How Not to Get a Job

from NYTs

What do a fragrance designer, New York City cop, bed-and-breakfast manager and youth hockey coach have in common?

Each of them recently applied for an account director position at my public relations firm, along with 500 others whose experience and skill sets ranged from vaguely on-point to off-the-charts irrelevant. Auto collections manager? Home health aide? Visual merchandiser? Count them all in.

It’s not that my postings on Indeed, LinkedIn and other career sites weren’t explicit in outlining desired qualifications. I added instructions urging candidates to contact us only if they had backgrounds in journalism, P.R. or law. There was nothing to suggest I was looking for a fiscal benefits analyst, emergency medical technician or brand ambassador, but they showed up anyway.

In part, the disconnect stems from a revved-up labor market that encourages job hopping and inflated credentials. It also reflects the vast online jobs marketplace, where restless applicants shoot off their résumés like one of those T-shirt cannons at a football stadium, firing without aiming. Not a single candidate bothered to look us up and refer to what we do in the cover note. Instead, they all invoked grand boilerplate statements meant to impress the hiring gods.

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12 Responses to How Not to Get a Job

  1. August 29, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

    Daddy wins!? Th? twins declared.

  2. Greg D'Ottavi September 6, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    “How Not to Get a Job” by Allan Ripp was by far one of the most debatable pieces of writing I have read in awhile. Ripp bases his essay on a recent add for a job he posted in his PR department and the plethora of responses he received daily. Ripp explains how hundreds of these applicants who were attempting to get this job were so frequently unqualified, it caused him to call them out as whole. Ripp states, “…It also reflects the vast online jobs marketplace, where restless applicants shoot off their resumes like one of those T-shirt cannons at a football stadium, firing without aiming.” Ripp is describing one of the reasons behind why he believes these various applicants were so widely ranged in qualifications. He points out that the job searching process takes place on the internet or with technology more so than any other platform. Ripp uses this explanation to criticize those who applied, but it made me wonder why he published an add on these platforms in the first place.

    Obviously, the easiest and most convenient way to publish an add for work is through these widely used job platforms, but with that said, in my opinion, he as an employer should consider the reality of the internet. What I mean by that is, employers should not be hiring people solely based on their online applications and profiles; the only true way to evaluate somebody is to meet them in person. I believe that these online job platforms are great for people who are job searching because they can connect to such a wide variety at jobs with such ease. At the same time, there are character qualities and assets that simply cannot be shown online and that is why I disagree with the author’s criticism of these applicants. Ripp attempts to show in this article how difficult it can be to find the right fit for a particular job opening when using them, but the right fit may not be found unless he broadens his acceptance. Granted, it would be nearly impossible and extremely inefficient to allow every applicant to get an interview, but what I am suggesting is that Ripp reconsider his presumptions of some of the applicants and allow for a more flexible view of his qualifications.

    Personally, I have never had a full-time job or suffered any of the burdens a daily job seeker deals with, but based on the experiences I have read about or witnessed second-hand there is rarely a perfect fit. My parents tell me all the time that they hope I really find something I love to do and am able to do it because they also say that still don’t know what they want to do. My parents have both been in the workforce for over 30 years and have had multiple different careers. This experience has led me to believe that Ripp’s article is only pointing out something that may be very common. People are always going to look for something new and should not be discouraged to do so in my opinion.

    Ripp concludes his employment search by eventually removing the add and states, “I pulled the ads when Indeed’s algorithm flagged as a match a writer whose top credit was an article about whether man buns are a turnoff”. Ripp ridicules this ‘match’ according to Indeed because their work did not seem to appeal to him. I believe if Ripp were to look further into these various applicants and eventually choose those who were closest possibilities rather than look for perfect matches, he may have been more successful in his search.

    This article overall brings up good points about the job searching community and process, but I believe the author, Allan Ripp, lacks a good employment process. Ripp attempts to ridicule the various applicant’s frequent shortages of qualifications for his particular job without realizing the reality of those searching for a job. He uses large online job searching platforms to publish his ad and find employees, but writes this article complaining about those who are blindly applying. Obviously, a perfect match is ideal and there were definitely those who were too unqualified, but failing to give even some of these people an opportunity is just not wise on his part. Ultimately, Ripp does not show in his article “How Not to Get a Job” rather, I feel as though Ripp shows in his article how poorly he went about this employment process.

