How not to attract talent: it's elementary, my dear Watson

An aspiring curator has been told that she is 'putting yourself first in life' after she asked a prospective employer for details about a job. We call that taking initiative...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 24 Feb 2015

Employers frequently complain that they can’t attract the right talent – so when someone who seems bright and inquisitive sends an email asking for more details about a job, the response should be, as Sherlock Holmes puts it, elementary.

Not so much for London’s Sherlock Holmes museum, which has responded to an inquiry by an aspiring employee in a way only Moriarty would approve of.

Rachel Fox, a Fine Art Grad from Nottingham Trent University, sent this email to the museum, asking for more details about a job vacancy:


The reply from curator Andrea von Ehrenstein said Fox was 'putting yourself first in life instead of thinking about what the other person might want from you':


MT can't help but feel a certain amount of grudging respect for Von Ehrenstein for the deeply sarcastic 'if I can assist you further please let me know' - and to be fair, the original job posting does ask applicants to ‘email your CV to us in the first instance’. But although no employer wants to deal with time-wasters, as MT's mum used to say: if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all...

Luckily, Fox seemed to be philosophical about the whole palaver:

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