Dear employers, just say no

As a senior in college with a journalism degree that doesn’t guarantee me a job, applying for full-time positions has taken up more time during my last semester than anything else. As I have been applying to jobs and sending out portfolios to potential employers, I have noticed that hiring managers think they are above the rules.

We’re taught in school and most internships that you respond the moment you receive something. No matter the message and no matter the time (usually as an intern you have higher expectations of this), you should always show immediate response.

But why is it that when I send in a huge portfolio or an application, I don’t hear anything for months at a time. With my monthly checking-in emails and my phone calls to the hiring manager that conveniently always go to an assistant or to voicemail, I feel like I am speaking to a wall.

As a job seeker, I guess I’m confused on who is obligated to take part in this norm and who isn’t. Just like anyone searching for a job, I would prefer to receive an invitation to an interview, but if you aren’t hiring or don’t think I would fit with your company, just let me know. I have tough skin and know how rejection feels – if it’s just not meant to be, that’s OK. But I’m not OK with having the hope that I may have a shot, when the reality is I don’t.

Outside of my Baylor walls, it’s a cruel world. You hear of corporate America being selfish, where being polite and kind will not get you far. I think there is a part of it that may be true, but I have always hoped that it isn’t the case. But as the job hunt has gotten more intense and the days counting down to graduation start to grow small, my view on corporate America has shifted.

Instead of the naive, optimistic viewpoint I used to have, I have taken the realistic approach. People are busy, and we live in a world that thrives on living minute by minute. Even if it’s a pre-made email sent to everyone, I really believe that it shows a company cares, even if they may not, and it only takes a moment to send.

As simple a word as “no” is, it’s a word that I and thousands of others going through the same process don’t even get the option of hearing. Hear me loud and clear: I love the word “no.” It is the fire that fuels me and pushes me to be better.

I think job seekers like myself deserve an answer, and I think it is a bit inconsiderate not to respond. We want to be where you are and do what you do someday, and we deserve a simple answer.