COMMENTARY | They never add the last part, but it is often implied. I have been looking for a job for almost two years. I am a graduate of law school, and a veteran of seven years in the U.S. Army. Four of my years were as a logistics officer, and I spent a year in Iraq.
This isn't a normal unemployment story. Mine is long and really unimportant. It is a simple complaint about a little thing that happens in the job search.
I have a ton of complaints about the job search process, but what bothers me most is the interviewer thanking me for my service. It rings completely false. Sometimes when people say, "Thanks for you service," it seems fake because it has become perfunctory. When it comes from someone who is about to judge you and make a decision on your potential well-being, it is even worse. When getting rejected for a job, it is an evaluation of your worth to society; to say on one hand, "Thanks for helping our country out," and then, "You just aren't good enough," is insulting. The first part just sounds hollow.
I know that one thing has nothing to do with the other. I know the employer may have offered the job to another veteran. However, I know my experience, my memory of the interview is you thanked me for something very important to me, just before rejecting me. When someone thanks me for my service it always puts me in an awkward spot. As with any part of our lives, it is personal, and I don't want to talk about it with a stranger. Second, I don't know why you are saying it, are you doing it to make you seem patriotic, out of habit, or do you mean it? As with anything, actions speak louder than words. To a job searcher, the actions are really all that matters.
Employers, can you stop with the meaningless "thank you for serving" during the interview?
There are lots of applicants and I understand the process of getting hired and getting turned down. I understand why a lot of things happen. I also understand why people feel the need to thank veterans; maybe it is a regret they didn't serve, maybe it really is something they admire, very possibly it is sincere. However, searching for a candidate to fill a position isn't the time to express this. Words are best followed up by action, if you really do appreciate veterans, then go volunteer with an organization, or send letters and goodies to the deployed troops. There are hundreds of opportunities to put actions to your support. During an interview is not the time to do this.
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