reaching out to an employer multiple times after applying, I ended my last job on bad terms, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Reaching out to an employer multiple times after applying

I recently applied for a position at a product design firm and I felt and still feel that it is a great fit for me. After a couple of days, I found that the hiring manager is also on LinkedIn. He listed his email on his page and I sent him an email stating that I had applied for the said role and that I am really interested in speaking to him. That was last week.

I still haven’t got any response from the team, so I emailed the support email for the company. The person responsible told me that my application was indeed received and that I would hear back from the team should there be mutual interest. I’m getting pretty impatient that it’s close to 2 weeks and I haven’t heard back. Should I send a LinkedIn email to the hiring manager to re-iterate my interest in the position? Is that too pushy?

Should I just stay put? I know you’ve told us to move on the second that the application has been sent but I really want this position and it’s driving me nuts!

Whoa, no, do not continue to email them. You have expressed your interest — three separate times. That’s two more than you should have. They know you’re interested, and now the ball is in the court, and they’ll move on their own timeline, which might be very, very slow. They might not contact you at all. But you’ve done your part, and now it’s up to them to decide if they want to talk further with you.

If you reach back out, you risk being an annoyance and getting rejected simply for being too pushy. Being driven nuts by the wait is not a reason to do things that will sabotage your chances. Move on, move on, move on.

2. Am I not getting interviews because I ended my last job on bad terms?

My last employer and I did not end on good terms, and there is a very long story behind it. Ever since I resigned, I haven’t gotten an interview with any of the jobs I’ve applied to. I was wondering, could my past employer be telling people not to hire me? Or do I just have bad luck when it comes to job applications?

Are you in a tiny field where people talk? If so, it’s possible. But otherwise, I would strongly doubt it. It’s rare for employers to contact references before even interviewing a candidate, so it’s more likely that it’s not about that at all. (It could be about the quality of your cover letter and application, or your experience, or that you haven’t sent many applications compared to what you generally need to in today’s market, or that there’s just a lot of competition out there.)

3. When should I tell employers that I need visa sponsorship?

When is the appropriate time and method for an applicant to mention that they will need a work visa sponsorship to a prospective employer?

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that (1) the job posting and the careers section of the employer’s website do not mention anywhere that US citizenship or permanent residency is required of applicants, and (2) applicant is currently legally employed with a well-recognized US employer and has a US-based address, so it is not immediately obvious in the resume (but applicant is neither a US citizen or permanent resident.)

On the one hand, I would hate to plant a pre-conceived bias against my application that could get it screened out pre-interview. But on the other hand, waiting right up until the offer stage might seem like important information was being withheld.

It’s not like this issue has any meaningful bearing on an applicant’s ability to perform the job role, so I would hope that to a good employer, it doesn’t matter, but it is dependent on an organization’s legal and administrative capacity (they may not have anyone who can help with visas), and there may be a cost involved. Any thoughts as a hiring manager?

You should mention it up-front, on your resume. (One way to do it is to write something like “Current U.S. Visa status: would need sponsorship.”) Not every employer is willing to do the work of sponsorship or take on its costs; smaller employers and employers in fields where it’s not common usually won’t want to do it.

If an employer is set up to do it, it’ll seem normal to them to see it on your resume, and if they’re not, it’s useful (and considerate) to alert them to your status ahead of time so that they don’t start the ball rolling with you only for you both to discover later in the process that there’s an obstacle that they’re not willing to take on.

4. My company said we were closed July 3 and now says that we aren’t

My company has had July 3rd and 4th marked on our company calendars as “closed” all year long. Many of us made vacation plans accordingly. They informed us today that marking Friday, July 3rd as a company holiday was a “mistake” and we’re really only closed on Saturday, July 4th. Is this illegal, or just lousy management practice?

It’s legal. But it’s really crappy, since obviously people had made plans based on what they were told. The company should eat this one and either close that day or give people an additional day of vacation time this year to use that day (or another time, if they hadn’t already made plans for that day, in order to be fair across the board).

5. My contract requires four weeks notice — do I have to give it?

I am required by my contract to give four weeks notice. A potential new job is pressuring me to give less (2 weeks). Legally, can I leave giving less than 2 weeks? I realize that it may say something about the new employer if they’re really pressuring me in this way, but I am wondering what if anything my current employer can do legally.

It depends on exactly what your contract says. When you have a contract, all your answers are in there. But whatever it it says, you can probably try to negotiate with your employer to release you early — or negotiate with the new employer to cover any losses you incur if you break the contract.

However, are you sure it’s a contract and not just a line in the employee handbook that says that they want four weeks? If it’s that, that’s not legally enforceable. (Most U.S. workers don’t have employment contracts.)

