR

    At one of my jobs, this guy would come in EVERY day and want to talk to the hiring manager to ask “questions” (even if there wasn’t a posting). And then he’d just sit there, waiting. He was so pushy and just totally oblivious to how things work. We’d tell him to e-mail his questions over, because the manager was busy but he just refused. Eventually we had to threaten to call security and we never saw him again.

    1. Anonymous

      I had one like that. It was particularly awkward because my dr was his stepfather. Fortunately, the security guard who manned the front desk was always open with his opinion of applicants when asked. When I had stopped by after the interview to see what he had observed, his comment was “there’s something wrong with that guy”. Since that exactly matched my uneasy feeling, we were already prepared with a response when he started calling and showing up every day.

  4. Brton3

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s fair to knock someone like this for not understanding professional norms, as Alison puts it; because job seekers are given relentless bad advice about being proactive, calling to follow up, and on and on. If a job seeker does something dumb but which is nonetheless something they are commonly advised to do, I try really hard to be sympathetic and not assume he’s a nut or that he should be removed from consideration (yet).

    1. Arbynka

      I was wondering while reading if this guy is a victim of “you have to be persistent to show them that you are really interested” advice.

    2. Kimberlee, Esq.

      I just commented on an article this morning, on Youtern (which is generally really good content for jobseekers) that was advocating ending your cover letter with the whole “I’ll call you in a week to schedule an interview.” Grrrrrr.

      It works in some industries, but it’s so irresponsible to put that advice out there when there are just huge swaths of the hiring manager world that will be immediately put off by it, without some kind of disclaimer.

      1. Anonymous and Stuff

        Dealing with this on Reddit also – getting downvoted for telling people not to call to follow up on an application :) Oh well!

    3. books

      Nah. If he had actually sent questions in one of those messages, then maybe some leeway, but he did not – which shows his communication skills are if not lacking, at least irritating.

    4. TFTF

      But the thing is, for a lot of positions, you need the person who you hire to fill them to be someone who understands professional norms, because they won’t be able to do the job well if they don’t understand them. By the same token, it isn’t *fair* that not everyone has the opportunity to go to law school, but for some positions, you do nonetheless need the person who fills them to have a law degree.

      1. J

        “Sometimes I wonder if it’s fair to knock someone like this for not understanding professional norms, as Alison puts it; because job seekers are given relentless bad advice about being proactive, calling to follow up, and on and on.”

        It is absolutely fair. Advice like this is so bad that if you do in fact take it, I’m going to have serious doubts about your ability to decide what is or is not acceptable.

        1. jennie

          Plus, if you “reward” the behaviour by disregarding their unprofessionalism, you perpetuate the idea that this is the way to get results.

    5. Amber

      I completely agree with this. If the person trying to get the job is junior level then let it go and make take the time to teach them. If they still persist then take them out of the running because they don’t follow directions. If they are mid-level or higher then take them out of the running because they should know social norms by then.

      For the most part people aren’t told what is appropriate/inappropriate job searching in high school, in college, in resume writing books, in cover letter writing books, or by their parents. Is someone is junior level let is slide or teach them. Assume that they haven’t been taught those norms yet, or have been taught the wrong behavior.

  5. some1

    Anyone else find it telling that the candidate didn’t actually list any of the questions that he’s in such a hurry to get answered? I’m guessing it’s because he has a laundry list of questions that he knows are irrelevant at this point in the process.

    1. Julie

      On the other hand, I could see him not including the questions because doing that might look like he assumes the recipient has the time to answer them. Perhaps he wanted to know if it was OK to send the questions…? However, I think the emails AFTER the one indicating that he had some questions were overkill.

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      Or that he doesn’t actually have questions at all but wants someone to contact him so he can try to sell himself for the position. That happens a lot — when you ask what you can answer for them, specifically, they don’t know what to say.

      1. EE

        I confess I do this – I have a reasonable sounding question that I always ask, but the real point is to sell myself.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          For the record, you are annoying the crap out of a lot of hiring managers by doing that! (And for some of them, creating a strike against yourself, since it’s pretty easy to see right through this tactic.)

