>Kids These Days…

What’s up with kids these days? I’ve been interviewing recent college grads for the opening of our associate editor position at the mag, and seriously, have we forgotten how to teach our kids etiquette and manners? Please, if you’re out there looking for a job, don’t Linday Lohan yourself by creating a self-spectacle and not exuding normal professional manners.

Example #1: Dude, where’s my thank-you note and follow up e-mail/letter/phone call?

Dude, isn’t it just customary to send a follow-up e-mail to thank your interviewer for the chance to meet?… What? Do you think you can just wait around expecting an e-mail to arrive from me? Or, wait… Maybe it should be ME who should thank the candidates for the opportunity to interview them! Eureka! Maybe I’ve gotten it all wrong this whole time. 

Only one of my six strongest candidates was keen enough to do so. That’s 16.6 frickin‘ percent. Sixteen percent is a horrible free throw shot percent, an atrocious batting average and barely above the abysmal New Jersey Nets’ 14.6 percent win rate. And guess what? It’s also an unacceptable rate of e-mail follow-up among these kids. 

[For the record, this season my flag football team’s record completely sucked (2-8) and we managed to go better than 16.6 percent. That’s pretty sad.]

Example #2: Sending an e-mail solely with attachments and no greeting message

If a person thinks they are actually going to get an interview by applying for a job with an e-mail whose subject line states “Applying for Associate Editor Job” and sending it only with a resume and cover letter attached, then you’re just plain dumb. Seriously. Do I even need to explain why this is unacceptable?

Example #3: Not making your Facebook page private

We’re all guilty of it. You know, party pics with red solo cups in hand and silly photos with half-naked people (well, everyone’s guilty of it except me. You know, since I’m an angel). But hasn’t the media and all your friends warned you about the perils of posting those photos? Like, in the event a potential employer has at all come out from behind a rock in the past five years to discover Facebook?

Example #4: Not asking for the potential employer’s business card at the conclusion of the interview

Man, this was something that was ingrained in me at the end of college. Everyone I talked to advised me to conclude the interview with a sincere thanks, handshake and request of a business card. It kind of signals interest and a mature level of professionalism, no? NONE of these candidates have asked for my business card. One person even left without shaking my hand. Geez.

Listen, if you think I’m being harsh on these young’ins, then go ahead and think it. But this job’s tough, and the job market is even tougher. We’ve already got to teach this person about the pitfalls of journalism and why it’s still relevant in this age of Twitter, and it’s disappointing we now have to teach them etiquette and manners, too. 

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