{ 77 comments… read them below }

  1. Green*

    The answers are not always in the contract. The answers to *what you agreed to* are typically in a contract, but that’s not the end of the legal inquiry. Certain terms may not be enforceable but employers put them in there anyway because people aren’t likely to challenge those terms, and then they just do a severability clause saying that even if one provision is uneforceable the rest of the contract is still good.

    The other question is: what’s the remedy for the breach? They can’t get specific performance (i.e., making you work two more weeks) as enforcement, so they’d have to show monetary damages.

    1. MK*

      The answers are in the contract for people who want conduct themselves honestly in their transactions. If one agrees to something, one should abide by that agreement, unless there are pretty extreme circumstances to the contrary.

      It’s true that certain contract terms won’t hold up in court, but it’s usually because they are too restrictive (as in, non-compete clause for the rest of your life in the entire field), so they are considered void and the rest of the contract stands. It’s also true that some are unenforceable from a practical point of view, since you cannot physically force someone to come to work for two weeks. In most cases, the contract states a penalty, usually monetary, that you have to pay if you breach the contract, and that is legally enforceable.

      That being said, unless the penalty is a considerable sum, it’s unlikely that the company will sue the OP for something like this; the costs would outweigh the benefit. But that’s not to say that the OP is not obligated to give the notice or pay the penalty, because they are, both legally and ethically.

      1. Green*

        Ethically is a different question. Not to get into a law school debate, but efficient breach is built into the rationale for contracts, and the reason some of those clauses are unenforceable (or voidable) in court is because they are contracts of adhesion (no option to negotiate), unenforceable or void on public policy grounds, or contain unconscionable clauses (that also would include outrageous penalty clauses that are higher than the damages sustained). This isn’t extreme; it happens all the time. There is plenty of room to debate the ethics of whether one is legally obligated to fulfill a contract that contains voidable or unenforceable clauses, and the courts debate that while defining the case law.

      2. rando*

        Reasonably written contracts may also be unenforceable because the party trying to enforce the contract breached it first, among other reasons. I once had a client who had trouble enforcing a non-compete, because the client may have breached the agreement with the non-compete first.

        Some people have a strict moral rule that you should always do what you said, no matter what, under all circumstances. I think that, in general, that is a good moral code to live by. However, I have no moral problem with renegotiating the terms of the contract when circumstances change.

        My contracts professor was also a big fan of the “efficient breach” theory of contracts, where it is more economically beneficial for a party to breach and pay damages if breaching would put them in a better position than fulfilling their contract. The non-breaching party receives the damages, so it is in the same position as if the contract had been fulfilled.

        1. Green*

          The strict moral code of you should always do what you said, no matter what, under all circumstances is similar to the view on lying that you have to tell a Nazi officer where you hid the Jew or that one must obey all laws, even unjust laws. Some people certainly do hold it, but it’s more often in theory than in practice, and they’re more often to apply it to others in all situations and excuse themselves based on circumstances. :)

          1. Graciosa*

            You can do an amazing amount of misdirection without lying.

            Q: How do I look in this dress?
            A: You’re just glowing! I’m so glad you found something you love.
            Unsaid: [Even though it makes your hips look three sizes bigger than usual.]

            Nazi Q: Where did you hide the Jew?
            A: A Jew? You think there’s a Jew here? You have to do something! Search the place immediately! How could there be a Jew here? This is terrible – what will the neighbors think if a Jew is found on my property?
            Unsaid: [Yes, there’s an entire family here because I offered them shelter. You idiots have already searched three times and missed the rooms behind the bookcase, but I can’t stop you from looking so maybe the appearance of cooperation will reduce the intensity of the search. Your presence is certainly terrible, and – assuming we survive this – I’m going to have to figure out who is informing on us and find a way to discredit them in future.]

            There’s a reason that courtroom oaths do not only demand the truth, but also the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There’s also a reason lawyers are very literal. You can avoid lying more easily than most people realize – it doesn’t mean you answer every question as it was asked.

            1. Green*

              I wasn’t intending to open the whole Kantian ethics debate (particularly about lying, which is neither here nor there for this question, and depends on your underlying definition of “what is a lie?”), but to address moral absolutism with regard to contracts. That may be the view of some, but it’s not the prevailing view, and it’s not the position most American courts take. Courts take the position that generally one should do what one has promised to do *OR* compensate the other party (there’s no real legal/”moral” preference for one or the other, except in cases where specific performance can be ordered), EXCEPT [in lots of situations, based on the legality of the original contract, the parties’ position with regards to each other during contracting, the clarity of the contract, construction against the drafter of the contract, the facts of individual cases].

