Monday, February 23, 2009



At Reason, Commerce, Justice and Free Beer, we take our commitments seriously. We are committed to helping you find a job, even when other sources tell you it is a hopeless cause. According to some gloomy reports, unemployment has passed 10% in some areas. Furthermore, these reports only account for unemployment. They do not discuss the fact that job quality among employed people has drastically declined as well. In order to avoid losing their jobs, workers increasingly agree to reduced benefits, lower pay, weaker contractual bargaining powers and legal protections. The unemployment rate does not tell this story. Yet we understand that you know about it. To those who have kept their jobs in this economy, we salute you for making compromises and tightening your belts.

We constantly offer hope to job-seekers. At Reason, Commerce, Justice and Free Beer, we say: “YES! You can get a job!” As we have always said, getting a job is a technical skill. One must master several key techniques in order to fulfill the requirements. One must learn how to write a resume, a cover letter, a curriculum vitae and to purchase suitable clothing for an interview. One must learn how to select certain grammatical structures during interviews. One must also learn how to combat bad breath and body odor, either of which can reduce even the best job search to stinking ruin.

Beyond these purely technical skills, one must understand the employer’s mind. After all, a job-seeker wants a relationship with an employer. To that extent, a job-seeker must comprehend some basic psychology about employers. First and foremost, job-seekers must understand that employment relationships are not equal; they are hierarchical. Not everyone in private business earns the same salary, nor does everyone in private business perform the same function. Rather, everyone plays their position, from the mail room clerk to the senior staff manager to the calendar organizer to the data entry supervisor and the company president. Certain jobs pay more than others. As a job-seeker, you must remember that you are a mere applicant. Someone will judge you, then decide whether to extend an employment offer. In short, you must remember that you are not equal when you search for a job. To the contrary, you are inferior. As such, you must tailor your behavior to suit your mean status. When you interact with a prospective employer, maintain respect, much as a solider would respect an officer, or a lawyer would respect a judge. You cannot join an institution without submitting to it.

In England, commoners follow strict protocols when interacting with nobles. Although America is a democracy, private employers represent our proto-nobility: They have the power to determine whether you earn a living—who can deny that this is true power? When you interact with employers, accord them the respect that they deserve. After all, they have what you want. Do not condescend toward them; they are the ones who have a right to condescend, not you. You must not take condescension or judgment personally; this is what employers do. It is your lot to accept their judgments. Yet if you follow our guidelines, you can maximize your chances to win their approval. And that is what is all about. At the end of the day, does it really matter how much dignity you sacrifice? It is better to be employed, paid and undignified than unemployed, broke and dignified.

Today, we are pleased to highlight another job-seeking skill: The employer thank you letter. In a tight market, there are more applicants than jobs. Hiring managers see hundreds of resumes. They cannot possibly interview everyone. Even when they do interview candidates, they still face difficult choices. In this context, it is important to stand out in the crowd. To stand out in a crowd of eager applicants, one must know how to attract an employer’s attention. To do that, one must understand how employers think. As mentioned, employers want the respect they deserve. They do not want bragging, snide self-praise, arrogance or willful intelligence. They want humility, modesty, loyalty, work ethic and a quiet respect for order. You can attract attention if you can tap into the hierarchical thinking that drives every employment enterprise. With a personalized thank you letter, you can show just how grateful you are that a noble employer agreed to meet a commoner like you. That is precisely the attitude employers want to see in their applicants. They do not want defiant smirks; they want respectful bows and curtsies. If they do you a favor, you must thank them for it.

Below we print an actual thank you letter from a job-seeker who got the job she wanted. We encourage you to study the techniques this job-seeker used to stand out from the crowd. We also encourage you to note the writer’s subtle understanding of employer-employee relationships. By absorbing the writer’s techniques, you can dramatically increase your chances to win employment. As always, we wish you all the best in your employment search. Good luck; and never forget to say thank you to your superiors.