        2. fposte

          Agreeing with AAM–unless it’s something I really did leave out of the job description, I see this as an indicator of a need for handholding and consider such a candidate less competitive.

  6. LisaD

    Is it an entry-level position, particularly in sales/marketing? If so I would suspect bad advice (college career centers… sigh) and you might really do him a favor by letting him know that contacting you so frequently isn’t making him “stand out” or “demonstrating his great interest in the position.”

      1. LisaD

        In that case I wouldn’t give him another chance, because if he’s qualified for a high-level position this behavior has probably worked for him repeatedly in the past and he’s doing it on purpose. You can correct someone taking bad advice, but you can’t change personality. This guy sounds suited to a higher-pressure culture where this WOULD be a sign of a “go-getter.” They still exist, but very few sane people want to work there…

      2. The Other Dawn

        That puts a different spin on things. Someone applying for a high level position would presumably know not to be so pushy and to communicate clearly. I think this says a lot about him. And not in a good way.

      3. Anonymous

        If he’s reached a high level position then it sounds like his behavior has worked for him in the past. And it sounds like he’s gotten his way by being a PITA in the past.

        1. Anonymous

          It’s also possible that he reached that high-level position a long time ago and this is the first time he’s had to search for a job in many years. If he also hasn’t done any hiring, he’s basically at the mercy of employment agencies and coaches who tend to give this kind of bad advice.

          1. The Other Dawn

            You’re right about that. I’m now having to look for a job for the first time in 17 years and I find myself unsure of many things. If it weren’t for this blog, I’d be in the dark.

          2. jennie

            But these are professional norms like understanding you’re not everyone’s first priority and respecting other peoples time. They apply to many areas of work and are a red flag in the hiring process.

        2. tcookson

          I work with professors, so you’d think they’d be pretty high-functioning. Most of them are, but there are a couple of them, that the thought of them looking for a job and having to do an interview with other people beside us, makes me cringe. There is one who is very insecure and needy, who sees everything that anybody does as an intentional campaign to cut him out of the “inside” loop. There’s another one who chews like Jamie’s old boss (the one who used to slurp pistachios over her shoulder while reading his emails to her aloud). The fact that someone has made it to a high position seems like it should guarantee that they are well-behaved (housebroken, so to speak), but, unfortunately, no . . .

          1. Melissa

            Nope, as an advanced doctoral student myself I would venture that professors are less likely to be housebroken. Doctoral study is isolating and doesn’t encourage people skills (much), especially in the humanities in which solo work is common, and many people enter academia specifically because they want autonomy/don’t want to work for anyone. I think I’ve met more socially awkward academics than I have in any other field.

      4. FD

        Yeah, if it was close to entry-level, I would understand because people get bad advice and it’s hard to know what the professional norms are when you’re on the outside. But if he’s going for a high level position, there’s an expectation that he’s got experience which should have taught him better.

  7. Jillyan

    As AAM has pointed out it could be that some poor misguided College Career Center somewhere is giving this candidate advice to be as persistent as possible. (I know I’ve been given the same exact advice and reading this blog opened my eyes to how much of a turn off this can be…although in my case I would say 80% of the time it landed me a job offer ! I would never advise anyone to do that though)

    Like AAM said, factor that into your overall decision, if he looks great on paper, but I dont know if it should be an immediate rejection.

  8. Jennifer O

    “…shown you some important information about yourself…” <- I think you meant "himself."

    Alison's advice is spot-on, though. He's telling you a lot about how he operates. Even more if he doesn't back off after you send the response Alison suggested.

  9. Anonymous

    “I think in this case, this guy has already shown you some important information about yourself”.

    Alison, did you mean “shown you important information about HIMself” instead of “yourself”?

  10. Brett

    Although this is not necessarily the case, this sounds very much like email exchanges that I have had with techies with Asperger Syndrome. In fact, I have had situations where I have been emailed, then voicemailed (not called, but messaged directly to my voicemail box), then tweeted, then emailed again at a different email, then facebook messaged, and then linkedin messaged, etc. Quite simply, the ASD techies I have experience with do not understand professional norms of contact frequency as well as most people, and may even be reinforced the other way since their frequency of contact does often get more immediate results.