        2. MK*

          That it is in the same position is highly debatable, in my opinion; you certainly can’t take it as a given. In this case, it’s possible that the company is completely unaffected by whether the OP gives 2 or 4 weeks notice, so they would rather take some money instead. Or the extra two weeks might be essential for them for some reason and the (probably not large) sum of money they would get isn’t much compensation.

          1. Green*

            Sure, the OP’s question is “Is it legal?” and Allison’s response was that the answers are always in the contract. That’s not accurate. As I said, lawyers include unenforceable or invalid clauses in contracts *knowing they’re unenforceable or invalid* because the other side won’t likely know they’re unenforceable or invalid. Or they use a form contract without bothering to adjust it for the state. Or they just draft a contract without a lawyer.

            There’s room to debate the ethics of disputing a clause in a contract, but there’s also a reason they call some clauses “unconscionable.” All I’m saying is that it is not as simple as “If it’s in the contract, it’s legal” or “If it’s in the contract, you must (ethically, morally, legally, whateverly) follow it.” Most employment contracts don’t have penalty clauses for this particular breach, but if they did in this circumstance and OP bounces two weeks early and pays $X, it’s still a breach of the contract, it’s just an “efficient breach.” (It’s economically inefficent for OP to decline a job because Employer B won’t give her 4 weeks before starting, so she breaches and, potentially, compensates the Employer A. OP still breached the contract, but it was the rational thing to do.)

  2. Engineer Girl*

    #3 – There’s way more to Visa sponsorship than what is stated in the letter. Under federal law the employer has to file with the Department of Labor prior to the employee joining the team. So it isn’t a bias against a foreign national as much as it is a compliance issue.

    1. Judy*

      My understanding is that if the visa is tied to the employer, you can’t just transfer the visa. You have to reapply for another visa. Large corporations have relationships with the appropriate government offices and get most of the (h1b) visas, even though the majority of the people in the US work for small employers.

      1. Juli G.*

        I’m not saying that there’s no government bias but the biggest advantage large companies have is the resources. I work for a large global company that’s very well known. We have government contracts. We have a team at our company for immigration, we have outside counsel, we spend a lot of money on this – less than 50% of our sponsored employees received visas last year and given that there were 60,500 additional applicants, we expect less than 40% this year to be approved.

        Transfers are basically reapplying but without the cap so for a company with good immigration lawyers that put an application together correctly, it’s pretty easy.

      2. abby*

        If I recall correctly, h1b visas are employer-specific and cannot be transferred. An eb1 visa is harder to get, takes more time and paperwork, and costs more, but can be transferred.

        Previous employer did not *win* in the h1b visa lottery that particular year, so the employee had to return to school to maintain student visa status while we shifted our efforts to an eb1 visa. It was a mess.

      3. Does some HR*

        You can apply to transfer an H1B visa (the applicant won’t go back in the dreaded lottery), but it’s not always cut-and-dry and doesn’t always work out as it’s still an application process.

    2. abby*

      I agree. OP, please mention this up front. There is significant time and expense involved. For a previous employer, I prepared both H1B and EB1 visa applications and we decided to not do that again. My current employer is not equipped to sponsor employees and we have recently started indicating on our job postings that we do not sponsor, but many small employers would never even think of this, which is how my previous employer ended up sponsoring one employee.

    3. Johnny*

      Not all visa requires require the employer to file. The TN Visa (only available to Canadian or Mexicans) does not require the employer to file or prove that they’re talking a job away from an American.

      If OP is a Canadian or Mexican and profession qualifies for a TN visa, I’d put that specifically in the resume. It’s a very easy visa to get if you qualify and most employers know that.

      1. Judy*

        But OP said they needed visa sponsorship. I’d assume that means they need the employe r to file.

        1. Former Recruitment Coordinator*

          As someone who once worked for a Fortune 500 company that sometimes sponsored visas (and retained the services of a law firm to assist with visa questions, among other things), a TN visa needs to be filed for by the sponsoring employer, but it is vastly easier and faster to obtain than the costly H1B, which has a costly and very time-consuming burden of proof on the sponsor.

          So, I agree with Alison that the sponsorship issue needs to be disclosed on a resume. It is true that the candidate may not get interviews; even big companies can only get so many H1B visas and they are reserved for critical STEM jobs that are difficult to fill. However, OP, there is NO point in trying to get an interview if the company does not have the resources to sponsor, and it will be a very unpleasant surprise if you try to spring this in later, like when an offer is on the table.

          But Johnny is absolutely right – the type of sponsorship needed should be listed. If you only need a TN, make that clear. Needing an H1B is a much bigger deal than needing a TN, but you need to be upfront about that as well.

