The Reverse Job Application Debate: Arrogance or Creativity?

Andrew Horner
Feeling disheartened after a string of rejections as you apply for jobs? Andrew Horner found that tons of people could personally relate to his two-year unsuccessful job search after graduation and we might be able to learn a thing or two from his solution. Figuring that the current system of “going to the employer” wasn’t working, Andrew shook things up by having employers go to him instead.

The result was an online “reverse job application” complete with criteria for a potential employer candidate and a form for employer application submissions. Some people thought he was arrogant to set out criteria for the employer, who clearly has the power in this delicate balance, and for thinking that he was entitled to a job without putting in more hard work. Others admired that he didn’t settle for less and thought he was brilliant for coming up with a new way to get noticed. Read on and let me know what you think!

  1. The Happy Ending First
  2. Andrew received over 30 real job offers through his reverse job application website and underwent days of interviews for two weeks straight. Compared to the past two years during which he was rejected every time he submitted his resume or an application, he achieved his goal in getting exposure and the chance to converse with a lot of different companies. He eventually accepted an offer from a start-up company that he felt he fit with best.

  3. The Critics Say He’s Arrogant
  4. The reverse job application stirred up a lot of debate on forums, such as ReddIt and Hacker News. Some people commented that our current job market is employer-centered and candidates need to sell themselves by concentrating on how they can be an asset to the company and what they can do for the employer. Those who disapproved of Andrew’s venture say that people who don’t follow this system are overconfident and egotistical. Employees are expendable and companies prefer to hire people who are willing to play by the company’s rules.

    Part of the argument against Andrew’s approach targeted his sense of entitlement. Some people felt that he didn’t deserve a job because he wasn’t willing to put in the effort to develop his talents and build his experience in other ways, through internships or volunteer work for example. Furthermore, he could have spent those two years developing his ability to self-market and adjusting his approach to the job search.

  5. The Admirers Think He’s Clever
  6. It’s hard to deny that Andrew’s writing and cartoons are witty and clever. This kind of creativity is especially important for his field as he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida. It’s exactly this distinct style and thinking out of the box that won him exposure and the job hunt is all about getting noticed. Although he may not have meant for it to be one, his reverse job application became a self-marketing strategy and he created a memorable personal brand.

    Andrew refused to be someone he wasn’t and shares the following as one of the lessons he learned through the process: “somebody out there will value you for who you are.” He reminds us that we shouldn’t settle for less, even if you’re a recent college graduate with limited credentials and work experience like he was. His message is that each person can find traits that are unique to himself or herself and that you shouldn’t doubt your worth.

Do you think Andrew Horner’s reverse job application was an arrogant move or a mark of creative genius?

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12 Comments

  1. Posted June 6, 2011 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Andrew demonstrated creativity and initiative. No, it was not standard- nor would it work with organizations that like to fill positions as if they are slots to hold Delaney student information cards.
    Kudos to him- and to the enterprises that understand the value of creativity and finding a means to break through the chaff.

  2. Reynard
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    His objsctive was to find a job after searching for two years. He tried something different, fulfilled his objective and found the company that wants him. In the end the company chose him based on his qualifications and he chose the company based on his interest. It’s the same process as handing in a resume. You must go through the interviewing process where the employer has the upper hand and you sus out the employers by asking pertinent questions about the company and its culture. Thus making it mutually exclusive. They like you and you like them. The creative aspect comes in getting companies to notice you. That involves marketing yourself. It’s the same thing you do in using traditional resume job searches. Especially when you post your resume online at sites such as Jobshark etc.

  3. Vinny T
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I admire Andrew for his creative and successful way of finding a job.More power to him and to his critics, all that I have to say is: jealousy will get you nowhere!

  4. Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Roy, you bring up a really good point! His approach wouldn’t work for every company. It would depend on what you’re looking for! I share your kudos for him. =) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, friend!

  5. Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    OOH! I love your take and reasoning on this, Reynard! It’s very similar to the idea of posting your resume on job sites. Now that I think more about it, this is how it works for freelance work as well. You often post your profile and the employers go to you! =)

  6. Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Haha! =) You’re so right, Vinny! I bet many of the critics are just jealous. =P

  7. Posted June 8, 2011 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    This was one of the most innovative approaches I have ever seen in all my job hunting ventures. I am not sure it would work with all professions, but it certainly worked for him. I think he’s a genius!

  8. Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    You’re right, Sherry! It would definitely depend on the profession. Glad we’re in agreement that Andrew’s a genius! =) And thanks so much for commenting!! Hugs! =)

  9. Posted June 10, 2011 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Well, arrogant or clever, he had time on his hands – and nothing to lose. Let’s keep that in mind.

  10. Posted June 10, 2011 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    So true, Saul! =) “Nothing to lose!” Now, if only more of us took that approach to life. =)

  11. Posted March 15, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    He ended up with 30 solid job offers…I wish I was that arrogant :)

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