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Happy to get a personal "thanks but, no thanks" email response

It is kind of funny when you think you are happy to see a "thanks but, no thanks" email from a "real person" to a position you applied too. Today so many organizations out there just hit the automated switch that sends a "" that says the standard statement "We are reviewing your application and will get back to you if your application is a match".

How many of you can say... they got back to you? And if they did, was it from a person, willing to put their return contact signature or was it just another automated reply? If it was automated, you probably just hit "Ctr -Alt- Del". Because there was nothing in the reply that helped you know why you didn't match or that showed any indication of gratitude that you spent time and energy applying. That said, there are some companies out there that have really improved their automated response to have a human touch. Kudos to them.

On the other hand there are those where the reply is cold as a fish on ice. Hearing nothing from a company says lots about their work/life balance and time management. As a reputation management professional for brands and people, I would tell you this "YOUR doing harm to your company brand when you send no response or the response is a canned automated response."

Why? Because, email does have emotions. Automated replies and/or no replies, says to the recipient "you are not worth our time to compose a reply". We are too busy, which equates to a perceived thought of they are overworked with not enough resources. Would you want to work there?

I get it, some places get so many responses it is overwhelming. Well then, pull the position posting or hire an intern to be your "ghost candidate response" writer. Don't think that doing nothing or the easy automatic response makes you stand out. Personalization goes a long way. It shows that the culture of the company is all that it claims on your website and in the employee handbook. It shows that brand reputation matters and that recognition that candidates can be potential customers or partners. So write a simple response -


Hello Joe,

Thank you for your time. Although not a match, we appreciate the time you put into applying. Sincerely,

Jane Smith, HR Coord.

When I get a response from an actual person I "thank" them. Even if it was not what I wanted to hear. But for me, it means something that they took the time to respond. It says something about the company and affirms why I wanted to work for them. So maybe, I will apply when another opportunity arrises. Also.... I don't feel like boycotting their product or service. As opposed to when I get the canned response or no response, then those companies go into my file for companies - not worth my time.

Have you heard the saying "what goes around, comes around"? Well, Karma does happen and when it does, it can hurt the bottom line. I have had opportunities where I was on the other-side of the equation. Some of those companies wanted to do business with my company later in my career. Do you think they were a high meeting priority for me? Do you think they had to work a bit harder to get me to respond?


So when I say, who knew getting a "thanks but, no thanks" from a real person, not an automated email would make me happy.

To all those who take that time.... I congratulate you and your brand reputation team. It's compassion that will help your growth. For all those who have the automated response, big box company or not, think about what it says to all those on the receiving end about your company culture and the value of reputation management.

Love your brand, take the time to show you do.

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