          There was a never a case in which a candidate withheld this information until the offer stage and it ended up going through. In my experience, when the company creates the ad, they either already know if they would be willing to sponsor for the right candidate (or not, the job listing will say “must have a legal right to work in the United States”), or they haven’t thought about at all, which often means they are a smaller employer who has never sponsored before and likely isn’t prepared with the right resources to do so, either financially or legally.

          1. penny*


            Please note this on the resume. If we aren’t going to sponsor, we aren’t going to do it just because you’re further in the interview process. We’ll just have wasted everyone’s time.

            I’ve noticed some colleges advising international students to leave this off their resumes, ugh.

  3. Ann Furthermore*

    #3: I don’t know the specifics, or the details, but I do know there is quite a bit to an employer sponsoring a visa (I presume the OP is talking about an HB-1 or something similar). I’m in IT, so it’s common to interview applicants in this situation. I’ve never heard of anyone being passed over for an interview because they need a visa sponsorship, but it is a factor that is taken into consideration. I participated in a panel interview with an applicant a couple weeks ago who needs sponsorship. Nice guy, very qualified, and we all liked him very much. I found out a couple weeks later that my boss and the director want to move forward with an offer.

    I think it’s important to be up front about it, because there is a cost associated with sponsorship, and potential employers need to be aware of that.

    1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec*

      That is great info. It doesn’t sound like this is where the OP is applying, but as a small nonprofit, we would absolutely have to pass over an aplicant requiring sponsorship, regardless of their qualifications or value. We go entire years without paying for legal advice, and thus kind of expense could massively hurt our bottom line. We would happily hire someone from another country who did not need sponsorship.

      OP, I think your best bet is large companies, although you
      you might get lucky with a medium sized company that has visa experience. Don’t assume that being a “good employer” is the only factor.

      1. abby*

        A single visa application can wipe out a small nonprofit’s entire legal budget for the year. I am currently at a nonprofit and we could not sponsor an employee, no matter how qualified. We have recently added to our job postings that we do not sponsor, as we’ve gotten more and more inquiries about that. We have also added the standard, very carefully-worded questions (provided by legal counsel) to our initial phone screen to ensure we do not get too far into the process with someone who requires sponsorship.

      2. MommaTRex*

        I work for a smaller (but not super small) local government. I think we were surprised when one of our employees needed a new H1B. (I was surprised, I don’t know if HR was.) It was a scramble for us to figure out what to do, and there was a cost involved, but it wasn’t prohibitive. Luckily, this employee was 100%+ worth the effort. But he had already proven himself to be…I wonder what we would have done if we knew beforehand…hopefully, we would not have let that been a factor, otherwise we would have missed out on a fantastic employee.

    2. Graciosa*

      Yes, there is a cost, and it can run over $10K per year – doing this correctly is not cheap.

    3. Does some HR*

      In addition to the straightfoward costs of applying for the visa itself, there are a lot of risks the company takes on. If you decide to let go an employee who is on an H1B visa, he/she is out of status the next day. There is no grace period. Additionally, the company is then legally obligated to offer the former employee a one-way ticket to his or her home country. For our company that is very stressful because we don’t want to put people in a tough spot, even if the employment isn’t working out. It’s led us to give some very generous severance packages, which then affects what we need to give domestic employees, too, so as not to set a precedent. Overall employees on an H1B visa end up being much more expensive.

    4. Former Recruitment Coordinator*

      I know for a fact that candidates can be screened out for needing H1B sponsorship. It is a real thing. There are only so many H1Bs issued. They are very precious and will not be used for a junior candidate or for a position where a suitable candidate can be found in the US, and the company has to document and prove this need.

      However, OP should not hide the sponsorship need. She or he may get less interviews, but there’s no point in springing it on an employer who is not prepared later down the line. I know the idea is to get the employer “invested” in them through a great interview, but a visa is often too big a dealbreaker — it needs to be disclosed in the resume in a clear place. Otherwise, you end up wasting your own time and the company’s time.

  4. Panda Bandit*

    OP #1 – The wheels of hiring tend to turn very slow. Do things to take your mind off of it, and good luck!

  5. Carrie in Scotland*

    #1 you might be driving them nuts by contacting so often. Take Alison’s advice and keep applying for any other suitable positions. If this employer wants you – they WILL make that clear by getting in touch with you. Good luck!

    1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec*

      You may also be communicating inexperience. It is unusual for a candidate to be contacted by the company just a few days after applying.

