6 Ways to Reject a Guild App Without Sounding Like an Angry Ex

In the spirit of the blogger’s challenge I laid out last Saturday, I felt it was only fair to come up with a post of a similar theme.

I issued a question to the Twitterati asking them this:

On what grounds have you had to turn away guild apps?

Of the multiple responses I received, I was able to consolidate the majority into 6 real reasons guilds reject players.

Some of these reasons sound eerily familiar. Probably because I’ve been on the receiving end of all of them at some point.

It’s not you. It’s me.

@greyseer Attitude does not align with core purpose or ideals

This is the one of the more often used rejection reasons. Sometimes a player just does not fit in with the rest of the guild for whatever reason. Player personality plays a strong role in the minds of most GMs. If a personality clashes, then the door is closed. Perhaps the applicant is simply too liberal in their use of language which makes players uncomfortable. Maybe they’re looking to do nothing but PvP in a progression raiding guild. Whatever it is, the applicant just doesn’t have a place in the guild’s grand scheme of things.

You’re not open with me enough.

@asara_dragon Poor command of language on application
@cuppy Didn’t follow app instructions
@misskeli Didn’t fill app at all

First impressions matter. When GM’s are exposed to you for the first time, your language use plays an integral part in how you virtually “look and sound”. Take the time to put in the periods and capitals. Run it through a spellcheck. Come across as professional and intelligent. The guild app is your way of “selling” and marketing yourself to the guild. Even if you’re the best player around on the server, a crappy application will stone your efforts. Prove yourself out of the game or else you might not get the chance to prove yourself in the game.

Even worse than leaving a bad first impression is not following the instructions. If an applicant can’t follow instructions on a simple post, who is to say they can follow instructions in raids?

I think we need to go on a break.

@sylus Reputation for guild hopping
@Nightravyn Known drama llama
@dadexter Known to rob guild banks

These types of players are lone wolves. They travel from guild to guild exhausting their resources until they are no longer welcome. Fortunately, the names of such players spread quickly and far via trade chat and forums. It’s advisable for guilds to maintain their own blacklist for players that their guild should stay away from.

I’m just not interested in you right now.

@Threon We’ve got 4 Resto Druids
@Narayu People that app that are classes we’re full on.

Even outstanding apps have to get rejected. There are only 25 positions available in a raid. Some players already have cemented positions and it is extremely difficult to dislodge such people. It all boils down to having no room. Barring some kind of emergency, full time players who raid are full time for a reason. Their attendance is virtually flawless. This reason for rejecting players becomes more apparent in progressed guilds. They just can’t fit any more players, classes or roles into their raids. I’ve had to release some people over the past few weeks because I knew they wanted to raid and it wasn’t fair for them to be kept on retainer. They deserved to raid. There is still time for them to look for other guilds to join.

I’m too busy focusing on life and my career to get involved.

@siha You can’t make our raid times
@crazeigh Attendance and availability

Players apply with intentions to raid. Some guilds are okay with a 50% attendance rate or what have you. Other guilds expect raiders to be able to go at it from start to finish. Obviously it is not possible to expect flawless attendance. From experience, I can say that guilds I’ve been in, there is an expectation that players show up to a set amount (as a minimum). Given the choice between two identically geared and skilled players, I will always start with the player that can go from start to finish as opposed to the one that has to leave every night right before Patchwerk. From a management perspective, it just makes sense. A player that can only be available for a small amount of time is not going to be able to serve the guild well in a raid capacity.

You can’t afford me.

@Kreeoni Gear is lacking

Older friends have told me that companies generally don’t care what type of degree I have. I was freaking out because I was second guessing my program choices for school. Kimbo, an officer, explained to me that companies only care that you have the piece of paper that says you’ve got your 4 years or 120 credits. Whether it’s Psychology, Criminology, Sociology or Business Administration isn’t as big of a factor (in most cases but I know someone’s going to say “but yes it plays a HUGE factor”.

Having the degree shows you have the discipline and perseverance to work your way through school.

That mentality has some merit here. I’ve always held the belief that gear and skill are equally important. I need the weapons and armor to do my job. But I need the knowledge and skills to use my gear effectively.

Having your Sons of Hodir enchants or your exalted Rep faction gear demonstrates that you put a lot of time and effort into your character. Having high end heroic blues or a smattering of epics shows that you’re willing to grind through to get what you want. Appropriate gems and enchants show that you know how to best augment your character (unlike that one Priest I saw with nothing but agility gems. Hmm!

Finally, with raiding instances set to go up in difficulty, it becomes clear that minimum throughput of DPS and healing are only going to go up. For example, the gear requirement for pre-nerf Sunwell was much higher than a fray into Gruul’s Lair of Magtheridon’s cavern. The entire raid has to reach a certain minimum baseline performance in order to kill a boss. Otherwise the enrage timer hits or healers run out of mana and it’s game over.

Why have you or your guild rejected applicants? Do you have any good (or sad) stories you like to share?

Image courtesy of nyuszika

18 thoughts on “6 Ways to Reject a Guild App Without Sounding Like an Angry Ex”

  1. Huge Disclaimer: I am not a recruiter. So this is just my own perspective!

    We don’t get a lot of apps. Generally speaking, we know who on the server can play their class well and where to find them when we need someone of that class. For us your app is largely your rep on the server, the guild you come from, and our personal experience with you. It helps that we are on a small server.

