I received a rejection letter today from San Francisco startup, TaskRabbit, and I must say, “Being rejected never felt this good.” Honestly, I’m just happy to have received any response. And, in this case, I attribute the success of hearing back to the creativity of my application. Knowing Founder Leah Busque often keeps her dog in the TaskRabbit office, I mailed my resume to their SF office with a handful of home made dog treats (in hopes her dog would sniff out my resume).
Of the dozens of companies I’ve applied to, only a few have replied to my applications: TaskRabbit, DropBox and LivingSocial. Never hearing back is among the most frustrating parts of the job application process. I mean, I’d rather not get a job because I’m not qualified for the position than because my application was never reviewed. But the sad truth is the majority of applications submitted will never be read due to the high volume of applications most companies receive per position.
I sat next to a former Wells Fargo recruiter on a recent red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Denver. Other than his love for Tim Tebow, he had some insightful opinions! He remarked,
"If a company doesn’t list an open position in your field, apply anyway."
While working at Wells Fargo, he would receive enormous amounts of applications. He recalled receiving 200+ applications per day for a single position. Not knowing how to handle the horrendously high volume, he decided to take a sampling from each applicant pool. For instance, he would read 1 of every 100 applications. This was especially depressing to hear because this means I have a better chance of…
- Having twins (Center for Disease & Control)
- Winning a game of single zero roulette (Fast Odds)
- Dying in a vehicular accident (National Safety Council)
Essentially, at least with Wells Fargo, this sampling method works because recruiters aren’t looking for The One, per se, but rather just want someone who is good enough. After a third 3am Bloody Mary, he also told me,
"If I had it my way, I wouldn’t post jobs at all. The people who really want to work for the company will apply anyway."