    2. Artemesia*

      I would probably have dropped this candidate after this kind of annoying behavior, certainly would do so after a 4th contact. The assumption would be that this is a difficult high maintenance employee and with so many great people looking for work, wanting to avoid that is tempting. At the best it would create a higher bar for the candidate i.e. they would have to be amazing before the negative impression of the annoyance factor is overcome.

      1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec*

        Agree. I might have tolerate one follow up call to see if the application was recieved, but after that, they would have to absolutely amaze me.

        1. LUCYVP*

          Agree. A single follow up to confirm the application was received or to confirm the position has not yet been filled is fine. More than that puts you in the NO pile.

  6. Blamange*

    #1 Slow down.

    I have a feeling you might have sent one pushy email too many, already.

    1. Jerry Vandesic*

      Plus, if they do want to eventually make you an offer, your enthusiasm might give them the feeling that you are desperate and as a result give you a low-ball offer.

    2. KH*

      The only saving grace is the email to the company’s support line was probably not even read by the hiring manager or maybe even HR. If the company is big enough, they might have a separate process. But yes, really really annoying to deal with people who think the world revolves around them and frustrated that a company doesn’t drop everything to deal with that person.

  7. Oryx*

    This is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy type of situation: You apply and you wonder why the employer doesn’t contact you so you frequently follow-up, which makes them least likely to contact you.

    Two weeks is not a long time at all in the job hiring process. Take a deep breath and try to relax.

  8. the gold digger*

    a line in the employee handbook that says that they want four weeks

    At my old job, with NotSergio the Nightmare CEO, the handbook said four weeks. (I am in the US.) I just laughed and gave two weeks. What were they going to do? Fire me?

    1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec*

      We request four weeks n our handbook…it’s our way of putting the expectation our there. We don’t always get it, and don’t really expect too, but it has helped in a few cases.

      1. the gold digger*

        I would have been far more willing to give four weeks’ notice if the CEO had not been a jerk, if it had not been a nightmare of a place to work, and if they would have paid out my unused vacation.

        When I quit my first job out of college to go to grad school, I gave two months’ notice. I had a great boss and a great team and did not want to inconvenience them any more than necessary.

        I know that if you read AAM, you are not a jerk. :)

        1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec*

          Sure – there are all kinds of reasons why 4 weeks might not be practical practical (other employer won’t want that long, you want a gap between jobs, your leaving because of family issues that can’t wait, etc.). I understand that. I do find that if you request something like this, more people will give it to you if they can. Every time someone gives 4 weeks instead of two, it’s a huge help and the number of people giving 4 weeks seemed to increase after we put this in our handbook (it’s phrased as a request). I think it also alleviates fears that people will be forced out if they give substantial notice. I mean, I have forced people out before the end of their notice period, but they were about to be fired anyway, and they knew it, and/or they basically stopped working before the notice period was over.

          I do try not to be a jerk :-)

        2. Observer*

          Yes, that’s the bait we use – if you want to have your accrued vacation paid out, you need to give 4 weeks. I’m pretty sure that if someone had extenuating circumstances that they explained, and gave 2 weeks, they would still get the vacation payout, but that’s not a given.

            1. Observer*

              While there may be state laws that require it, on the whole, not it is not legally required.

    2. Noah*

      Some companies require you give the amount of notice outlined in the handbook if you want to be paid out accumulated PTO. My current company requests 4 weeks as well and they will not pay out PTO if you only give 2 weeks. My last company was the same way, but only required 2 weeks notice.

      Of course in my last job I left with nearly 200 hours of PTO and really wanted it paid out. In my current job I think I have 32 hours right now, and we only get 80 hours a year that don’t roll over. So I wouldn’t be inclined to really give 4 weeks notice if I found a new job and they wanted me there in 2 weeks.

      1. Spiky Plant*

        Yeah, my last employer wouldn’t pay out PTO without one month notice. I sort of think pro-rating might be better than an absolute line, though?

  9. TN*

    #5: Alison has said before that the notice period is not necessarily so your replacement can be hired, trained and ready to take over but for the leaving employee to finish up projects, get together job aids, show other employees pertinent systems, etc. Can you leave your current job in good shape in two weeks? If yes, I say talk to your current management and tell them that. Will it take the whole four weeks for you to make sure everything is taken care of and the transition is fairly smooth? If yes to that, I think you need to try and extend your leave, even if only by one more week. Unless your current job was absolutely terrible, it’ll look better across the board to give as much of the “required” 4 weeks as possible.

  10. Purr purr purr*

    OP#2, do you have a friend who is willing to ask for a reference for you? That way you’d be able to see/hear what your former employer is saying about you and you’d get a clear answer and know whether they’re the problem or if you perhaps need to work on other areas, e.g. interview technique. I suggested this tactic to my sister who was experiencing similar issues and a friend with his own business got in touch with her former company to get a reference. Her former company were trashing her and saying a lot of things that were blatantly untrue. Once she was armed with this info, she was able to threaten them with legal action (she works in the legal industry) since she could prove that their lies had jeopardised her employment chances.

