DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been, in the past, a manager in retail stores and directly involved in the hiring process. When we did not hire an applicant, the decision was often left to me to send a letter or not.
I did not send letters every time, using the excuse of time as a constraint, and I now regret not taking the time to respond to everyone.
Now I'm on the other end, looking for work, and 90 percent of the time, I do not get any response from employers. That is very annoying; I don't even know if they got my application or if the position has been filled. Let me tell you, I have the utmost respect for the ones that do respond and will not hesitate to do business with them in the future.
The hiring manager's time is NOT more important than the applicant's time. People should respect that. Please, respond to every applicant.
GENTLE READER: And please learn the very most basic lesson of etiquette, one that might have saved you the regret that Miss Manners considers you to be quite properly feeling about your treatment of others.
It is that there are other people in the universe, and that their feelings must be taken into account.
We are each born with the idea that our feelings are the only ones that matter, and with any luck are indulged in this belief for -- oh, about six weeks, which is when our parents are dropping from exhaustion. Parents who attempt to sustain this are spelling their own doom and giving their children an enormous handicap in dealing with the rest of the world.
It is sad that you had to wait until you were unemployed to imagine how a job applicant must feel about being ignored.