February 23, 2009

Dear Mr. Dickerson,

Thank you so very much for interviewing me last week at your office. Spendwell Financial Associates, Inc. is a magnificent organization. I could tell immediately that you run an efficient, client-oriented operation that specializes in dazzling customer satisfaction. I know that you have a busy schedule. You have no idea how grateful I am that you took twenty minutes to talk about my enthusiasm for the Junior Sales Associate position at your office during a workday. After all, you chose to speak to me when you could have attended to phone calls and office correspondence. Thank you for making the sacrifice; it means so, so much.

It was a real charm to speak to you. Your office was extremely well-decorated and you have a beautiful family. How is your son Mike doing? It was so kind when you showed me those pictures of him at the Little League game. You must be so proud that he ranked Fourth in the Town T-Ball Tournament. I have no doubt that you are a great father and a caring husband. As we spoke about office computer programs, lunch breaks and minimum salary options, I saw that you were a good, strong man. Put simply, it was a privilege and an honor to spend time with a man as distinguished as yourself. Not everyone can be an Intermediate Collections Specialist at Spendwell Financial Associates, Inc. You are one in a million. Please forgive me if I stammered or stuttered at all during our conversation. It’s just that I never have spoken to a man of your caliber ever before. It was exhilarating!

You run a spectacular office. I am still amazed that you had a chance to speak to me, especially when you had data spreadsheets to organize and phone calls to make. I wish I could be as special as you. Of course, I have no illusions that I will ever work in anything like your stately semi-cubicle. I would be happy to work in a tiny, unheated, damp basement cell. But I am pleased to know that I may one day have the opportunity to learn from someone as intelligent, experienced and gracious as you. Your explanation about company flex-time, copy vendors and the employee probationary period thrilled me more than you can know. I still get chills when I recall your passionate thoughts on document cold storage. If only all financial service agents could be so wise. I fully agree that companies waste too much money on old documents. I share your view that old papers should be discarded, not stored. Like you, I believe in saving company money, no matter the cost.

Please take as much time as you need to consider my application. If you do not get to it, it is absolutely no problem at all. The fact that I met you face-to-face was satisfying enough; if you actually extended me the honor to work for your organization it would be a dream come true. I would go to the ends of the earth for Spendwell Financial Associates, Inc. I truly mean that. If I receive a magnetic employee ID badge from Spendwell, I will wear it always, even in the shower. I will dedicate my life to the company. I will serve you in whatever capacity you require. Your will is my command. I would willingly accept any position you choose to give. I would happily take instructions from every other employee in the organization. Quite simply, I am forever in your debt.

By interviewing me, you won my deepest admiration and gratitude. I do not know if I can ever repay you. Last night, I thought about the singular mercy you showed me. You could have chosen to interview anyone, but you chose to interview me. What did I do to deserve this honor? How can I, a mere applicant, ever bestow upon you what you have already given me? With a wave of your hand, you brought light and grace into my life. Before our interview, I was an unemployed applicant with a worthless college degree. But after our interview, I was blessed. Thank you for exercising your power to save a pathetic wretch like me. Without your grace, I would have been lost. I would have been condemned to unemployment and ignominy. But through your gracious hand, I felt life stirring within me. Even if you do not choose to hire me, I will remain eternally grateful for the tender mercy you showered upon me last week.

Thank you so much for your time, energy, caring, grace, wisdom, character, prudence, judgment and humor. Your jokes amused me more than I can tell. I smile about them even now: “Hot Dog, I’m on a roll; I relish the thought of that.” Mr. Dickerson, you could have been a successful comedian. As an Intermediate Collections Specialist at Spendwell Financial Associates, Inc., is there anything you cannot achieve? I am simply in awe. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do to prove my further dedication to your company. I will do anything—that means anything. You name it; I will do it. I am here for you. Always. It is the least I can do for the tremendous favor you have already done me.

Your humble, respectful and subservient applicant,

Ms. Griselda E. Barebox, B.A. (Oral Studies) (The Elliot Spitzer Junior College, Staten Island, N.Y.)

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