Australian CEO Jane Lu shares the 'rudest' email she's ever received from unsuccessful job applicant

Screengrabs from Jane Lu's TikTok video
The founder of an online fashion retailer claimed the email was "the rudest" she's ever received. Photo credit: @thelazyceo / TikTok

The CEO of a global fashion retailer has revealed the "rudest" email she's ever received from a job-seeker who was rejected for a role. 

Jane Lu, a podcaster, businesswoman and the Australian founder of the online retailer Showpo, shared the shocking email an applicant had sent to her recruitment team after he was turned down for a casual position in the warehouse.

Lu, who goes by the username @thelazyceo on TikTok, shared the screenshots with her 109,000 followers last week, captioning the clip: "We definitely dodged a bullet!"

"This is the rudest email we've ever received from a candidate. Actually, it's probably the rudest email we've ever received," Lu said in the video, which has been viewed more than 66,000 times at the time of writing. 

Lu, 36, began by explaining that Showpo's talent lead, named Dani, makes a point of contacting all unsuccessful candidates when a position has been filled to inform them that although their application was rejected, they will keep their details on file for future roles. 

A screenshot of the email from the recruitment team, which was sent in January, reads: "Thanks so much for taking the time to apply for a Warehouse Casual Position at Showpo. We were luckily able to fill the positions very quickly, however, we do hire for these roles throughout the year so we hope you don't mind if we keep your details and reach out when we have positions available.

"We wish you the best of luck in your search in the meantime and thanks again for applying with us."

"We've literally hired so many roles by going out to our existing talent pool," Lu added in the video.

However, one of the applicants for the opening appeared infuriated by the rejection, responding: "I do not give you permission to store my details. If you don't give me a chance first time, delete immediately you c****. F*** you sincerely."

But the email exchange didn't end there, with Dani replying to the candidate: "Thanks for your response, not to worry your details have definitely been deleted."

"But wait, there's actually more," Lu added, sharing a further screenshot which showed the man's final response: a thumbs-up emoji. 

More than 100 people took to the comments to share their thoughts on the exchange, with many agreeing that the email was an obvious red flag to recruiters.

"And he wonders why he can't get a job," one said, with another adding: "Probably thought he was replying to an automated message, not real people."

"As a recruiter this happens ALL the time. Even for jobs they have applied for," a third weighed in, with a fourth agreeing: "Some people are disgusting with their [replies]. I work in recruitment and I have copped a few similar and even worse."

However, others were more sympathetic to the applicant and offered their advice to Lu for how the situation could be handled better in the future, with one suggesting: "Obviously what he did was wrong. But I also don't think that including phrases like 'luckily we were able to fill this role quickly' to a rejected candidate is ideal… getting rejected is very difficult for people especially in this economy."

Both Lu and Dani responded to the user, with Dani thanking them for their input: "Appreciate your feedback! It was meant in the context of 'we were lucky enough to have received lots of people applying to our roles'... I can see your point though and will take it on board."

Lu replied: "Will consider what you're suggesting but I don't think that's what's triggered him. Anyway if that's triggered him, then [it's] probably worth finding out early."

Others called out the Showpo team for being "unprofessional" and exposing the candidate on a public platform, with one commenting: "Whatever happened to [the] confidentiality rule in HR?"

"It's the automated, impersonal emails that get too much for people and deflate them. Have compassion during a difficult cost of living world," said another, with a user adding: "Super unprofessional, but you rejected and told him, 'We hired someone better'. Makes sense that they don't want to be a Plan B."