  3. Valerie Dorsett September 7, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

    Many students that graduate from college often cannot find a job right away. From the beginning of freshman year I have heard many college professors and advisers say to create a LinkedIn account to get started. In the article, “How Not to Get a Job,” by Allan Ripp he shares his experience using Indeed to look for skilled employees for his PR firm. However, his experience did not go so well because websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and other types of career websites were not able to specifically narrow down the type of qualifications he was looking for in his next employee.

    Employers are always trying their hardest to find the right guy for the job. Ripp said, “I added instructions urging candidates to contact us only if they had backgrounds in journalism, P.R., or law,” but he still got many other applicants of different backgrounds that even include an emergency medical technician (Ripp 1). When I first read this it did not surprise me at all because in college we usually are told differently. For example, at the career center the advisers will explain how one major still has many career paths. This may be true depending on which major you pick, but not all have this option. Some people may also feel like the job description seems easy and that anyone can apply. The medical technician who applied may believe that if he can perform well in his field that being hired in a public relations firm would be a lot easier. There is also a fact that since many people cannot find jobs in their required field that people search others just so that they can make money and provide for their family.

    Everyone today uses the internet and there really is no way of avoiding it. Many managers use online websites to find suitable applicants for the required job. However, employers today must remember that because they have created an online post that they will get many replies even if half of them are nowhere close to being qualified and are just not serious about the job. In the article Ripp states, “although I listed my phone numbers in my ads, I got a total of two calls from applicants,” which means people clearly like the digital approach to communication better than having an actual conversation with who could be their future boss (Ripp 2). This could also mean that the two applicants who called Ripp about the job are very interested in getting hired and wanted to reach out to him so that they stand out amongst the rest. Calling many work places instead of just emailing can show how serious and interested you are in the open position to employers. I also believe that Ripp should have also taken some paper applications too so that way he many see what his future employee will be like. It is important to see if an applicant is dressed well and makes eye contact when on an interview or even just visiting to ask for a job. Being professional as possible always makes a good first impression.

    Social media connects everyone to the entire world. Just searching someone’s name on Google can bring up many different results. It is very important to think about what you post on social media because anyone can find it. You do not want to give yourself a bad image. Ripp decided to look into some of his applicants profiles only to find out that he, “discovered one prospect had been arrested for marijuana possession and another for assault and battery,” which is a very important for an employer to know about who he may be inviting to join his company (Ripp 2). Your employees can represent what your company image is and what you want it to be. I would definitely want to see who could possibly be representing a station of my company in the future. Although you should not just judge someone too quickly based off of what you find online but meet them in person and possibly find out more. In 2017, everything is mainly technology based now and that is only to get bigger and bigger as time goes on. Websites like Indeed are supposed to be an improved way of finding a new qualified employee quicker, but does it really?

