Is it time for a job seeker Bill of Rights?

Photo credit: Tom Wang, Shutterstock
Photo credit: Tom Wang, Shutterstock

One of the most challenging parts of job hunting is staying optimistic when dealing with rejection. However, while rejection can definitely hurt, for many job seekers, it’s the lack of communication and sudden changes from employers that are hardest to handle. Over at Forbes, Lydia O’Connor, a recent college grad, reflects on the trouble she’s been having finding a job and argues that it’s time for a Bill of Rights for job seekers to ensure employers treat candidates better:

Be forthright about salary. Job seekers are warned never to ask about salary. This would be fine if more employers were open about what the salary was. In my experience, 90% of the time employers fail to bring up the salary during an interview. I sometimes get the feeling that they want to gauge my interest without money in the equation. But money is important, especially if you’ve been interviewing for many months. Even worse is when the salary offered is different from what appeared in the want ad – a complaint I hear surprisingly often.

Follow up. If candidates have taken the time to interview with you, don’t leave them hanging. Within a week or two send an e-mail or, better yet, make a phone call, letting them know where they stand in the process, whether or not they have made it to the next round. Give your candidates realistic timelines as to when they can expect a response, and stick to those timelines.

Do unto others. One manager who didn’t hire me conveyed the news in a phone call (something that seems increasingly rare) that showed the kind of courtesy we all want. The employer said I had a great resume, and offered to discuss further opportunities. I really appreciated the effort.

Read the rest of her suggestions for a job seeker Bill of Rights.

What do you think? Do we need a more formal job seeker Bill of Rights? How can employers work better with potential employees? Share your insights in the comments below.

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    • Ann
    • July 9, 2013

    I absolutely agree, the level of professionalism is for the most part abysmal. Once a person has gone on an interview and either sent a thank you letter or a phone call the least a company can do is shoot off a form e-mail . At least someone knows hot to proceed. Also, if someone has sent a resume to a posting and later followed up with an e-mail the least a company can do is respond (again even a form e-mail works). The bottom line is looking for a job is like dating, if during the interview process you are not being treated well then you can’t expect much once you are hired /married.

  1. Allison, what a great idea. I do feel like those “rights” would be a great way to maintain a positive interaction between am employer and potential employee.

    • Dan
    • July 10, 2013

    Any employer that can’t/won’t follow up with applicants, even if it’s a simple “thank you, but we are moving forward with someone else”, loses the right to ask for ‘good communication skills’ from any of their potential hires.

      • C.J
      • August 6, 2013

      Totally agree with Dan! If I make an effort to come for an interview and just get an email rejection letter, that’s pretty rude.

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