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I accidentally re-sent my follow up letter to a job I applied for
July 25, 2012 12:47 PM   Subscribe

I have applied for a job at a small nonprofit. Last night I accidentally re-sent them my follow up letter instead of forwarding it to a relative to read.

There was a brief note with it, but nothing embarrassing. I sent a short, formal apology to the nonprofit when I realized my mistake an hour later.
They haven't written anything back.

My question: Is this a big deal?

I am waiting on pins and needles for an interview notification and I hope that this didn't ruin my chances.

Thanks.
posted by KoiPond to Work & Money (15 answers total)
 
This is not a big deal.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:48 PM on July 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wouldn't worry about it.
posted by scottatdrake at 12:49 PM on July 25, 2012


Nope. I wouldn't have even sent an apology.

Think nothing of it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:52 PM on July 25, 2012


Aw, thanks guys. Breathe in, breathe out.

On another note- what is the hiring process like in a small non profit? I applied about a week after the job was posted and it's been another week since then.

I received a form letter in response to my follow up email saying that had received a lot of excellent applications and I if I did not hear from them by the end of the month, then my skills did not meet their needs.

Does anyone have any insight into what they are currently thinking and doing?

Thanks again.
posted by KoiPond at 12:57 PM on July 25, 2012


They also said they had begun their interviewing process.
posted by KoiPond at 12:57 PM on July 25, 2012


If they began the interview process last week, you didn't make the first cut. Sorry. That doesn't mean you're out of the running, it just means you weren't in the top three or so. If none of those three gels with everyone in the office (incredibly important in small non-profits), then they'll call the next three or so, which may include you.
posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on July 25, 2012


In my experience of having applied to (many, many, many) small nonprofits...if you hear back at all, it won't be for a very, very long time. If they've already started the interview process, you're probably not on their shortlist, so try not to get your hopes up. Sorry.
posted by phunniemee at 1:13 PM on July 25, 2012


FWIW, I work at a small non-profit, and I believe it was more than a month between when I sent them my resume and when I got my first phone interview. After that it was maybe a week before I had an in-office interview, and another week before they made the offer. The whole process was 6-7 weeks. I do not know if my experience is typical.

I do agree with the others who have said that if they started interviewing a week ago and you haven't heard from them, you're not among their top candidates. They would almost certainly be calling people in for interviews in the order of most-promising to least-promising. Don't give up though! The others might not be a good fit, or they might just ask for too much money, or do any one of hundreds of things that might prompt the company to keep looking.
posted by Vorteks at 1:22 PM on July 25, 2012


Some small nonprofits are run like well-oiled highly-organized machines, and some aren't. They may have other projects or hiring needs that require their attention. It's a good sign that they told you they'd let people know by the end of the month - I think your only option is to be patient until then. It would also not surprise me if they got back to you after that window.

I just stepped down as the chair of a nonprofit board. Last year, we had a hard-to-fill position that we received hundreds of applications for. We hired someone promising who - one month into the job - had childcare issues surface that prevented her from continuing. We went back to the pool of applicants and hired a second person, who was talented, but ultimately not a great fit. Five months after the initial round of hiring, we went back to that same pool and hired an amazing person who continues to rock our worlds in that role. Sometimes it just takes time - I know that's not what you want to hear, but nonprofit hiring can be challenging in very different ways than more corporate hiring. Best of luck.
posted by judith at 1:34 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Depends on the non-profit.

They may post a job hoping they'll get funding for it and to build up a resume file, but then they may wait for quite a while for the actual money to roll in.

As judith noted, some are very efficient others are inept to put it kindly.

It the interviewing has started, assume that you are not among those who were selected.

The world of the non-profit is focused on finding funding, and getting shit together to hire who needs to be hired. Some times these things do not align.

Move forward assuming that you will not be called, be pleasantly surprised if you are.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:39 PM on July 25, 2012


Yes it varies tremendously from org to org. In the non-profits I've worked with before (including experience as part of a hiring team), the turnaround from job posting to hiring is usually at least a month. It is likely that they have started doing phone interviews already, in which case I'm afraid you weren't chosen in the first round based on your resume. But small non-profits, in my experience, value personality and "fit" very strongly in the interview process, to the point of it often trumping education and work experience. It's not at all uncommon for the first round of phone interviews to turn up empty, necessitating a second round. Or they may not have even started yet.

