Yesterday I submitted an application for a job.

About 24 hours later, I received a generic rejection reply from the hiring manager of the company. This email was sent at 1 am (West Coast time, where the company is based), early on a Tuesday morning, the day after the long Labor Day weekend. Moreover, I checked that no one had actually bothered looking at the 5-minute video that I created for this job application (and which was specifically asked for in the job application).

It would thus seem to me that my application was, for reasons unknown, summarily tossed into the "No" pile, with virtually no effort on the part of the hiring manager to study my application. No specific reason was given for the rejection and the rejection email was entirely generic, copy-pasted.

I am very passionate about this job and I strongly believe that I am an excellent fit for it.

Would it be a good idea for me now to try to contact others in the company? I am thinking of writing a very brief 1-paragraph email along these lines, to persons in the company who are directly involved in this work:

Dear X,

I am very interested in job position Y. Please take a look at this 5-minute video [link to YouTube video] I created for my job application. If you find that it is of the highest quality, I hope Company Z will reconsider my job application.

  • 1
    I would advise you to do so. Maybe they have automated software to filter applicants. I hate those will all my heart. Find a way to get in touch with a real person. But try again with the same recruiter.
    – UmNyobe
    Sep 8, 2015 at 8:58
  • Also, keep in mind that many/most jobs are NOT actually filled by candidates who have gone through an automated application process that started with responding to a job posting. It is always to your benefit to find ways to make contact with the employer in ways other than job-application process. Even if you're not hired for the current position, making a positive impression and showing continued interest will help a lot if you decide to approach this employer again in the future.
    – teego1967
    Sep 8, 2015 at 9:59
  • 1
    When they asked you to make a video as part of the application process, did they specify how it was to be delivered? Maybe the company doesn't look at YouTube as a rule.
    – Brandin
    Sep 8, 2015 at 10:39
  • @Brandin: No they didn't specify. And YouTube is definitely OK because that is one of their main platforms (they make videos).
    – user29768
    Sep 8, 2015 at 11:50

2 Answers 2


Automated filtering are everywhere these days. And sometimes really nice and efficient resumes get tossed away.

As you are passionate about the job and are qualified, I would suggest you follow up with the HR or anyone from the team into which you are applying.

In more cases than one, your mail to the HR would be greeted by a cold, auto-generated mail which asks you to wait for a reply (and the wait can take anywhere from 2 days to forever).

So, I would advise you to get into contact with the HR on LinkedIn. Generally, people personally respond on LinkedIn, and you can get your doubts cleared and/or make your pitch again for the job.

If you do not get a reply from the HR (as they would be having a tonne of Inmails in their inbox), you can connect and message another person in the company, belonging to the department/domain in which you are applying to; would also help.

Your subject line on LinkedIn can go like this: "Query regarding an application"

  • Is it really true that people are more likely to respond on LinkedIn than on email?
    – user29768
    Sep 13, 2015 at 4:38
  • @KennyLJ tried and tested. And the probability of people responding through LinkedIn is significantly greater than e-mail, especially when they are HR's
    – Dawny33
    Sep 13, 2015 at 4:41

Would it be a good idea for me now to try to contact others in the company? I am thinking of writing a very brief 1-paragraph email along these lines, to persons in the company who are directly involved in this work:

No, this is a bad idea. You'd be circumventing their hiring protocol which is never a good idea as it's in place for a very good reason. You're only likely to annoy people who have no stake in the hiring process. They will usually forward your mail to the right contact who might be understandably annoyed that you tried to go around them and then (manually) reject your application for not following instructions.

What you can do, if you're concerned that your application was incorrectly rejected by an automated system is to contact their HR team (or recruitment team if they have one) and ask very politely if your application was automatically filtered and if they can tell you why if that was indeed the case. If you don't have an e-mail address for the HR team, ideally call the company's reception to ask if they can provide you with the email address for hiring-related queries. If that fails send it to their main contact address with a request to forward to the right department or the hiring manager for the position, if you happen to have his email. If you've found a direct email address you'd do well to attach your resume but I would not attach the video file. They'll have that in their system even if you were rejected and sending unsolicited large attachments is still frowned upon. If you've published the video online sharing the URL would be fine.

Note that if you have a contact at the company who recommended that you apply or someone who is willing to be a (strong) reference for you, then it would be better for you to contact him directly and have that person check on your application.

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