  4. Adis Hoti September 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    Allan Ripp’s “How Not to Get a Job,” was an article I choose to write about because it brought up many topics of conversation. Ripp discusses the amount of unqualified applicants he receives for a P.R. analyst position, how easy it is to apply to jobs, and how social media helps him determine if he would like to work with that person. Ripp asks what a fragrance designer, New York City cop, bed-and-breakfast manager and youth hockey coach have in common and responds by saying, “Each of them recently applied for an account director position at my public relations firm, along with 500 others whose experience and skill sets ranged from vaguely on-point to off-the-charts irrelevant.” Ripp is saying how all of these unqualified people from vastly different backgrounds are applying to positions that they are not qualified to perform. The main reasons I choose this article to discuss is the debates it proposes, should unqualified applicants keep applying and should social media dictate whether someone receives an interview opportunity.
    Getting a job in America today can be challenging. With poor resumes, getting a top paying job is nearly impossible. Ripp says, “I added instructions urging candidates to contact us only if they had backgrounds in journalism, P.R. or law.” Many Americans have been applying to numerous amounts of jobs that are not right for them. Jobs can ask for certain credentials, years of experiences, and a college degree but people without any of those will still apply. It is interesting that people will apply to something that they are most likely not capable of doing, but considering how easy it is to apply to jobs nowadays, people are applying everywhere. The article discusses how a police officer, actress, and even a waitress apply as a P.R. analyst but do not fit the requirements necessary to obtain the job.
    People apply to so many jobs that they are not qualified to do. Ripp says, “Online job sites appear to enhance success because of the magnitude of potential targets, coupled with the ease of applying, perhaps while scrolling through one’s phone in between texting and watching TV.” The reason they do this is because apps such as LinkedIn make it so easy to apply to a job, all you have to do is click send to a company you see on your news feed. Although, in the article it seems that applying to many jobs that you do not have the credentials for is frowned upon, it should not be. I am a firm believer in the saying, “fake it till you make it,” meaning that if the police officer wants a desk job then let him or her make an effort to land a desk job and do the job successfully. To live a decent life in America you must make a decent income, so I do not believe someone such as a waitress should be frowned upon for attempting to land a job that can better her life. Denying unqualified people for an interview is understandable, no employer has the time to meet with candidates that he or she feels is not right for the company, however, they should not be scolded for their eagerness to try something new. In order to succeed you must try, and that is what these applicants are doing in the article. They are attempting to obtain a new career that will change their lives. I am a firm believer that people learn the most about a job by actually doing the job, so bright people with positive attitudes should be given opportunities.
    The article also discusses social media being a huge tool in deciding whether an employer will give an applicant an interview. I do agree with this part of the article, because most often than not people spill their lives all over social media. Ripp says in the article, “I discovered one prospect had been arrested for marijuana possession and another for assault and battery. Checking out Facebook selfies and family albums may sound invasive, but it let me ask myself, would I want this person sitting across from me or along for a client meeting?” Identifying what type of person someone is can be very easy for an employer with apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. Reading people’s reactions to certain videos and posts on Facebook can determine how you feel about a person. Twitter is even easier, you can literally read the thoughts people share. Instagram can help an employer judge whether or not a person can be an appropriate colleague. With social media, employers can easily determine whether they want that applicant sitting across or next to them in an office.
    I do agree that it must be frustrating for employers to receive job applications from unqualified job applicants, however, these applicants should not be frowned upon for taking advantage of an app such as LinkedIn and applying to many jobs. There is that small chance that out of the twenty jobs an applicant applies for, one of the employers will call back. Social media is a good tool for employers to eliminate applicants before offering them an interview. If there is someone an employer knows they will not mesh well with by the looks of their social media, then they can eliminate that applicant from contention.

