In the past 2 weeks, I’ve received approximately 5 candidate rejection emails, 7 receipt of application emails, and 2 requests for further information to my candidacy. Out of all of these email messages, only one was humanized.

Applying for a job is both an emotional and personal experience. You are essentially telling a total stranger the past 10 years or more of your life, your achievements, your investment in yourself, and your aspirations. All of this, in the hopes that they believe you are as valuable as you do, and as such will want to hear more about you. You’re putting yourself out there for judgment and competition, acceptance and/or rejection.

The employer holds all the cards when you apply for a job, at least until the interview that is. And a better employer who understands the value of a candidate’s time and investment in job hunting will infuse some common courtesies that can make the competition process a more gentle one.

The candidate receipt of application

This is a great one to start off with because it is actually the only humanized email I received this week. I applied for a position at Hootsuite. As soon as I had sent in my application, I received an email that had some positive reinforcement and acknowledgment language that made me really hope they call me back.

  1. Thank you: Starting off an email by thanking a candidate for applying not only makes them feel like they made the right choice, but it lets them know that you appreciate their interest regardless of the outcome. It’s an easy feel-good move that should be the start of every candidate correspondence.
  2. Acknowledgement: “We know applying for a job can be exciting, and at times nerve-racking. Particularly when you find your dream job, click apply, wait, and wait some more. 
    This type of verbal reinforcement tells a candidate that you’re right there with them. You feel their pain and you’re going to do what you can to ease it. How? That’s the next point.
  3. Next Steps: Offering insight into the candidate competition process enables a job seeker to feel like they’re in the loop. You’re setting expectations and providing transparency. A candidate now knows what the timeline is for your review process, and what type of communication to expect at what stage.What this says to me is that Hootsuite cares about people and communicating. They want you to understand what they’re doing and how much they respect and value your interest. It may as it did for me, make you want to work there all the more. And it should.This is the type of employer that enjoys promoting. As big as they are, and as little as they need our promotional assistance, we’re happy to reinforce the investment and positive culture that employers such as Hootsuite maintain.



    Hootsuite is a B Corp certified organization. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. To find out more about why Hootsuite became a B Corp organization click here. Or to find out how your organization can become B Corp certified visit

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google+