        1. some1

          That can be annoying, but I think the common theme here is that this is especially inappropriate given that he doesn’t have the job yet.

        2. annie

          I had a situation very similar with a group I volunteer with and a candidate who had some type of disability. We got dozens of calls/emails/etc across the organization and eventually we told him we were not going to be able to take him on as a volunteer. Later I found out we had a mutual friend who confirmed that in fact this person would have continued this behavior relentlessly. I felt bad because I know disabled people face a lot of challenges with this type of thing, however we just did not have the capacity to handle his needs.

  11. S3

    I think it’s really important for hiring managers to acknowledge the feelings of the candidates.

    If you had just applied for your dream job, it’s hard to sit on your hands & wait for the phone to ring. You want to do something, anything to set yourself apart or exhibit how much you want THIS job. The same is true of a job seeker is absolutely desperate to get a job/income now.

    I think you woud be doing a disservice to your organization to allow this to impact hiring or to label them a “nutter” as someone has mentioned in the comments.

    I personally believe you can’t really tell a pushy person from an eager person without some in-person contact.

    1. Leslie Yep

      I see your point, but what this makes me worry about is…say I hire this eager guy, and he has the opportunity to work with his Dream Client. Is he going to email her ten times before lunch?

      Say he has the opportunity to work with another team and he’s really excited about it. Will he call that team lead twice a day with vague requests to “answer some questions”?

      It’s not that I’m worried that he’s pushy; it’s that I’m worried that he seems to lack the ability to view this situation through the lens of the people he wants to work with, in addition to his own. Eager does me no good if it manifests in this unproductive way.

      Nutter is definitely too far, and completely agree with the many comments mentioning the bad advice out there. Especially sensitive to the fact this is his #1 priority. I wouldn’t necessarily advocate for dismissing him from the pool, but if my open role requires any deftness in relationships, I’d be pretty nervous about this person’s instincts.

      1. Trixie

        +1

        Someone comes across as this high-maintenace would not be a welcome addition to my team. Granted he may not be but this is how he appears so far.

        1. Anon Accountant

          Exactly. He may or may not be high maintenance but when there’s a large pool of qualified candidates and someone is behaving in a high maintenance manner, regardless of if they are or aren’t, it decreases their chances of getting interviewed.

      2. jennie

        Absolutely. Plus, the thing that bothers me most about this is him making contact through the website when his email wasn’t answered in 24 hours. That’s essentially going over someone’s head and it’s a big deal to do that unnecessarily. I get so steamed when someone emails our general mailbox after emailing me. I have prioritized them correctly, but the admin who answers the mailbox doesn’t know the context.

    2. KimmieSue

      I’m sorry, but I disagree. I think Alison’s answers are professional and spot on. As a corporate recruiter for a company that is hiring tons of people, I personally am managing 25 or more job openings at any given time. All of these jobs are for mid or senior level professionals. Each job will have a minimum of 50 applicants or more before it’s filled with a new hire. We simply don’t have the time to personally respond to each applicant’s questions and follow-ups. Yes, I think we need to be polite and professional, but four inquiries from the same candidate in two days is excessive and shows really poor judgement.
      I’d show a little more patience with an entry level hire, but advise them to knock it off.

    3. Colette

      Four contacts – 3 unanswered- within 2 days is not ok in a professional environment unless it is a business emergency. It is a sign of someone who doesn’t understand that other people have different priorities. I wouldn’t want to work with someone who didn’t get that.

      1. SevenSixOne

        Every time I meet someone who comes on way too strong and ignore my instincts not to get involved, I regret it. Maybe they are jerks on purpose and maybe they truly don’t know any better. Doesn’t matter– in these people’s eyes, everyone else is just a barrier between ME ME ME and WHAT I WANT rather than individuals with their own boundaries, needs, priorities, whatever.

