It’s been a long day and Mary is catching up on her emails. As she deletes all the unsolicited introductions from sales people trying to sell her stuff she either doesn’t want or can’t afford, she wonders again if she was completely nuts to open her own business.
When she’s not avoiding obnoxious sales pitches, she’s dealing with job seekers. She can track the college graduation season simply by the number of unsolicited emails she receives. She rarely reads the attached resumes because of the first impressions created by the emails. The smart graduates use proper grammar and complete sentences in their emails. The smartest graduates actually look at her company website to see what kind of business she runs.
She sighs and clicks on the next email. Its contents strike her so forcibly that she takes a big swig of her single malt scotch. She glances out the window to see if it’s a full moon; it’s not. It’s also too early for the solar eclipse. No natural phenomenon explains the email she’s reading.
The email says, “Hey, y’all, I just graduated from college and I’d love to come work for you if you’ve got an opening. If you don’t have any jobs right now, please keep me in mind when you do. Thx, Candace.”
Mary’s received some strange introductions from job-seekers. She was once chased two city blocks until she realized the crazy man running after her wasn’t a stalker; he was trying to hand deliver his resume. She’s had friends ask her to hire their college-aged children because some of those young people are otherwise unemployable.
Mary knows that millennials are much more informal than her generation of workers. But Candace’s email introduction surely takes the prize. This clueless waif graduated from college without ever learning how to present herself to a potential employer.
- She can hit delete and ignore Candace because it’s not her responsibility to teach millennials how to apply for a job.
- She can drink more scotch and save the email for the bad days when she needs a quick laugh.
- She can remember her own job-hunting mistakes and email Candace some kind advice on how the power of first impressions affects gainful employment.
Informality is preferable to the strict workplace hierarchies of the past that stifled innovation and creativity. However, informality should never cross the line into disrespect. HR can help by encouraging college placement offices to teach soon-to-be-graduates how to properly approach prospective employers.
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