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I just read this question: Careers Notification for a message keeps getting resent.

While I wasn't getting bugged like that user was, the answer (quoted below) was still new information to me, and made me a little worried that I hadn't responded in a timely manner to some messages. In particular, I find it troubling that the last sentence isn't clearly defined anywhere.

The reason you are getting notifications is because you chose to ignore the message. On Careers we expect you to respond to employer emails, even if you are not interested. Simply marking the message as read will not prevent you from receiving these reminders, only responding to the message will. If you want to ignore it, my best suggestion is that you respond not interested with an empty text response. After 14 days of not responding to a message we will automatically mark your account not searchable.

I then went and took a look at the FAQ and looked though a couple things to see if this information was readily available. I know I could have missed something, but obviously there is some confusion about this, and the information isn't in front of you.

I would like to propose that this be rectified by adding some form of verbiage like this to the welcome email when a user is invited to use Careers 2.0:

We try hard to protect you from spam, as part of that effort though, we do expect you to reply to interested parties. If you don't and your account is set to searchable, the system will make your account un-searchable until you are able to respond.

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1 Answer 1

Where is it made clear that employer messages need to be responded to?

In the email we send you to remind you to respond to the employer message. The text of the first email is sent out around the 3 or 4 day mark and reads as follows (excuse the markdown):

**$CompanyName$** viewed your profile on $SiteName$ and sent you a message on **$messageDateLabel$**.

###[Click here to view your message][1]###

To reply, click on the link above.  Writing a response is optional: if you want, you can just indicate ""Interested"" or ""Not Interested"".

You are currently shown as **$searchStateLabel$ for a job**.  If this is no longer correct, please [update your job search status][2].

If the above link is not clickable, copy and paste this link into your web browser's address bar:

$ViewMessageUrl$

  [1]: $ViewMessageUrl$
  [2]: $EditProfileUrl$

Here we make it very clear that writing a response is optional but that we would still like you to respond interested or not interested. If you decide to ignore this reminder, we will send you another email around 10 days without a response that is very similar to this one. If you are set to actively searching we include this additional information about your searchable status:

If you do not respond to your message, you will automatically be changed to **not actively looking for a job**.

That shows up just after the end of the line asking you to update your search status if you are not currently searching. In the case that you are passively searching, we do not change your search status.


We restrict the number of open messages employers can have to limit the amount of spam abuse that takes place on Careers. Until you respond to the employer message (or the lengthy time threshold has passed), you are eating one of their limited open message threads. We do this to protect our candidates, and we sorta just expect candidates to reply since the majority of messages are not spam. In the case that they are, we provide a way to respond to us that we should address the issue with the employer, but you still have to respond in order to point out (or send us a direct email, or post on meta) when this happens so we can address it. We also feel like we make it pretty easy to respond not interested, you don't even have to type a message to them, just click a radio button.

Now let's think about what you're doing by not responding to them. Imagine you're at a party, or a tech meetup or maybe even a family event or whatever. While you're there and presumably looking for a little interaction (since you marked yourself as searchable to begin with), a few people come up to you and say "hey, how's it going? want to have a conversation?" and instead of saying "no thanks", you just flat out ignore them and look the other way. That's just awful. It's more of a golden rule thing than anything technical or we didn't post the consequences anywhere. Just play nice. They are looking for talent, thought enough of you to say something but if you're not interested, no one's going to get bent out of shape about it as long as you're courteous and just say not interested.

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FTR I disagree on the last point. Online etiquette is weird. No reply means not interested. Reply means "keep courting me." Online dating is a better analogy than a party. –  djechlin Apr 16 '13 at 22:03
    
I strongly disagree. Being ignored just sucks, particularly when you're being ignored by someone who is presumably looking to talk, so I don't do it. –  NickLarsen Apr 16 '13 at 22:09
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I understand your reasoning for making the change to people's profiles, heck I even agree with it. I also appreciate the protection against spam. Having worked with recruiters before, the spam can quickly get out of hand. Heck I even agree with you that being ignored sucks. I don't agree with how this information is disseminated to users. Users should be made aware, before there is ever a need for a warning, that the system expects a reply and if they don't reply, the system can change their profile settings without their interaction. –  ryan Apr 16 '13 at 22:12
    
Even if we put it on the FAQ, the likelihood of people reading it would next to 0. Having it in the email really is the best place. You'll see it if it applies to you and if you never see it's on less thing you ever had to waste your time reading. No one needs to be aware of this behavior until it applies to the situation they are in. That's like saying you need to have read all of meta before you post on SO. The "just do your thing and we'll let you know if you need to change something" is a much more natural approach. –  NickLarsen Apr 16 '13 at 22:26
    
You send a "Welcome to Careers 2.0!" email, why not include that sentence just a little modified in that email. Something like We try hard to protect you from spam, as part of that effort though, we do expect you to reply to interested parties. If you don't and your account is set to searchable, the system will make your account un-searchable until you are able to respond. –  ryan Apr 16 '13 at 22:30
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@NickLarsen I don't think it is bad to place important information in multiple places. –  Aboutblank Apr 17 '13 at 16:31

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