    For off server people (rare) we do have apps and we tend to focus of much of what your wrote above. Can you spell? If you can then they face the grammar monster. Do they have raiding experience and gear? We tend to avoid training new raiders. We can gear you, but to train you how to raid or play is too much effort. Other steps are largely case by case.

    One question our guild was throwing around yesterday was the issue of gear. With the gear reset new standards need to be set. What is the new 2000dps? 2000 in the latter half of TBC was a good benchmark that showed a player knew their gear and abilities. So where do you guys think that should be now? We have raiders hit 5000 on a good fight (Patchwerk) and average more around 4000+ on other fights. So is 3500+ the new tier 7 2000?

  2. Depends on the class and what gear you expect people to have

    For Ret Pallies for example I have seen them advertise on our server that they do 4K+ DPS. Now thats not such a far fetched number for pallies to reach WITH full raid buffs, in a 10 man its a stretch.


    This is our personal best patchwerk a very respectable 371 on WWS overall. As you can see 4 people put out more then 5K DPS but we did have everyone put out more the 4K. After seeing that I would have to say I would like to think that anyone we recruit would at the minimun be able to sustain 3500+ regardless of spec
    (Just to note something funny. Lloth forgot to equip his swords for that fight so in essence in did 4K dps with justs his fists! the nub)

  3. As former recruiting officer (I am now a retired raider :p), I had my share of applications. The number one reason though, for not taking people, is ‘gut’-feeling. You tend to get a feeling for good players, and bad players.

    Most used term to let them now : NO, is : Sorry we are full on your class

    (always be polite on applications, they tend to be readable for everyone who visits your site)

    Lurges last blog post..Starting….

  4. Another reason isn’t so much that the application wasn’t bad, in fact it was good, but it wasn’t perfect. Sometimes guilds hold out for that “just right” applicant, even if it means turning down otherwise good players.

    @Matt – as for the degree mattering, only for your entry-level job. Since you don’t have as much work experience, what your degree is in, what type of degree (Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Masters, Doctorate, etc), and where you got the knowledge from are the judging criteria. After a few years, the degree is nothing more than a box that has to be checked as employers are more concerned about work experience.

    To carry that over to a recruitment application, it’s not about the gear you have, it’s about the role you played in the fights where you got the gear. What assignments have you held in boss kills? Is it always the same job or have you played multiple roles in successful kills that have caused you to vary your playstyle to be successful? The best way to track this are interviews and achievements like The Immortal, The Dedicated Few, Shocking, and A Poke In The Eye help demonstrate that you’ve played your class to its fullest on multiple occasions.

  5. In an old guild of mine, we had an application on our forums that seemed a bit strange – turns out that the person applying had copied/pasted his app from a different guilds recruitment section to which he had also applied.

    To continue the angry-ex theme, this might come under “You left a romantic message on my answer phone that uses someone elses name.”

  6. In our guild we have chosen the democratic approach to applications. We have a guild charter that contains the ground rules we have in the guild – age requirement since we are a guild for adults, non tolerated behaviour, probation period and stuff like that. Applicants must read this before applying by answering questions we have in our application form. To confirm that applicants have read the charter and know what we are about we have put in a line in the charter that says that they must include a “magic word” somewhere in their application – “geronimo” in our case. When an application is published on our public forums or pm’d to our recruitment officer we let the applicant know we will get back to them within 48 hours with an answer. During that time all members in the guild can vote yes or no to the application if they are not currently on probation (one month after being accepted into the guild everyone gets the probation status). All members can supply additional information and recommendations to the application as well. After the 48 hours have passed the recruitment officer or other officer in his/her absense counts the votes and let the applicant know if the application was successful or not.

    The probation period following acceptance into the guild is important. It is in place to let new members get a real feel for our guild and us of them. If problems arise during that time we try to sort them out and the probation period can be extended if needed, but if we are not compatible we go our separate ways.

    We are not a hardcore guild and even though we have raid rosters and raid regularly our goal is to provide a community where people enjoy themselves and help eachother out regardless of character level or game goals. When we look at an application we try to get a feel if the person will fit in and the application form contains questions that help us do that. Gear is not important since that can be easily obtained with a little help and effort. Its more important for the person to have the same value base as we do.

    Anyway, this has worked for us since early vanilla WoW (with a few adjustments along the way ofcourse). We are still around and have fun.

  7. 1 – Poor grammar, spelling, or lots of leet speak. For some of us old guys, it gets really annoying seeing all of that in guild chat.

    2 – Age. Aside from maturity issues which I’ve seen grown men and women lose it more than 12 yr olds, the biggest problem I’ve run into is “Mom needs the computer” or “Dad says I’ve played enough”. Not fair I know, but really delays raids when you have to look for replacements.

    kyrileans last blog post..The Ice Stone Has Melted!

  8. From my short experience as co-gm for a casual raiding guild in TBC, I can say that the most off-putting applications are the ones where the players do not follow the application guidelines.

    Often times, players don’t think of the application process as a test to see if you can follow simple instructions. Like many of you said, if they can’t follow the application instructions, what makes you think they can follow instructions in a raid setting.

    Granted, there is always going to be exceptions in those cases but for the most part, the bad seem to show their colors early on.

    Paiids last blog post..Leveling a Thunderturkey Through the Recruit-a-Friend Program

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