    1. fposte*

      That would be a sensible thing to to do if the OP can’t get past interviews, but she’s not even getting interviews. You may find the occasional employer who calls references before interviews (I’ve given a reference to one of them, in fact), but it’s highly unusual, so that’s not going to be interfering with the OP across the board.

      1. Have courage and be kind - Austin, TX*

        Yes, I agree with fposte (and AAM’s advice). In all the jobs I had, my references were only contacted once the company was ready to make an offer. When someone is not getting interviews, it’s highly unlikely that the problem is reference checking.

        Finding the root cause of the problem is very important so you don’t waste time optimizing something that won’t help change the situation. In this case itcould be a poorly written resume, lack of interview preparation, a weak work history that makes the OP an unattractive candidate compared with the rest of the pool, etc.

        OP #2, your next step should be to try to find good friends whose opinion you trust to look at your resume and cover letter to see if there’s anything there that could be improved to make your skills and accomplishments stand out for hiring managers. Good luck!

        1. Have courage and be kind - Austin, TX*

          Edited to add: I was copying from a list of potential problems I wrote for a colleague asking for advice, and inadvertently kept “lack of interview preparation”, which obviously also doesn’t apply to OP#2.

          A resume that doesn’t highlight accomplishments, weak work history, weak cover letter are the most likely culprits here.

  11. Lia*

    #4, I feel for you. Our executive leadership always followed the policy that if a fed holiday fell on Saturday, we would be closed on Friday, and if the holiday was on Sunday, we would close on Monday. Last week they announced that this would not be effective for July 3/4 this year. People are hopping mad. The CEO is pretty anti-holiday in general (he did away with Columbus and President’s day closures and now we get comp time instead, but it expires after a year). Rumor has it Labor Day is next on the hitlist.

    Our division director, fwiw, thinks this is dumb and told us to feel free to bail on July 3.

    1. Hope*

      OP #4 here. I feel awful because I have flex time to cover that extra day but there are several hourly employees who are not pleased, to put it mildly. This one day of work is probably going to cost the company an excellent employee, who pointed out that if it really was a “mistake,” then they should show some accountability, like management is always telling US to do with our work.

  12. Anonymousterical*

    Re #1: I have about three years total experience in recruiting and hiring, and I’ve never interviewed the pushy applicant, when I could avoid it. If I already dread seeing your name and we haven’t even met yet, then you have zero chance. Granted, I’ve only done recruiting/hiring on top of my regular/primary jobs, so it was often an unwanted distraction on top of a boatload of projects and stress, but my advice is to not push the hiring manager. You have absolutely no idea what else or how much is on their plate, and it shows a lack of both respect and experience, should you keep hounding them–especially after a paltry two weeks. Let it be.

  13. Spooky*

    OP #1 – Whoa whoa, you sent an email to his PERSONAL account listed on LinkedIn? Yeah, I think it’s fair to say you just shot down any chance you had at an interview.

    1. Sunshine Brite*

      ^^^ This, it wasn’t listed on the company website, but linkedin. It’s one thing to read up on the public profile and another to start digging in using that info. He needs to put the brakes on.

      1. Bee Eye LL*

        I have had an applicant contact me the same way. He had to do some digging to even get my name, which really bugged me. Then he kept emailing me. Hey man, I saw the movie Cable Guy, too.

        1. Sunshine Brite*

          Eek. Haven’t read the Gift of Fear but had the concept explained to me. There’s usually a reason why certain actions or people give us that bad feeling and too often people ignore that. If this guy had reached out through my LinkedIn and the support email and I found out about both then I’d get that feeling because it’s unlikely he would be less pushy in his role.

        2. Mel*

          I had an applicant try over and over again to get a job at my last employer- I tried explaining to him that we had nothing for his skill set. About 6 months after I changed jobs, he had somehow tracked me down and applied to work at my current company. I was so freaked out I told my boss and we told the front desk receptionist so if he showed up, she knew not to tell him I worked there and that we were NOT hiring. Thankfully he has never dropped by, but still. Don’t stalk the person in charge of hiring. creepy!!

    2. some1*

      On top of that, emailing the Support email from the website about a job? That is for customers or business partners who…need support. You’ve basically told them that you don’t understand how their business works, or else you don’t care. Neither bodes well for you.

  14. Graciosa*

    To OP#1, you need to realize that there’s a bit of a fantasy element in your desire for this job.

