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Tom – I also receive lots of applications. The problem being that in some areas there are so little jobs that the only businesses advertised receive applications all the time because to get unemployment benefits people have to say that they have approached or applied for jobs. I guess emailing counts as an ‘application’ for them. I don’t know. Best to have a pro forma email you can copy in reply to each saying as you mentioned, ‘thank you for your interest, but we/this business are/is not hiring’ or similar. It’s really hard when you are a sole trader and get inundated by requests because it takes so much time to reply. I understand your dilemma.

Also, do you have a ‘form’ for email, or a direct email address. Often having a ‘form to fill in’ makes it harder for blanket email applications, so only genuine ones get through which are less to reply to.