Applicant Feedback

All right now, for the love of God, put the gun down, or at least refrain from shooting any more holes in the water cooler.  It's empty!

Generally, here at Mason Communications, Inc., we don’t provide feedback on hiring decisions for applicants who were not selected, but all of the yelling and gunfire of the last few minutes have  convinced me that perhaps I should make an exception in this case and respond in detail to your rather .... unique job application

The position that we had advertised on our company website was for an "Administrative Assistant"--not, as you seem to have thought, an "Admittedly-Straight Assistant."  I loved reading your cover letter, discussing the ease with which you identify yourself as heterosexual, but we would have liked to hear a bit more about your office experience.

On the job application, under "Any Other Skills," you wrote "SKILLZ GRAB BAG – REACH IN!!!!! WHO KNOWS WHAT U WILL GET?!" While this is intriguing, specificity is preferred.

OK, yes--the gun is very specific, though not quite what I meant. Next time you apply for a job, a skill to mention might be your exceptional ability to conceal and handle firearms.  This may not always get you hired, but it will certainly help your prospective employer get to know you better and adjust their visitor screening process accordingly.

When asked for three adjectives to describe yourself, you listed "reallygoodatjobs," "smarthardworkingmotivated," and "crazysexycool."  As a general rule of thumb, it might be a good idea to use spaces between words. Yes, I know there are spaces between bullets, even if they are short spaces. And by no means do I mean  to say that I didn’t enjoy your words.  They were very creative.  Listen,  if you must fire into the ceiling, try to avoid the sprinkler.

It appears that you interpreted several of the supplemental questions, such as, "What is your greatest weakness?" as personal questions, because you answered "GR8EST WEAKNESS = OMELET BARS :D"  We were looking for your greatest work-related weakness, but of course were absolutely intrigued to learn of your dietary habits.

I was originally confused by your response to "Have you ever committed a felony?" but now your answer, "NOT YET ;)", makes  a lot more sense.

As for your resume, try to focus on professional roles that you have filled.  You could leave off entries such as "Pants- Wearer: 1985 – present (except summers)."  No, no--we greatly admired your loyalty to pants, but wearing pants is more of a general, unspoken job requirement.  Your inclusion of "Mason Communications, Inc., Awesome Co-worker/Cool Guy in Office: whenever I’m hired – forever" was enthusiastic, but one might see it as jumping the gun, which I really do wish you would put down.

So, just to recap: if you hold something, anything--a position, a gun, anything--you should put it down.  Then, after that, if it happens to be a gun that you have put down, you can slide it across the floor to me, which is a resume qualification you might not have heard before.  Is there anything you’d like to put down and slide across the floor right now?  No?  Well. it was worth a try.

I was very impressed by your references--Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, and LeBron James--but was surprised to see that they all had the same telephone number as yours--832-GUNZ.  Try to choose references that can speak to your work ethic and dedication to your job and not just your marksmanship, although that is very important, I agree.

You know, now that we've met, I have to say that you sound a lot like  like the mysterious caller who left me voicemails every night last week saying, "It’s me, the president of the company.  Let’s hire that guy Bill Gates is so high on.   Also we should pay him way more money than we originally listed."  These are just coincidences of course.

Oh, look--another gun. Yes, of course, I understand--the first one is "out of popcorn," as you put it.   Hey, you know,  all of that talk about the president of the company got me thinking, maybe he should join this conversation.  Why don’t I just pick up that phone over there and dial his extension--um,  X11. I'm sure he's eager to meet you. How does that sound?


Sean Adams lives in the Midwest.  His humor has been featured on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Dislocate.org, where he writes a column as Landrew Kentmore.

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

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