Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Small Friends Can't Borrow Reader's Clothes

DEAR HARRIETTE: After applying to over a dozen jobs for this summer, I have heard nothing -- not even a rejection. I have started calling places where I've applied to ask them if they've received my application. While I'm usually met with a startled employee, I believe that I am owed at least a rejection from a company. Is this not the case anymore? It's been a while since I've been on the job hunt. -- New Playing Field, Boston

DEAR NEW PLAYING FIELD: A form letter -- at the very least -- remains the protocol that a job applicant should be able to hope to receive. The reality is that there are so many applicants these days for virtually every available position that employers often do become overwhelmed and, in turn, less gracious.

Sorting through job applications to find the right fit for the position in question and discarding the rest has become the norm for many companies. Cold, but true in many cases.

What you did, calling to check on the status of your application, is a great idea. I recommend that you continue to place calls to the businesses where you applied. With an upbeat attitude, call and state that you are following up and are hopeful that the job for which you applied is still available. Launch into clear reasons why you believe you would be perfect for the job. Point out that you can imagine that they have been inundated with applications, and you want to make sure that they got a chance to see yours. Ask if you can resend it directly to whomever you reach on the phone. Your proactive approach may help to land you a job after all.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)