    So far, you know very little about it, or about the people you would be working with. The same job description could be posted for very different work in very different cultures for very different companies. In my job, for example, there are positions where you have enormous amounts of responsibility and autonomy – and other employers who hire people for what appears to be the same work without the actual freedom to do it.

    When you see a guy / girl you’re attracted to, it’s not hard to build a fantasy about the perfect relationship based on next to nothing – but most people know this is a fantasy, and any actual relationship could be great, terrible, or anywhere in between. You figure this out as you get to know the person, filling in the fantasy with reality.

    You have a job description and a LinkedIn profile, and you’ve decided you really want this position and not hearing is driving you nuts [Oh, my god, why doesn’t cute person CALL!]. Please remember that you don’t yet actually know anything about the actual job other than its superficial appearance – it could be great, terrible, or anywhere in between. You figure this out as you get to know the company and people in it by interviewing.

    You haven’t done that yet – so you’re still in the fantasy stage, assuming the job [relationship] is going to be wonderful [perfect, everything you’ve ever dreamed]. This says more about your hopes than it does about the employer.

    There’s nothing wrong with fantasy, but you need to keep it in its place – which is not in charge of your professional behavior. All this following up is the professional equivalent of turning into an instant stalker. You need to stop immediately, and vow never to do this again.

    You’ll probably be happier if you mentally move on in the interim. Instead of waiting by the phone, keep looking around – and any phone calls can be a welcome surprise.

  15. Jen S. 2.0*


    They may never contact you.

    They do not have to interview you, no matter how interested you are. Your applying does not create an obligation for them to interview you.

    Even if you were displaying your best behavior, you can’t make them interview you.

    Nagging them, though? REALLY not going to make them interested in you.

    1. Retail Lifer*

      Being on both sides of the process (I’m currently job hunting, but I do the hiring where I work), I know both how tempting it is to contact the potential employer but also how annoying it is when they just won’t stop.

      OP, it really won’t help. I wish it would, but I can assure you it won’t.

  16. Zillah*

    #1 – I sympathize. I really do. Job searching is stressful, particularly if you are unemployed, underemployed, and/or hate your job. (I’m not sure if any of that applies to you, but it sounds like it might.) But at the end of the day,while that matters to you, it doesn’t affect them. For stuff like this, I find it really useful to try to put myself in the other person’s position. Can you imagine yourself ever responding well to a stranger who tried to contact you through numerous channels that you hadn’t provided them with?

    I know it’s hard, but I think that you really need to calm down and take a step back. It sucks, but once you send in an application, there’s really nothing you can do. Trying to get noticed in some other way is nearly always going to backfire.

    #3 – I think that you might be putting too much stock in the employer not proactively mentioning on the posting or their website that US citizenship/permanent residency is required. This is an issue that’s of major importance to you, but it’s not one that everyone else is necessarily thinking about – to take a smaller-scale example, many employers/listings don’t address relocation assistance at all, even if it’s not available.

    I think a good employer would like it not to matter, but the logistics involved means that it does matter, and immigration status isn’t a protected class, so there’s no concern about the appearance of illegal discrimination (which there is with things like health issues, pregnancy, religion, etc). Withholding it would definitely be withholding important information.

  17. Noah*

    #4 – I think it is really crappy of your leadership to publish a calendar and then change it. I like Alison’s idea of giving an extra day of vacation to everyone and either letting them use it to take that day or come into the office and use it another time. That seems fair and reasonable if they want to keep the office open on July 3rd.

    In my current company we never get Friday or Monday off if a holiday falls on a weekend. However, the compensation for that is we usually get Monday or Friday off if the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday.

    1. Rebecca*

      I really loved that benefit when our company gave us Monday or Friday off too when holidays fell on a Tuesday or Thursday. It was a great extra benefit and everyone loved it! Until this year. The day after our holiday party, the one where we were praised as being great workers, can’t do it without you, etc. we were pulled together and told we are losing 3 paid holidays starting in 2015, as well as no more extra days when holidays fall on Tuesday or Thursday. Oh, and we’re not losing anything, you see, because [our focus group told us to tell you] it’s just a realignment of responsibilities.

      Needless to say, we are all very unhappy about this. People are looking for other jobs, and one person already left. So, while the company is saving 3-5 paid days per person moving forward, the retraining and rehiring costs will greatly outweigh the savings. Oh, and when we’re in the office for the holidays that were canceled? Let’s just say it’s not our greatest work output time.

  18. itsame...Adam*

    #3 the interview I the right time. You want to meet the decision makers. Any HR person will throw your resume out if you put it on it unless you have VERY specialized skills they need. Don’t hide it but don’t mention it until you are interviewing or unless they ask specifically.

