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Kurt Wilkinson -- I recently received a rejection letter from a company that I was convinced would interview me. The letter, unusually, had the District Manager's signature and telephone number printed on the letterhead. I called his office and left a message stating that I was still very interested in the position, and if the other candidates did not prove to be qualified, I would love the opportunity to discuss the position again. Is this type of follow-up call a waste of time?

A: Way to go! Isn't it the worst when you know you are well-suited for the position only to get a standard rejection letter? Letting this District Manager know you are still interested was a heads-up move on your part. Let's hope your forwardness here gets you the interview.

Since you don't know whether the position was filled internally, put on hold, or filled from the outside, you must not assume you got passed over for lack of being qualified. Having the manager's email address would also allow you the same opportunity to continue the dialogue. Good luck, and let us know if it works.

"Fishy" Job Offer

Q: I was recently offered a position with a company that would pay a bonus if I were to come on board early. The catch was that I was offered the job bonus on a Thursday and would be given the full bonus if I were to start work on the following Monday. For every week that I delayed starting work for this company, my bonus would be reduced by $1000.00; this meant that on the week that I could realistically start work, my bonus would be 0. I explained to the company that my current employer requested 30-day notification when leaving and that the logistics of moving from England back to California required some time. The company said "take it or leave it."

Should I be leery of this company? I'm not about to act unprofessionally toward my current employer, and I'm worried that the company's offer is indicative of some ethics problems with the management.

A: I think you already know the answer to this dilemma; you only need someone else to confirm your suspicions. RUN!

If this is the way they treat you when you are being courted, think about the other end of the transaction -- when the project they are hiring you to work on concludes. A company that presses you to act in bad faith to quickly secure your services is desperate and should be avoided.

No way should you leave your current employer in the lurch. This will be a "burned bridge" that will haunt you even if you never have to cross it again. The European business model typically asks for a 30-day notice, as most American business people should know. A company that tries to bribe you with an "early separation" signing bonus and expects you to fall for it conveys, in my opinion, an organization that cares about only one thing -- money -- and that shouldn't be your sole interest in changing jobs, correct?

Wait it out, and keep looking for a more fitting opportunity.

Kurt Wilkinson is the principal of Wilkinson SoftSEARCH, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.