    4. Anonymous

      Someone’s personal “feelings” is not something a hiring manager can control or doing anything about. This is business, not personal. It’s great to be excited and enthusiastic about a job, but sometimes that doesn’t translate into being right for a job (or a job being right for you). No one wants to hire someone that can’t display common sense, self-control, follow directions or is unprofessional – before the interview phase. And yes, they may be getting bad advice from somewhere, but this is the wrong way to apply it.

    5. Tina

      I think organizations should acknowledge that candidates could be under stress and deserve common courtesy, but that doesn’t mean the employer needs to go out of their way to accommodate said feelings beyond a certain point. With that much contact, I’d wonder if you’d be overly aggressive with customers or coworkers when you’re stressed.

      Also, unless he’s the only viable candidate in the applicant pool, I’m not sure we could say the manager is doing the organization a disservice. They probably have plenty of candidates to choose from, in which case the organization doesn’t really lose anything.

      1. FD

        Exactly. You can understand what’s probably motivating the behavior, but that doesn’t change whether or not the behavior is acceptable.

    6. J

      I disagree. It’s great to be enthusiastic about a job but their are social and professional norms you need to adhere to. Calling and emailing multiple times in such a short period of time violates those norms.
      In addition, hiring managers (as well as applicants) only have a small window in which to gauge if there is a fit. Numerous phone calls about things that can probably wait just show that you don’t have a sense of boundaries and do not respect people’s time. With other (probably several) applicants as well as your daily work load, why shouldn’t you make judgements based on this behavior? Would you not pass judgement on a resume riddled with grammatical errors without meeting the applicant? I don’t understand how you think the only way to tell if someone is pushy is by “in-person contact. ” I’m guessing you never received a call from a telemarketer.

    7. fposte

      Acknowledging their feelings is fine. Using them to ignore applicant behavior? Not fine.

      I’m hiring you for what you do. The hiring process is to find out as much as possible what you do before I decide if you’ll do it for us. If I’m going to assume that what you do bears no relationship to what you’ll be doing in the future, why am I wasting time on a hiring process rather than just randomly picking a resume out of the file?

      And why is it that these pleas are never for hiring managers to dismiss the good sides of candidate presentation, only the bad? Nobody posts that we should realize that the candidate might have gotten help with his resume and cover letter and shouldn’t go on further despite having good ones. That’s hyperbole, of course; I do know why. It’s because *any* story where somebody doesn’t succeed for any reason makes people more on the searching side feel anxious, but mostly it’s because people identify with the protagonists of the story more than people who don’t get a story at all and forget the zero-sum aspect of the hiring. It never occurs to them that giving this guy an interview means that you, who didn’t call four times and had a very nice applicant package, now won’t get an interview because we’re giving it to him.

      In short, while it’s humane to think of the guy in this story as you, it’s much likelier that he’s somebody competing against you. Are you still so keen for him to get the job despite his screwup?

  12. AB

    “While I appreciate you interest, because we’re speaking with a lot of candidates, it’s easier on our end if you’re able to wait until we reach back out to you. Thank you for understanding.”

    After 3 emails before I reached out to schedule an interview I’d go directly to this message instead of hoping that the person would take a hint from the other AAM suggestions — but I prefer to be direct like that.

    Copying and pasting to my list “canned responses” that are 90% extracts from Ask a Manager :-).

  13. JenTheNiceHRGirl

    This reminds me of something that happened a few weeks back. A candidate applied for one of our open positions on our website. Then she sent an e-mail to me personally as well as our general career center e-mail. Then a few days later I go to my mail box and there are literally about 20 copies of her resumes in there… several that she had mailed as well as numerous faxes. She literally sent her resume to everyone who has their name listed on our company’s website… then those folks routed them all over to me once they noticed that they were resumes. Then of course, she actually calls me up to ask if I received her resume. I said yes” all 25 of them!” Another victim of some bad job searching advice I guess. She wasn’t qualified for anything we had open at the time, but I did tell her that I would hold onto 1 copy of her resume and would contact her should a suitable position become available.

