Job Candidate
by Steve Bogdaniec

Subject: San Francisco Area – Base + Uncapped Commission with Fortune 500 Company

Job Candidate I Found on’s First Name,

My name is Guy I’m Writing This For—who can sell wonderfully but can’t write for shit, seriously, you should have seen this before I reworked it—and I am actually two people pretending to be one executive recruiter working with an Actual Company You Will Hopefully Be Impressed By. We would like to prescreen you for an interview with this company, and the “we” here is Headhunting Company That No Longer Exists, not Guy I’m Writing This For PLUS me—Steve—the one who actually found you among the jobless on Monster late at night.

  • Actual Company You Will Hopefully Be Impressed By, global leader in Document Management, has an Outside Sales position in your area, mostly because the turnover is ungodly and they’re always looking for people
  • Base salary 30-60K, compensation structure of 70k to 150k with car allowance, and uncapped commission, which, judging by how many people we actually got to take these positions back in 2007 and 2008, will not be enough to sway you
  • Successful performance at Territory Sales Representative level earns the opportunity for either a Major Account or Sales Team Manager promotion, though, remember, “successful” is apparently a very subjective term with Actual Company You Will Hopefully Be Impressed By

Please forward me an up-to-date copy of your resume because Steve probably emailed 25 people in three different cities tonight and we can’t keep track of you all. Upon receiving your resume, you will be contacted within 48 hours to schedule an interview. Or 72, depending, we’ll see.

Best Regards,

Guy I’m Writing This For

Executive Recruiter

Headhunting Company That No Longer Exists
Office: Somebody else’s phone number by now

IMAGE: “Fishing” by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For this piece, I have altered an actual email template that I edited and sent out to job candidates. In 2007 and 2008, I worked for a struggling “executive recruiting” firm that had contracts with companies looking for business-to-business salespeople. We found candidates to interview for the positions, and if they were hired and lasted 90 days, we got paid. ¶ A friend of mine brought me in, knowing that I needed work. He would work during the day and do all of the talking—and selling, which I was not good at. I worked at night, finding us qualified candidates on Monster or Career Builder. Because of my writing background, I also either wrote or edited all of our copy. It seemed simplest to represent ourselves as one person, so we did. ¶ It was not technically my first job, but looking back, I can definitely say that it was my first “real” job—my first brush with the humanity and inhumanity of commerce. The work was frustrating because both sides—the companies and the candidates—were too picky, and perfect matches were hard to come by. Still, it was very generous of my friend to hire me in the first place. I will always look back on the job fondly because of him.

Bogdaniec - bio

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher, currently teaching at Wright College in Chicago. HE has had poetry and short fiction published in numerous journals, most recently Eclectica Magazine, Silver Birch Press, One Sentence Poems, and Blood Lotus. His work can also be found in the Nancy Drew Anthology: Writing & Art Inspired by Everyone’s Favorite Female Sleuth.