As a “Freelance Journalist” the little things excite you. Finding a new job posting  on a website. Realizing you’re qualified for said job posting. While these things can brighten an otherwise dull day of endless and aimless applications, the one the event that can make your day is the return/response email from a potential employer.

These types of emails come in various forms. I’ll talk about the one you’ve probably seen the most, assuming you even get a response to your application. I’m talking about the “email that says nothing.” If you’re applying for a job, any job really, then you’ve received this email. Let me show you an example:

“Thanks for your response and interest in our fall desk internship. We will contact you if we need additional information or are interested in interviewing you for the position.”

This is an actual email I received from a job application I sent out. It came earlier this week while I was playing basketball. I checked my phone for text messages after the game and saw the name of a hiring editor in my inbox. My heart skipped a beat. Could it really be the email I had been waiting for? The one that told me they wanted to hire me right away. In my head and daydreams I completely skip the interview process.

The reality is that this email says nothing. It might even be an automated response. It’s full of employment buzz words like “interest” and “additional information.” This particular one is especially effective because it hints at the possibility of being called for an interview. I loved how that caused my hopes to spike to unknown levels. My breath may have even caught in my throat.

Stepping back, I have to laugh at how an email about nothing is the most exciting job-related news of the week. Is the job market for journalists and writers so threadbare that a courtesy email becomes the talk of me and my other freelance writer friends? Yes, it is. I told my girlfriend about the email and she got excited. She didn’t even apply for the job, the email works vicariously!

In all honesty the email, despite being an obvious courtesy, is a ray of hope. It tells me that all of those applications I’ve sent out might actually be landing in the inboxes of hiring editors. Perhaps my applications are actually being reviewed and “kept on file for future opportunities.” This warms me. Someone knows I’m out here and I’m qualified.

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