      1. JenTheNiceHRGirl

        LOL this is true!! I guess if my database was somehow compromised and at the same time I lost all of my hard copies on file… she did accomplish becoming unforgettable though. I don’t think that I will ever forget her name and I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. She was really nice though. I hope that she doesn’t bombard others with a ton of resumes, because I would like to see her get a job… she also sent me a LinkedIn invite, which I accepted so yes, I will most likely see her status updated when she finds a new position :)

        1. Nikki T

          did you consider telling her about the ineffectiveness of her technique? Since she was nice and everything..I don’t do any hiring so I’m not sure what I’d do in those sort of situations.

          1. JenTheNiceHRGirl

            Kind of. I just told her that sending 1 resume is usually sufficient Looking back, I probably should have elaborated and told her that if she really has concerns about the resume making it to the right person, she can send them an e-mail or a note on LinkedIn, introducing herself and letting the know how interested she is in learning more about the position. That seems to be what most candidates do and it works better than sending them a zillion copies of your resumes.

  14. Anonymous

    This reminds me of the time when one of my applicants (who knew someone who was friends with our CEO but had no job experience except unrelated internships) sent above CEO an email about his current job application status, this was after a phone interview, a thank you note, 2 follow up emails, 1 follow-up phone call and 1 more voice mail – to me. During every interaction, I would tell him we’re still interviewing, etc… Let’s just say he didn’t get anymore of my time after that.

  15. ashley anne

    Responses for the guy we fired 2 years ago who reapplies every couple of months without acknowledging that he’s worked for us before? His inquiries have their own folder with a rule in my Outlook at this point XP.

      1. ashley anne

        Nope, no mention of us on his resume, and no, “Hi, nice to talk to you again.” I wasn’t his manager when he was fired (I was his coworker), but the director who fired him is still our director, and she’s copied on the emails he sends. I think the creepiest parts are that the cover letter is usually a too specific account of why he’d be a good fit for our company, and that the tone is really jocular, excited, confident. I really don’t get it at all.

        1. JenTheNiceHRGirl

          We have got one of those too. The worst part is that this individual was let go for something pretty serious, not just poor performance. As if we would forget, not noticed that he worked her before, and hire him back… too strange!

          1. ashley anne

            Super strange. In our case, we’re a small spa in a boutique hotel, and everyone knows each other really well. I remember stories about his girlfriend, about living with his parents and the smell of his really gross cologne. I think it’s either retrograde amnesia or he is a sociopath, or maybe an unlikely combination of the two.

        2. MaryTerry

          Are you certain it isn’t someone else with the same name as the guy you fired? Otherwise, very strange.

    1. Anonymous

      We had hired a woman who was scheduled to start about 6 weeks after we hired her. My boss followed up with her about a week before her start date and she confirmed. On the start date she never showed and it took us 2 days of calling before she got back to us to say she changed her mind. Six months later, her resume shows up on my desk again. I so wanted to call her employer to say remember when you gave X a raise last year so she wouldn’t leave, I think she’s gonna hit you up again.

  16. Rich

    I don’t know the policy on links here, but this post reminds me of this:

    http://sothisisyourbest.com/post/61493305532/dont-be-this-job-seeker

    (It’s safe. My avatar is on this message.lol)

    I can’t stand these type of shenanigans! I agree with AAM that this candidate is providing valuable information. I’ve never met a candidate this aggressive upfront that turned out to be the right person for the job. More than likely the “questions” will turn into him trying to sell and push for an interview. Classic.

    1. Tina

      Oh, I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy that link (and am now following them on Twitter). Thanks for sharing.

  17. Anonymous

    HR reps are driven by risk aversion and self-preservation, and the ‘best’ candidates for a job are those that least threaten those principles.

  18. Courtney

    I think I would give this guy the benefit of the doubt, especially if he has a good resume.

    If your online application/contact system is like most of the ones I have seen in the past, he probably doesn’t know how/if that application will make its way to you. Same thing with the “Contact us” page – he has no idea whose inbox that will end up in.

    He doesn’t sound pushy to me; he sounds “overly cautious” or maybe “too double-checky” but those can be good things to have in your workplace.

    1. HR Competent

      If your professional role is to be “overly cautions” or “too double-checky” than fine.

