Are We Too Busy For Business Etiquette?

Over at Talent Zoo today, there’s a great column by someone who calls himself “The Inside Man” bemoaning what nearly every job seeker in advertising (and probably outside of it) runs up against: People who simply don’t respond to job inquiries.

Were they so busy they couldn’t respond?
Was I such a lousy candidate that they were disgusted by the very thought of me?

My conclusion: They’re jerks.

This business is full of them. I’ve worked with all kinds of them — from the philandering, vulgar president/CEO to the egomaniacal and hacky creative director. From the art director who hates copy to the account executive who hates art and copy.

But seriously, how much effort does it take to write and send a quick email?

In my career, I’ve always tried to respond to fellow advertising folks looking for work at my agency (if I was working full-time) or anyone else looking for career help. But on the flip side, I get dozens of PR emails intended for AdPulp that I simply ignore. It’s a combination of not having time to respond to all, and not wanting to appear rude by responding that their PR pitch is uninteresting or irrelevant to our audience.

So how do you handle the onslaught of solicitation emails? Are you in a position to respond to job seekers and you have a habit of not responding? Are people simply inundated with emails when phone calls or snail mail would work better? Do spam filters catch job inquiries (unbeknownst to the sender and the recipient?) I’d love to know.

One thing I do know is, I remember each and every person (or agency) who never responded to an inquiry I made. I have that mental file–and I find subtle ways to use it.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.