  5. Andre Bakhos September 7, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    When a candidate is not accepted for a job, there can be a plethora of issues on a resume that prevent them from obtaining the position. Some naïve applicants, thinking they are boosting their marketability, intentionally place items on their resume that inhibit their likeliness of attaining the job. Still, other bad additions are simply accidents, mistakes or sections carelessly left on the resume by the candidate. No matter the issue, a naïve applicant, or careless mistakes, a bad resume impedes the chances of securing the job in a time when opportunities are often hard to come by.
    One of the primary, driving forces behind a person searching for a job is unemployment, or a job that does not provide for them the means in which to live at their desired level. As they are denied job after job, the sounds of doors slamming in their faces begins to make the applicant desperate. As the great investor, Peter Lynch, once said, “When you sell in desperation, you always sell cheap.” While he was referring to monetary investments such as stocks, his quote can be applied to an applicant, as they often piece together a desperate resume in an attempt to land a job, therefore selling themselves off as low-quality workers.
    Many aspiring workers submit their resumes through websites such as ZipRecruiter, which allows them to reach hundreds, if not thousands of potential employers at once. The pro to this method is the volume of people that will lay eyes on your resume. The con is that you cannot tailor your resume to fit a specific job. This can be very detrimental to your progress in finding a job, as a general resume will not fit what every employer is looking for. For example, you may skip including some work experience that is very specific to one field in favor of including experience that will fit many fields. If a company does not see any work experience on your resume specific to them, they will put yours in the trash. General applications and cover letters come across as lazy and is a telltale sign that someone needs a job desperately, and hiring managers will see right through this transparency. The best way to go about the application process is to submit your resume directly to the company, with a cover letter addressed to them, and an application tailored specifically for that job.
    Another transparent and easy way to have your resume thrown into the trash is to over explain simple skills that everyone has in order to make them seem much more difficult to perform, while in reality, they are easy. One example of over complicating an everyday skill is placing Microsoft Word as a skill on your resume, but attempting to make it seem harder to use. Someone who adds this skill to their resume knows that nearly everyone who has touched a computer knows how to use Microsoft Word, so they describe the skill in a more complex way. The applicant may say something such as, “I use Microsoft Word to brand pieces of white parchment with toner, and at that moment, print from the paper imprinter.” While this is saying that they know how to use Microsoft Word to type documents, and print paper, it is wordy and can come off as fake to employers. Instead, they should keep it simple by saying, “I can Use Microsoft word to type documents, and print them for the company.” Simplifying a skill does not mean an applicant is lazy, but shows the hiring managers that they are honest about their skills, have nothing to hide, and are quick to their point. Employers often have to read dozens of resumes before selecting one, and if they see skills being over complicated, they will ignore the resume.
    In today’s world, there are often many options in regards to a career. As a result, people want to try everything, and move from job to job more quickly. They are restless, and do not set long-term goals to thrive in an organization, reaping the benefits of promotions, raises, and credibility that come with a long tenure at a single company. Applicants, who jump from one job to the next and never settle, are also sabotaging themselves and their resume. Sure, they are experimenting with what they like and enjoy, but what they do not understand is that employers do not like to see resumes with lots of jumping around. Instead, they want to look for candidates for the long haul.
    Having a steady source of income is essential in today’s world. In order to achieve that, a resume must be submitted, and then an interview given. Before an interview, an applicant can damage, or even completely ruin their chances of obtaining the job by submitting a bad resume. Proofread, have someone else proofread, and proofread again, as your resume is the golden ticket to a dream job for the long haul.

  6. Arielle Fortes September 8, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    Being a college student in this generation, the importance of a job is huge to me. There are fewer and fewer jobs out there and I am aware of what that might mean for my future. This generation is a generation of going to college, due to one main reason in my opinion. Since the vast majority are going to college, to be competitive for many if not any jobs and are just entering the workforce then you don’t have any experience. Many jobs are just hiring college degree graduates instead of hiring anyone else. In addition, they are also hiring many people who have previous experience in the workforce or other words, members of the older generation. These dwindling jobs are only going to continue to be more selective and choose the people who go above the requirements. I know that attempting to get hired in itself is an arduous process; however making sure that people will want to hire you or even feel interest in you is even harder.

    Social media and other new technology to me is both a great and terrible invention at the same time when related to getting a job or working at a job. It can be amazing when someone is using LinkedIn and can connect with various people to form a network. You can also use the networks of the people you are connected to making it a very large network. Many professionals have accounts here and even some companies are using the site to recruit people. There are many more companies using websites like these to discern who they want for their workplace. They can choose to release the job to the select group of people so that only the people who would have a chance at getting the job could see it. And lastly, meetings and interviews could be constructed online. This helps with the distance that is inevitable due to nationwide and worldwide businesses.

    Due to the world that is ever-changing due to technology, only very few people do not have a digital imprint of some sort. Most people will have a Facebook, twitter, Instagram or snapchat. These are great inventions that can keep us in touch with relatives, old classmates, and friends. We can share pictures with them or chat with them through private messages. However, it is hard to consider anything private from any of these. Private means that you have control and it is yours. However, the new technology never makes anything that you think will be private will actually be private. It is very easy for someone to screenshot your post, whether on the computer or on a phone and then repost something. Although it is a simple action it can have many consequences. If you do or say something that you are not proud of and post it; chances are that someone has looked or screenshotted you at your worst. It is very easy to see someone’s appearance and draw conclusions from it. So, when you take the picture or post something, and employer happened to look at that then they will have the wrong impression. Conforming is also a good idea to get a job. With first impressions, if you seem calmer, and more prepared that then other students, they you are already standing out.

    Standing Out is not always a good thing, but when it comes to obtaining a job it is. A resume that is completely different from the same things that everyone else does can make the recruiter more interested in you so that you can pass the next round of screening. The only way that you should not stand out is your appearance. Dressing well also gives a great first impression.

