Last week I had a conversation with a woman who is searching for a new job. She shared with me that she is both contacting companies directly and responding to opportunities posted online. She asked, “How can I know if I am being considered or if my resume is being considered at all; how do I know if they’ve even received it?” Good question, and the answer is there is no way to know, considering the current accepted hiring practices of companies. Sure, you may receive a computer-generated message of receipt and a thank you, but it’s meaningless. All it shows is that a software program has acknowledged receipt, but there is no indication if or when an actual person will look at it, much less consider your qualifications; it’s on file but that’s not much consolation, is it?
Then she answered her own question by commenting, “I think I should probably follow up with the companies to which I’ve emailed my resume, the same as I am with companies I have been calling directly.” Yes, she is on the right track and it’s refreshing to hear someone state the obvious; I wish more people would realize the same thing, but I advised her not to stop there. Consider, if you will, you are a pleasant individual, polite, professional and when you shake someone’s hand your greeting is sincere; where is that on your resume? How can you convey any of this via email? You can’t -- which all by itself is justification for why people have been messing themselves up by relying on technology alone to do for them something technology cannot do. Nothing takes the place of human interaction – nothing. Indeed, unless prevented by distance, it is always better to deliver a resume in person. The reason is simple, putting a name and a face together with a resume carries more weight than an effortless email, especially now as fewer and fewer do anything more than tepid email submission to demonstrate their interest.
The mere fact that most people, and I mean almost everyone, fail to pick up the phone to investigate who would be their potential boss at any company they’d like to work with, is precisely the reason you should. And even fewer would actually walk into a company, introduce themselves and, fewer yet, who’ve conducted rudimentary research in order to ask for a manager by name, is exactly why you should. If the only issue stopping you is the insecurity of not knowing what to say and how to say it, that’s easy and I can teach you how to do that, you simply have to resolve to do it.
If you’re just such a person, who wants to do more for yourself but doesn’t know where to start and how to go about it, you should have my handbook, which is previewed on this website. I am confident, no, I am betting that just about every question you have about the job search and interview process is therein. If you’re serious about this topic, get it.
If you’re like most people who are frustrated, stop screwing around and wasting time sending digital resumes to the four winds. Use the computer as it was meant to be used, do some research and then get off your behind, walk away from your computer, notebook or whatever device to which you’ve attached so much importance as it relates to your existence, and get out there. If your job search is not up close and personal, as in arranging to meet people by phone or in person, then make it so. How else can you know if they have A) received it and B) if or in what manner you are being considered. Don’t be surprised if people look at you a bit strangely, because so few people even bother anymore, and sticking your neck out also means you should be prepared for rejection or worse, ambivalence. If you freak out over some measure of rejection, get used to it cupcake, that’s part of life. However, each rejection brings you that much closer to success. It isn’t rocket science but you must first make the decision to do more than betting your success and future on the reliance of desperately pecking at a keyboard. Do you really want success or is it just talk? Hey, you tell me, I already know how to find and interview for a job and have more than 20 years of experience advising others; I wrote the book (pun intended).
If you still don’t feel you can do the face-to-face thing, you can increase your odds by resolving to follow up by telephone one to two weeks after you’ve sent your resume. This still means, however, to do this you must keep track of every place to where it’s been sent. To do this effectively, you must still research and inquire about with whom and what department to follow up.
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