DEAR MISS MANNERS: I advertise online for models to use in my artwork, with expectedly mixed results. If I’m lucky, about 30 percent of the respondents are suitable subjects and/or are actually interested in posing.
Is it too severe to state in my ad, “Serious only; please don’t waste your time or mine” in (probably vain) hopes of avoiding flakes? Might another form of words be more effective?
How should I reply most tactfully to people I don’t wish to work with? “Thanks for your reply, but no thanks” sounds too bare and cold.
GENTLE READER: All teenagers with camera phones probably consider themselves to be experienced models, and therefore feel justified in padding their resumes.
But this is a business transaction and should be treated as such. To guard against unwanted applicants -- and to protect yourself from accusations of subjectivity -- Miss Manners suggests that you put in your advertisement: “Professional experience required. Serious inquiries only, please.”
You then may make your own judgment of what “experience” entails. And if your applicants do not pass muster, you may simply say, “Thank you for your inquiry, but we are unable to use you at this time.” No need for apology or explanation -- especially since no good can likely come from either.