    1. AVP*

      idk, this depends on the company size. I would be super annoyed if I wasted an in-person interview slot on someone who has a 0% chance of being hired no matter how great they were….but I work for a really small company with no budget for this. If it’s a company with an in-house immigration/legal team, then maybe.

    2. Observer*

      HR people will throw it out because the decision makers have let it be known that someone who needs sponsorship is NOT going to be hired. So besides the effect on the potential employer, you wind up wasting time, energy and possibly money on interviews that have no hope of going anywhere.

      1. Former Recruitment Coordinator*

        No, OP#3, I strongly disagree with this based on working in HR. Do not hide it until the interview. You would be wasting the company’s time as well as your own.

        1. Former Recruitment Coordinator*

          Sorry, this reply was in response to itsame…Adam, who advised waiting until the interview.

  19. Bee Eye LL*

    #1 – I once had an applicant email me three times, send me a FB friend request and request a connection on LinkedIn, all before we even met. It felt a bit stalkerish, if not highly aggressive. On top of that, his cover letter was full of grammatical errors and his resume looked like crap. We didn’t even bring him in for an interview, but I was worried he would show up at the office one day.

  20. Mel*

    OP #1, Never ever do that again. If they want to contact you, they will. My number 1 pet peeve at work is when people harass me about their applications. Depending on the position, postings can get upwards of 100 applications (all of whom think they are a great fit) and there is typically only one or two people who go through those applications. I can’t speak for everyone, but the way I work is I go through and weed out the definite no’s first and send them “Thanks but no Thanks” emails to let them know they have not been selected. I then go through the remaining applications again and identify the strongest applications and reach out to those people first before the middle of the road applications. It’s a process and one that doesn’t typically happen in a matter of days. Constantly reaching out to the company may feel like you’ll increase your odds of being seen, but in fact it typically just makes your name memorable in a negative context. “Oh, that’s that person that won’t stop contacting me..” As much as I hate to say it, when someone starts the process on a negative note, it’s hard to see past that when they do view your application. As a rule, I would say that after you apply if you didn’t receive a confirmation that your application was received (typically an automated message), it is okay to call once and say something like “I’m sorry, I was applying for the teapots position, but never received an email confirming it went through. Is there a way to find out if it went through or if I need to fill it out again?” Explain this to the receptionist and let her handle it. They may be able to look it up for you or have someone else do so, and they’ll say whether or not it was received. Thank them, and move on.
    Not every company sends no thank you emails. Not every company can look at 100% of the applications. Someone confirmed that your application was received, so the ball is in their court now.

    1. Mel*

      This isn’t meant to scold, really, I just wanted to explain how exasperating it is on the company-side of things. Imagine 20+ people doing this!

      Also- For the record my #2 pet peeve is when people don’t show up for their interview. Don’t ever do that either, please :-)

  21. Ann*

    #1 – it’s been my experience that if the employer likes you and wants to move forward, they will contact you pretty quickly after you apply. If I have not heard from them within a week of my application, I write them off. If they see you as a potential fit and want to move forward, you will hear from them, but if you don’t it’s best that you move on. You will only make yourself crazy obsessing after one job opening instead of focusing on other opportunities.

  22. Retail Lifer*

    #4 At my previous job, the holiday calendar was posted in September. It was a retail job, but I worked at a company with a small, non-traditional customer base and we didn’t work a lot of extended hours like most places. We were even closed on some holidays, which is an oddity in this field. Anyway, the calendar stated that we would close at 2:00 on Christmas Eve (we usually closed at 6:00). I only had a staff of three, but based on this closing time I only needed one person to be there. One person had originally asked to leave at noon because she was going out of town but then graciously offered to stay until 2:00 so the rest of us could have the whole day off. We made plans accordingly, all of which involved going out of town.

    In November, right before Thanksgiving, they suddenly declared the 2:00 time a “mistake” and said we would be open until 4. While it was only two hours more, we were left in a bind. The whole staff already had travel plans, and the girl who kindly offered to stay until 2 could not stay until 4 (she had family obligations at that time, a few hours away). As the manager, I was expected to cover it but at the time I was completely over that job and working at all that day would have meant missing my ride and spending Christmas alone. I refused and gave that as the reason why. In an inappropriately ballsy move, I told my boss that we were closing the store at 2 unless he wanted to drive two hours to our city and cover the last two hours on Christmas Eve.

    He did.

    And he didn’t even gripe about it. He agreed with us that it was inappropriate to change the calendar with so little notice and since we was already working from home that day it wasn’t a huge deal to come and work at my store. I still can’t believe that happened and that I still had a job.

Comments are closed.