Job Seeker Bill of Rights

I ask every room I present in front of this one question: Who here has been a job seeker before? I usually follow it up with, “I know you’re not listening if your hand isn’t in the air right now.” I get a few chuckles with that one. 

Then, I suck all the air out of the room by saying these seven words: Do you remember what it feels like? 

The hopelessness? The despair? That feeling that you have no control, and you’re at the very bottom of the list? It’s a feeling and insecurity that multiplies every minute you don’t hear back, wondering what you did wrong. It’s sweating all the small stuff and sitting in the discomfort of being judged. I asked on Twitter awhile back and I wasn’t at all surprised by the answers. A few did make me laugh out loud, admittedly.

Short answer: it sucks, and we all know it. I don’t need to explain why job postings matter or break down many philosophies to make anyone understand that.

I wish every recruiter and hiring manager would remember. We could change a lot about the world of work by injecting a giant dose of humanity into our experiences by writing for people, not about work.

So with that said, I’ve written the first draft of a Job Seeker Bill of Rights.

The Three Ears Media Job Seeker Bill of Rights

This is a list of the way we’d write the script if we truly treated candidates the way we want to be treated. It’s what I wish companies would do to stop the marathon effect and create a humane candidate experience.

  1. Every candidate gets access to the profile that’s generated after they take an assessment: every score, every time. 
  2. Candidates may respond to ask for feedback on why they were eliminated from consideration. Responses are mandatory.
  3. Curious what they’re really saying in a job posting? Ask for clarification, and get it.
  4. Applications will not ask people to submit a resume, then manually enter the entire work history. 
  5. Employers set expectations about the types of questions they’ll ask in the interview and what they’re looking for in an interview guide candidates get at least one week in advance.
  6. Honest answers about salary requirements for every candidate.
  7. Only editorial candidates will write cover letters.

This is just a start. What would you add? 

Job Search Advice

Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for,, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I would add: Every candidate will get a reply to their resume/application. Every resume received will be read.

  2. Applicants who meet the qualifications listed on the job opening will be considered based on those qualifications. Mystery requirements (or preferences not on the description) should not be held against a qualified applicant.

  3. Every applicant is a candidate and will be treated accordingly (prompt communication, no automatic responses and no ghosting).

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