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Communication Pro 'Sorry' for Snarky LinkedIn Rejection

A sarcastic rejection note to a LinkedIn request went public, prompting an apology, along with reports of similar incidents.

A Cleveland job bank founder honored as “communicator of the year” is publicly apologizing after her dismissive email reply to a young job-seeker went viral.

Kelly Blazek, who founded the online Cleveland Job Bank for marketing communications professionals, found herself the subject of online outrage after sending a sarcastic reply to a 26-year-old’s request to connect on LinkedIn.

Diana Mekota contacted Blazek on LinkedIn asking to join the job bank listserv and detailed her qualifications, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Mekota says she received this reply, which read in part:

“Apparently you have heard that I produce a Job Bank, and decided it would be stunningly helpful for your career prospects if I shared my 960+ LinkedIn connections with you – a total stranger who has nothing to offer me.”

It continued: “I suggest you join the other Job Bank in town. Oh wait – there isn’t one.”

Mekota told the Plain Dealer she was shocked at first, emailed Blazek again, then started sharing the response online. Within hours, Blazek issued an apology, which the newspaper printed:

“I am very sorry to the people I have hurt. … The note I sent to Diana was rude, unwelcoming, unprofessional and wrong,” Blazek wrote.

Since Mekota went public with the interaction, two other job-seekers said they had similar interactions with Blazek.

The controversy prompted at least one other LinkedIn member with the same name to post under her account: “Please note that I am not the same Kelly Blazek in the news who ran the Cleveland Job Bank.”

-NBC News staff