      However the applicant isn’t in that role nor likely applying for it.

    2. Nikki T

      His first message seems to have been sent directly to the LW, to which she responded. He then sent two more emails, presumably, still directly. He knew where those were going.
      Job searching is tough, but people have other things to do besides answer messages, so, it’s a waiting game.

  19. Not So NewReader

    I am not sure the phrase “I’ll be in touch” gets the point across to stop calling. Especially, if Bob is reading articles that say “call every day”.
    Maybe say “We will be setting interviews in a few weeks and we will be calling those candidates that we have chosen to speak with.” When I was younger and more naive- this was the sentence that stopped me from calling again, because the interviewer was clearly taking control of the situation.

    I think that Bob will understand “I’ll be in touch” as a definite commitment. Later, he may wonder why you did not call and he may start calling again.
    Many years ago, “I’ll be in touch” sounded like a commitment to call me later. I could not figure out why someone would say they would call and then not follow up. I would have rather heard “We will be calling a few people in a while to come in for interviews” or a variation of that. “Others here have made a list of people we will be contacting and if you are on that list you will definitely hear from someone.”
    Maybe I was too literal or too naive, I don’t know. I do remember getting very stressed when people said they would be in touch and then never called.

  20. Another Anon

    Somewhat off topic, but if you are one of those people that say “We’ll let you know either way” and never follow through, you deserve to be pestered daily ;)

    1. nyxalinth

      I don’t want someone to let me know either way. I’d rather not hear back at all than get all excited, thinking I’m getting The Call, only to be told they went with another candidate. I had a Starbucks do that to me once. I suppose the manager thought he was being kindly, but it was a huge letdown.

      1. Jennifer

        Oh, I’d want to know one way or the other so I’m not still living in hope after a month that they’re going to call when they aren’t, and I can move on.

  21. FD

    It’s understandable that the applicant is stressed and undoubtedly REALLY wants the job. He may have had a lot of applications where he never got any response at all. That said, his behavior does indicate that he has issues with understanding professional norms, which could be a real problem in the workplace. If the OP does end up going with a different candidate, it would be a great kindness to gently tell him that pestering like that isn’t appropriate, though it’s certainly not her obligation to do so.

    The most frustrating thing about this for me, though?

    Here we have a hiring manager who’s doing the nice thing: answering candidates quickly and the like. And this doofus is penalizing her for it.

    1. Jennifer

      I’m wondering if there is any polite way for the LW to say, “Look, this is too many calls in too short of a time, and while I get that you’re trying to show persistence, this is…too much and it’s hurting your candidacy.” Not that I can think of a “polite” way myself, of course.

      1. FD

        Perhaps something like:

        “I understand you’re excited for the position, and you are still under consideration, along with other candidates. This might be a little uncomfortable to hear, but I’d want someone to tell me if I were in your shoes. The number of calls you’ve made in such a short period of time comes across as too pushy, which can hurt how employers see you as a candidate.”

        1. Anon Accountant

          +1 I like this response and it’s kind feedback to a candidate who doesn’t realize they’re coming across as pushy.

          In my opinion, it does them a favor to let them know how they’re coming across.

  22. Cassie

    I’ve been exchanging emails with a person who will be visiting our univ for a few months, and she ends every single email with “I’d like to hear from you soon”. If I don’t respond in the same day, she’ll send a follow-up email. I want to tell her “I know this is a BIG DEAL for you, coming to a foreign country, having all these logistics to take care of, but you really need to chill out.”

    We’ll have to see if she acts the same way once she gets here. What’s a nice way to ask her to figure stuff out on her own? I don’t think I’m being unreasonable – we have plenty of foreign students and visitors who have had to go through the same process of setting up roots in a brand new country and they (AFAIK) have done it on their own. (Language is not an issue – she, like the other visitors, have more-than-sufficient English ability).

  23. Tara T.

    I can understand applying online, and then sending ONE copy of the resume by mail, but I do not agree with sending 25 copies at the same time to everyone on the company’s website to apply for the same job opening. That is ridiculous.

Comments are closed.