It wasn’t my original intention to post a log entry today as I’ve got one lined up for tomorrow. I feel the need to let loose a bit of a rant, though, with regards to the behavior of a certain human resources group. Let me present you a comparative scenario.

I applied for assistant coach posted vacancies at both Minnesota and Georgetown, neither job of which I will be landing. You can make whatever case you like about my prospects, qualifications, etc. for either position. That’s not the point of this particular post. My focus here is in how I was treated as an applicant.

On I received the following from the Georgetown head coach:

Dear Mr. Forman:

We appreciate your interest in Georgetown University and the position of Assistant Volleyball Coach for which you applied. After reviewing the applications, yours was not selected for further consideration.

The selection committee appreciates the time you invested in your application. We wish you every personal and professional success with your job search and in the future. Thank you, again, for your interest in our company.


Arlisa Williams

It’s a pretty standard rejection letter. The “our company” bit at the end gives the strong impression of a copy/paste job. No big deal, though. I may be disappointed, but I respect the fact that they let me know I was not going to be in the running.

Here’s an email I received today from a “Human Resources Generalist” at Minnesota:

Thank you for your application for the position of Assistant Women’s Volleyball Coach in the Athletics Department at the University of Minnesota.  Your interest in Gopher Athletics is appreciated.  We want to inform you that the position has been filled.

Best of luck in your future professional endeavors and thank you again for your interest in the University of Minnesota.

On the face of it, also a reasonable note. It doesn’t bother me that it didn’t come from Coach McCutcheon. Here’s what does bother me. The hiring of a new assistant coach was announced publicly more than a week ago!

Only slightly better was the automated email I got from Nevada, Reno with respect to the head coach position there:

Applications have been reviewed carefully and after considerable deliberation, the number of candidates has been narrowed. Unfortunately, your application was not one selected for further consideration at this time.  We appreciate your interest in employment at University of Nevada, Reno.

That one only came two days after the hiring announcement.

I honestly find this sort of thing insulting, and maybe unprofessional as well. If I’m taking the time to apply for the job – which is no instant thing – then I’m damn sure paying attention to developments related to this. Do you think I don’t know the job’s been filled? It would be one thing if this was still the days of printed letters and postal delivery. It’s not. You can send out rejection emails as soon as a decision is made.

I’m not sure if it’s better or worse to hear nothing at all.

Am I being overly harsh here?

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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