    To conclude, although technology does makes our lives easier we need to make sure that we do not do anything to jeopardize what could be a great future. To make it in an intensively competitive job market, I know that I will have to make sure that I stand out the most where it counts and not for the wrong reasons.

  7. Brian Ayoub September 8, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    When I apply for internships in a few weeks, I look ahead to what an employer would be looking for when hiring a candidate. When one day I am an employer, I sure know what I wouldn’t want. I wouldn’t want a generic over exaggeration of a simple waitering job in a resume. I want to feel a genuine connection with my future employee, almost as if I have met the person before I actually do. The article, “How Not to Get a Job”, talks all about the mass saturation of generic job applications and how people would rather apply online through a quick and easy process, rather than call in or apply by hand like it used to be.
    A statistic in the article was that the average tenure of wage and salaried workers was 4.2 years, which was a decline from the 4.6 years in 2014. I agree that the advances in technology have take away the opportunity for many people looking for jobs. Many jobs that required humans to do now can be done with simple technology. This is causing people to panic and look around for jobs in a frenzy. The scary part is that this technological advancement is not slowing down, and more and more jobs that are currently occupied by humans will soon be rendered inefficient since it would be cheaper and quicker if technology did the job. The result of this is people searching frenetically. With the easiness of online applications, these people can apply to any job with the click of a mouse. The negative of this is the employers receive tons of applications that are not relevant to what they are looking for. I would never hire a person previously working for a computer company to my accounting firm. If they don’t meet the initial requirements, they aren’t getting a call back. Some people just spam applications all over hoping to catch one luckily. However in my eyes, this is a terrible way to do it. If you really pinpoint a job that you like and that you qualify for, you should directly go after it. I’m not saying to look for a job one at a time, however, applying to 25 different jobs all looking for a distinct qualification is not the way to do it.
    Allan Ripp, the author, writes, “If only they’d look before they leap.” I agree with this statement because how do you expect to obtain long term success by luckily getting a job somewhere? Usually the result will be that you get the job for a month and then end up hating it, and then search for a new job. However, if you carefully look for a job that exactly matches your qualifications then you will enjoy what you do and stay at that job for as long as you like. One of my favorite rappers has a lyric saying, “the quicker you come in the game, the quicker you get out of it.” This means that if you get a job just randomly applying and looking for quick money then you won’t really like it and you will lose interest and leave. However, if you put in the work and apply to jobs that you actually will want to do for years to come, then you will be successful for years to come.

  8. Shiyun Ye September 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    “How Not To Get A Job” by Allen Ripp is an interesting article and full of sarcasm. It describes how some people are desperate on finding a job while they neglect what they have in common with the jobs they apply. Due to the big environment now, they are forced to look for jobs purposelessly since even the super skilled employee is having a hard time having a job now as stated in the article: “the United States jobless rate fell to 4.3 percent.” With this harsh circumstances, the author understands their recklessly actions, but he also makes fun of their robotic phrasing of introduction and the over confidence they possess. Moreover, the short working period from their prior position is a significant element showing their unqualified factor for a stable job that employers want.

    As in 21st century, numerous changes have been made to our life for us to live more convenient and easier. For example, the invention of internet has made the normal communication manner evolved into another new style. Moreover, the job searching and applying process has become simple as well. There are many online job sites available such as LinkedIn, Indeed and, etc. In Seton Hall University, it has its own job-searching page as well. As a college student who will go into society in the near future, I utilize those job-searching pages to find potential employers and create credible profiles. However, as they are so useful and convenient regards to access of job related information, they raise a controversial topic on how the technology is making people stupid. As indicated in the article, the author cannot help himself when he reads grand, impressive but very mechanical introductions. They are so obvious that they are created from models instead of the applicant’s own thinking. Why this phenomenon is more and more prosperous now? It is because they tend not to use their own brains to solve problems and issues these days. They rely on the digital brain and eventually lose their abilities on utilizing outside resources on resolving questions or giving their own authentic works. However, these are not what the employers want to see. Although the technology is replacing human labor in most of the industries, it makes the human intelligence more valuable than before. If an applicant can not only make use of modern technologies well, and can exercise his or her brain in a practical way, this applicant is the talent that market is looking for.

