Friday, January 16, 2009

Don't send a resume!

I once thought it was a great idea to write a book on job-hunting that I would call "Don't Send a Resume!" or something to that effect. It only took a couple of minutes of research to find out that my idea had already been taken by this guy. I never read the book, but skimmed through it at my local Barnes & Noble and thought that he seemed to make things way more complicated than they needed to be.

I frequently tell job seekers that they should only send a resume when the person receiving the resume knows that it is coming. It will increase the likelihood that your resume will get looked at seriously by 100% (I made the percentage up, but the point stands). Not only will that person have a voice to connect to the resume, but you hopefully got a direct e-mail address to send it to rather than careers@company.com or whatever.

How do you go about doing this? It depends on your interest level in the position and the amount of time you want to invest. If you really want to make sure that you get noticed, you will do your research to try and find out who the actual hiring manager is, then call that person and at least leave a message "Hi, my name is Erwin and I am a Senior Oracle Programmer who has been involved in 5 implementations. I had a couple of questions about the open position at Company and was hoping for a couple of minutes of your time. Please call me at your convenience at 555-555-5555." You then hit 0 and ask the operator for manager's direct e-mail address and send your resume referencing your phone call. If you get Manager on the phone, you can just ask him for the e-mail.

If you cannot find the manager, you need to talk to HR, but make sure you ask who the specific recruiter is who is handling that specific position. Again, ask some question about the position ("I was wondering how much travel was going to be involved") or whatever, the point is to be able to introduce yourself, summarize your qualifications, and get an e-mail address to send a resume.

If you are a passive job seeker, you may not have time to do this (which is why you work with headhunters, who basically spend all day doing this), but it is well worth your while for any positions of interest. You will get more interviews and get them faster if you call before sending a resume.

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