||Telephone Follow Up so You'll Find that Job
up on resumes is a
critical part of any job
search, even if doing so is about as much fun as getting knee
Studies have shown that for every 350 cold resumes received, a company
interview one to two people; for those who follow up on resumes that
mailed, the batting average rises to 1 interview for every 17 contacts.
You should make your
initial follow-up call on a cold
resume three to five days after your target receives it. Too early, and
probably won't have read it - it may not even have made its way through
channels to her desk after a day or two. Too late, and she's forgotten
If you're using direct
mail, your letter/resume will
normally land the next day if it's local, and in two working days if
it's going a
thousand miles or less. Cross-country is usually three working
Don’t call to “see if
you received my resume” (a common,
but very tired line). Instead, prepare a script that has a
hook in the
first 5 to 10 seconds (that’s really all you have before the person on
other end of the line falls asleep). Try something like this:
“My name is
Arnold Ziffel, and I have a background in senior marketing management
products sold to Kroger, Albertsons and other major
supermarkets. I recently
sent you my resume. I am going to be in Cleveland on March
14, and also
in early April, and would like to stop by when I’m in town to introduce
myself.” (That takes 15 seconds to deliver, and the person is
hooked or ignoring you after the first 6 seconds).
If you can’t get
through to Ms. Big directly, don’t leave
messages with her assistant (there’s no way the assistant will write
entire message accurately, and in addition, he or she is also likely to
you to human resources, which is not where you want to go).
leave a voice mail message if you can’t get through to the right person
Make sure you use
different scripts with different types
of companies (non-pork-producers will not be impressed by your pork
but may be interested in your food marketing ability). When I
sales manager for a $3-million housewares company and looking for work
ago, a similar script left on voice mail landed me an appointment with
president of a name-brand, $500-million housewares manufacturer.
Milo Frank has written
an excellent book entitled, How
Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less. If
you're going to try to
get anywhere by telephone, you'll need to read this book (click here to order the book)
or, even better, listen to the audio CD (click here to order the CD),
in which you’ll hear live examples of
getting-your-point-across-in-30-seconds. I revised my methods
telephone solicitation after I listened to this, and found I was much
in developing new clients, a process which is very similar to finding a
something when you're job hunting - the
product is you. So follow up as any good salesperson would
to make that follow-up extra nice, because they are buying you and your
personality, not merely what you're selling). It's best if
several days to a week after your resume would have been received.
you're too early, the person on the other end won't have had time to
read it; if
you wait a few weeks, she won't remember.
Don't be a
pest. Be aggressive, some people will tell
you, including some alleged career experts. "You need to keep in touch
every two or three days or someone else will slip in and get the job."
Ever have a salesperson call you back every couple of days?
you start hanging up the phone on him?
Resources, weary because her voicemail box
is always overfilled, told me her slogan: "A pesty candidate
pesty employee." After your initial follow-up call, it's best
10 to 14 days before trying again. Some people will leave a
then call again the next day (or even the same day). Those people come
as desperate, or simply as annoying. In either case, they
themselves by calling too fast or too much. Remember, two
weeks fly by in
the business world, while two weeks can seem endless if you're job
especially if you're out of work.
Once again, follow up
as any good salesperson would,
which means don't call too much, even if you're on pins and needles.
don't take no personally (or no response - some businesses are
resumes, and recruiters typically receive 100 resumes a day).
No or no
response merely means there is no need for what you're selling right
If your background
hasn't required you to do any selling,
you should work on your sales skills. A couple of audio programs that I
used to sharpen my sales skills are Zig Ziglar's Secrets
of Closing the Sale and David Sandler's Close the Deal.
Also, place your calls
when there is a greater chance of
connecting with Ms. Big – that means before 8AM, at lunch time, and
Don't make your phone calls from a cell phone - you'll probably sound awful (see Why Cell Phones Are Bad News for Job Hunters for more on this).