Regardless, there's nothing to be gained by waiting on tenterhooks. Keep looking and be pleasantly surprised if they call.

And let me reiterate that there's basically no way that your email blunder will have had any effect on your prospects.
posted by 256 at 3:06 PM on July 25, 2012


I wouldn't worry if you haven't heard back yet. I was hired at a small nonprofit (6-7 full-time employees) last year. I applied and didn't hear anything for two weeks -- then they contacted me for an interview. At the interview, I was told that they were in the midst of the interviewing process and planned to either call in for second-round interviews or offer the job when they were finished.

When I hadn't heard anything for more than a week, I assumed they'd filled the position. When they called two weeks later and I saw the number on my phone, I assumed it was for a second-round interview at best. But he straight-up offered me the position -- two weeks after the interview.

I later found out they'd received 200 applications and interviewed an astounding 25 people. My boss later told me he knew right away I was the one for the position, despite having no direct experience. This is all to say that these things are mysterious, and it varies greatly with organizations depending on culture. When the hiring manager knows you're the right fit, he or she will scoop you up. It may not feel like it, but eventually this will happen.
posted by aintthattheway at 6:50 PM on July 25, 2012


To all who have given an answer so far, thank you! I am alway pleasantly surprised by how generous and thoughtful the answers are here on MeFi.

I may or may not get the job, but all of you have been very reassuring about the time frame. Sometimes the uncertainty of just what is going on procedurally with the nonprofit is enough to make me worry.

What do you think the ingredients are that cause one candidate to gel with an organization and another candidate not so much? What personality traits are important?

I have this fear that I should have said I was familiar with their email program that they listed in the job description and simply learned it in the intervening time before the interview. Instead, I didn't mention it on my resume and only included programs with which I had previous knowledge. I mentioned ones that were not included in the description, too. Do "small" details like this make or break an application? I feel like I was a very good match for the broader and I assume more important aspects of the job requirements.

Could I have not made the first cut because I have a bachelor's rather than an advanced degree (both were listed as acceptable)? The last person who worked in this position had an advanced degree.
posted by KoiPond at 9:03 PM on July 25, 2012


What do you think the ingredients are that cause one candidate to gel with an organization and another candidate not so much?

It varies widely, depending entirely on the organization and the people in it and even the timing. "Bubbly and outgoing" on one day can seem like "scatter-brained and talks too much" the next.

Do "small" details like this make or break an application?

It is entirely possible, yes. Sometimes, it's down to "I have five really good resumes and the hiring manager doesn't want to see more than four people, so... okay, this guy uses two spaces after a period. I hate that. Gone. There. Four resumes."

Could I have not made the first cut because I have a bachelor's rather than an advanced degree (both were listed as acceptable)?

There are literally dozens of things that can pop out on a resume, and they vary greatly not only from organization to organization, but even from reviewer to reviewer. If someone had an identical resume to yours except that they have a Master's degree, that might mean that they made the first cut. But here's the thing -- that other person will probably want more money, so it might actually be a disadvantage. That's how weird things get, especially these days when you've got some seriously overqualified people going for any damn job they can get their hands on.

I've hired a lot of people, and I'm comfortable in saying that I have read thousands of resumes and CVs. There is no such thing as the perfect one. Not even the perfect resume for a particular job. Don't worry over whether you could have had a 99 percent perfect resume instead of a 98 percent perfect resume. There's nothing you can do to improve your chances of getting this job, so focus on the next one. If you get a call next week for an interview, terrific. If not, well, their loss.
posted by Etrigan at 9:41 PM on July 25, 2012


"There is no such thing as the perfect one. Not even the perfect resume for a particular job. Don't worry over whether you could have had a 99 percent perfect resume instead of a 98 percent perfect resume. There's nothing you can do to improve your chances of getting this job, so focus on the next one. If you get a call next week for an interview, terrific. If not, well, their loss." -Etrigan

Thanks for this point. This is my first resume I've needed to write in a long time and being the nitpicker that I am, I will find ways to second guess myself.

Especially because I would like this job so very much. I have not been looking for jobs for very long, but I have a very particular skill set doing something I love and I was hoping against hope to find a home for my abilities. This job would seem to fit me like a glove and I think I'm having pre-regret at the possibility of having made some small but crucial error. Sigh.

I'm afraid of ending up doing work I dislike when I feel I am capable of more.
posted by KoiPond at 9:52 PM on July 25, 2012


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