    Moreover, when employers receive the applicants, they are fond of doing background check via social media. As we all know, social media checking is a highly sensitive topic. Many argue that it is an intrusion of privacy while others argue that it is necessary for employers to know exactly what kind of person they might hire. Both sides have sufficient reason to support their theories: employees do not want their personal life be mixed with work life, while employers are afraid of hiring potential criminals. Nevertheless, background checking is inevitable especially in today’s digital-orientated world. Therefore, applicants should be more aware of what they put on social media, as well as think more carefully what company they would like to apply which suits themselves the best.

  9. September 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Wow beijo bem como obrigada pela satisfação!!!

  10. Clearwater Dental in FL September 18, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    Great post. I’m dealing with a few of these issues as well..

  11. Nicholas Kerins September 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

    The article “How not to get a job” grabbed my attention from the second I glanced over the article titles. The article written by Allan Ripp for the NYT explored the process of hiring for your company in the new wave of technology driven job matching websites that connect potential employees to employers. Allan Ripp runs a public relations firm and had recently posted an opening for an account manager for a news company. He goes on to explain the issue of having over five hundred applicants and few of them had any experience in PR or journalism, two of the skill sets he was looking for. Most of the resumes and cover letters he read had tried, in wild ways to connect what skills the candidate had to what would be needed at the firm. Some candidates were cops, coaches, and a waitress. Allan gave these candidates the Facebook test and browsed their profile pictures on Facebook. He quickly closed his browser after seeing pictures of nose rings and red solo cups thinking he was unfairly dismissing candidates. After some thought he reopened the browser and continued looking because he realized that he should be able to know what candidates look like as they will be representing his company especially when sitting in meetings with potential clients. After having no luck sifting through the applicants Allan left off his story with a frustrated tone and dismissed looking at indeed and LinkedIn for the remainder of his search.
    Being in the middle of my own job/career search I shuttered at the idea of sending my resume, my body of work from my whole life being dismissed in a minute by some boss. But the more I thought about it the recruiter is taking a large chance hiring someone. They are investing the company’s assets and time into a name on paper which can be just as difficult as applying for jobs. Reading articles like this helped me to understand the process from the other side. I should as Allan states “Look before I jump” into a job posting. Since my majors are human resources and sports management I should look for jobs within those industries and try to find internships and part time jobs that help me fine tune skills needed for those jobs. If I ever feel they need to go broader than that I should stick in the business or corporate world and not try applying for art director, or nurse jobs. If I implement these rules I will be making the job of recruiters like Allan easier and improve the overall connection that newly graduated college kids have with their potential employers.
    Others who responded to this article introduced ideas about how new generations of job seekers have grown up with the convenience of the internet and see nothing wrong with using it for everything like ordering food, getting dates, and shopping so why not being able to find a job. I thought about how Allan didn’t grow up with this amount of technology at his fingertips so why should he have to adjust to it. But for Allan if he wants to keep up with companies who can extract the best talent from these new internet savvy candidates he needs to learn to work with sites like Linked In. What would be best is if both parties were able to compromise and use the online platforms like linked in and indeed but guide their searches and applications in a way that complies with the needs of the company. For example, if the cop where to apply for jobs in the court system or army, fields he has similar experiences to while still fulfilling his wants of moving into a different field. I know the job industry will continue to change and morph due to technology and it’s up to me to be able to navigate it and find a Career that works for me.

  12. Allen Killiebrew September 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    This article was pretty intriguing to me. The fact about how it explained the different life situations through applying for a job definitely sum up the dos and don’ts within that process. For instance certain people that applied for that job and tried to “sell” themselves too much was definitely clear to see and not a very good idea. The person looking through all applicants could tell and I just feel like overselling yourself to be something you aren’t is not a smart idea, it is quite stupid honestly. Different companies have HR departments in which they have people specialized in recruiting, I just don’t see the benefit of overselling yourself and like stated in the article it isn’t the best way to go about trying to get a job.
    Something I also realized from the article is to always analyze the full ad for hire. Like for instance, the direct number that only two people for the job position to advantage to call and the rest did the automated voicemail way. I inferred that the one mistake of such nature could cost you the opportunity of a lifetime with a dream job. Shortcuts are not the way and when you have something you want, you should always put your best effort forward in achieving that goal

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