No one likes to be strung along, but it happens to everyone.
Some employers do it on purpose. Others do it by pure absentmindedness. Regardless of the reason, the outcome is the same every time: the employer walks away happy with a new employee, while you (the job seeker) must continue looking for work.
This is one of the many reasons why people hate job hunting. The resume writing, lengthy applications, and multiple interviews are bad enough. Toss a little false hope into the mix, and it’s easy to see why so many individuals wish they could just give up.
In a perfect world, you could respond to these employers with complete honesty.
“You don’t want me? After two interviews, multiple phone calls and endless praise from everyone I spoke to, you don’t want to hire me!? Are you crazy!?!?!?”
Unfortunately, that response won’t inspire the employer to change its mind. But it will encourage the hiring manager to delete the e-mail and forget you ever existed.
In a worse scenario, the hiring manager may actually save the e-mail as a reminder to never, ever hire you. Others within the company may eventually read that e-mail, which will only make matters worse.
Instead of saying what you feel, take a few steps back. Relax. Take a deep breath. And when you’ve finally cooled down, heed the advice of Dr. Tasha Eurich:
“I’d go back to my mom’s old adage: ‘Never burn a bridge,’” Dr. Eurich, a career coach and New York Times best-selling author of Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom-Line Results, and the Power to Deliver Both, told StreetID. “You might want to tell the company exactly what you think of them for giving you the run-around. But you have everything to lose and nothing to gain.
“Here’s what I’d suggest: Write back and genuinely thank them for the opportunity. Say you understand if they went in a different direction. You have every right to ask for feedback (something like ‘I am always hoping to improve, so any feedback you might be able to provide on my candidacy would be immensely appreciated — what could I have done differently?’).
“Finally, stay in touch with this person — take them at their word that they might be looking at you for future positions — stay in touch, send them helpful articles once in a while, etc. You never know — that next job posting at the company might be just around the corner. Stay at the top of their mind, and remember — be classy!”
Get Hired Now
These days, job seekers have a million options, but we know where they should turn: StreetID. We built StreetID (a financial career matchmaking website) from the ground up to accommodate Wall Street’s growing community of financial professionals. In good times and in bad, current job seekers and those looking to move on in the future can turn to StreetID and sign up for a free account and make a direct connection with relevant candidates and employers.