'It was so rude.' 10 business leaders on the worst email they've received from a job seeker.

Jane Lu is the founder of Showpo, an Australian online fashion juggernaut. In a TikTok video this week, she shared the story behind the rudest email she has ever received from a job applicant. And it had us shook. 

It was a reply from an applicant following their interest in a casual warehouse position, which they had been unsuccessful in securing.

Showpo's rejection email read: "We were luckily able to the fill the positions very quickly, however, we do hire for these roles throughout the year so we hope you don't mind if we keep your details and reach out when we have positions available."

But the job applicant was not impressed, replying: "I do not give permission to store my details if u don't give me a chance the first time, delete immediately u c**ts. F**k you sincerely."

@thelazyceo We definitley dodged a bullet! #recruitment #rudeemail #jobapplication #worklife #baddayatwork ♬ original sound - Jane Lu

Reflecting on the nightmare response, Lu said they had "definitely dodged a bullet" for not hiring this person.

It's a reality lots of business leaders face, some telling Mamamia that a large part of the recruiting process is trying to "weed out the red flags".

With this in mind, we asked a bunch of bosses, founders and recruitment experts about the rudest correspondence they've had with a job applicant. Here's what they had to say.

Natasha Hawker, CEO and founder of EmployeeMatters.

"I have an example where I received an application for a junior analyst position in Melbourne from an early career candidate (12 month post grad max). I called them at 6.30pm to speak with them about their application – with the view of booking them in for a phone screen. He told me, very rudely, that I had no business calling him that late and if I wanted to speak to him I could call him back the next day in business hours. Whilst I realise it was 'out of business hours' I figured I was helping given his CV led me to believe he was in a full-time customer facing job. I didn't call him back."


Watch: Mamamia Confessions: Our horror job interview stories. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

"I had another one where one of our recruiters was screening candidates for a federal government client. I called a candidate who applied directly for the role. After disclosing which department I was recruiting for, he cut me short and rudely said: 'I do not wish to proceed with this application any further, can you delete my details from your database and never contact me again?' It was pretty brutal."

Damian Blumenkranc, President of the Melbourne Chapter of Entrepreneur's Organization.

"I once received a resume with a cover letter attached saying: 'Please don't contact me, I'm just doing this for Centrelink!' Was completely stumped."

Nicola Steel, founder of JJP Talent Solutions.


"Over the past 24 years that I've worked in the recruitment industry, I have interacted with thousands of people. Most of them are polite and respectful although there are a few bad experiences that really stand out. The most recent is when I approached a potential candidate on LinkedIn. He replied that he would be interested, so I asked him to book a time to talk via my online scheduler. He said to just send the job description. It was his next comment which totally dumbfounded me — a string of insults including 'get back in the kitchen where you belong!' It sent massive alarm bells. Firstly, he indicated that he was a huge misogynist who would not respect the women on his team. Secondly, that he would not treat people with respect, particularly if he perceived these people to be below him. He had good technical skills but self-rejected himself by his terrible attitude."

From former recruitment workers.

"A young man that I interviewed listed his interests as 'women.' I couldn't resist so I asked him what he meant, and he said 'I like to watch them.' Needless to say, the interview was short and I escorted him to the lift."

"I still vividly remember a response email I received from a candidate after they had received a rejection email from us for a role. It was one simple response — a middle finger emoji."

"I would take rude language any day over a job seekers who ghosts me. It's especially frustrating when I've organised everything and then they don't show up, or they get another job (which is completely fine) but they don't have the courtesy to let me know. It's about communication and decency. Ultimately, it comes across like a complete lack of respect for time, and shows a lack of empathy. And that tells you a lot about how a person would be if they actually got a job with you."


From small business owners:

"I once had someone apply for a mid-level role in the team, although their experience was definitely more on the junior team. For context, they did have a relative that also worked in our company, and they had noted that on the application. Although it was good for us know, it doesn't mean that connection would just automatically secure them the job. So when we let them know (kindly) that they hadn't been successful in their application, they replied back to email with: 'Are you kidding with me? I'll be letting my dad know about this.' So cringe."

"In their cover letter they said that this wasn't anywhere near their first job choice, rather it was out of necessity. Probably not the best way to go about securing a job from a future employer."

"It's never fun to tell someone they didn't get the job. But to respond with 'f**k you' isn't going to help anyone. I received one of those reply emails last week, and my goodness I find them really irritating."

Have you come across a rude email or correspondence with a job seeker? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: TikTok @thelazyceo/Mamamia.

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