My friend co-owns a consultancy firm. Some of their clients include well known multinational oil companies. Recently there was a vacancy in his firm and his inbox was where most applications wound up. The applications so far were impressive but they wanted extra-impressive. Finally he opened one of the CVs and it was just what they were looking for. However, it seemed this applicant was applying for positions in several other companies and the smart guy stupidly cc'd all of them. In that, instead of sending out individual applications and cover letters, he just sent one out to the whole bunch of them.
My friend then decided to send the applicant a strong worded email, pointing out all the things that were wrong with this action, how impressed he was with the CV but why he would not be invited for an interview; regardless of how brilliant you might be, someone this flippant and thoughtless might constitute a flight risk to the company. He also included that as a consultant he would strongly discourage the companies he represented from employing such a person, he's lazy, he's careless and he is most certainly not ready to work. Also, did he not know that while companies are aware that they're not the only ones you're applying to, they would like to think that they are the only one you're applying to? The email could potentially ruin both a person's day and his chances. Now as if this wasn't enough my friend didn't send just it to him but also copied all the execs and HR personnels that the applicant cc'd in his application. To totally destroy his chances.
Just as an aside, each of them, even those who hadn't initially noticed or minded much, also sent the applicant their own indignant messages. Needless to say, it's most unlikely that guy got called by any of those companies.
My friend is a nice guy, he's been very nice to me and we talk about almost everything. But when it comes to work he's a beast. He made a 1st class in Engineering in one of the first generation universities and is a Ph.D holder. He's got a good heart but he's a type A personality and he does not joke when work is involved. While he believe that to err is human, he believes that some errors are unpardonable and inexcusable. He feels no remorse for his action and says he will do it again and again and again if he had to; the applicant deserves it.
I, on the other hand, can't help but look at things from a more humane angle. Yes, the applicant was remiss but I think my friend's action was an overkill. I think ignoring his email would have been sufficient punishment, instead of entirely ruining the guy's chances.
We argued about this back and forth and I said I would throw it open to the house, and ask you all to be the judge.
Do you think the applicant deserved what he got? Is my friend justified in doing what he did?
(Now this is me asking). If you're the applicant and you one day run into my friend, what will you say to him?