You've sent your resume to three (or 16 or 110) prospective employers, so you've done your part. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the phone to ring. But why is nothing happening?
We've got news for you: Your phone will never ring. The fact you sent your resume in response to job postings means very little in the grand scheme of things. The search industry has designed the search process to cater to employers' needs, not yours -- even if you're a perfect match for a posted job. By falling into this trap, you've aligned yourself with the masses to take a number and wait and play the game on their terms.
Meanwhile, another more enterprising candidate slips in by way of a referral or a well-placed phone call and gets an interview and a possible job offer. All this happened while your resume sat, forever lost in the crush of paper and electrons as you waited by the phone.
So how do you get past the pile of resumes and in the door? After you send a resume or an introductory letter, always make a follow-up call. Remember, it's the conversation that gets you the interview. Here's how to get on the phone and into the interview process.
Why Should You Follow Up?
Consider this scenario: Yours may be one of more than 100 resumes sent in response to a job posting. Three days later, you make a follow-up phone call to the hiring manager. You are most likely the only candidate with the initiative and drive to do this type of resume follow-up. With a decent presentation, you could win an interview for later that week. Meanwhile, your resume might have stayed buried in a huge stack and never discovered. Don't leave this to chance. This is no time to be bashful about initiating these calls.
Whom Do You Call?
Never call human resources or an in-house recruiter. These people have no vested interest in talking with you. In fact, they don't want to talk to you. You'll only foul up their process. If you want to get hired, you need to talk with an actual hiring manager. If that's a midlevel project supervisor or the vice president of engineering, so be it.
Find out who this person is before you send your resume anywhere. You can locate the names of these people through various sources, including the company Web site's About Us/Management Team page, phoning the company receptionist, or subscribing to a corporate research service like Hoovers, ThomasNet or Lead411.
In short, your job search is just that: Your job search. Take control and drive the process yourself. Don't play by others' rules, putting your future in the hands of search industry bureaucrats. Get into the driver's seat and make their phone ring with a follow-up call every time you send a resume or introductory letter.
[As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. He makes it easy for anyone to find and land the job they really want -- all on their own in the shortest time possible. Discover more insider job search secrets by visiting Job Change Secrets.]