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Is Your Job Search at Risk? Two Near Misses to Learn From...
copyright © by Kevin Donlin

Kevin Donlin, Managing Editor of 1 Day Resumes.

This week's column can be boiled down to two words: follow up.

If you're like 98%of the nearly 5,000 job seekers I've spoken to since 1996, you're probably not following up right in your job search. If you're following up at all.

You need to follow up. Before and after the job interview. Yet, so few people do. Which is criminally, shamefully negligent on their part.

But a golden opportunity for you.

So listen up! Here are two recent success stories from my files. One job seeker got an interview and the other was likely hired because each did one simple thing.

They followed up.

1) Follow up after you send your resume
It's vital that you call, email, fax and/or write to every employer you send your resume to, to make sure they received it.

If you think this is a lot of wasted effort, think again.

It's possible -- even common, given the blizzard of resumes most employer get -- for the hiring manager to never receive your resume, even if you follow the instructions in their want ad or online job posting.

And if they don't get your resume, how can you get an interview?

So, keep this in mind each time you contact an employer to follow up on your resume -- you're doing them a big favor. After all, why would they spend all that time reading resumes and interviewing people if they didn't
want to hear from every qualified candidate, especially you?

This happened two weeks ago to a client of mine, whom we'll call Stacey.

She faxed her resume to a Fortune 500 company in Bloomington, Minn., to apply for a job she was eminently qualified for. But she never heard back. After three days, she called to ask if they had any questions about her resume.

Surprise! They never got her resume.

Stacey sent it again, this time by email. And she was called for an interview. Which would have NEVER happened if she hadn't taken two minutes to call and follow up.

Your takeaway: trust, but verify. Send your resume with the expectation that it will be read by the right person. Then call to make sure that it actually was.

2) Follow up after you interview for the job
Another client, we'll call him Chuck, hand-delivered the resume I wrote for him. He applied for a warehousing/electrical position at a local firm near Detroit, Mich.

When I called the next day to check on his progress, he told me the hiring manager loved his resume and that the interview went well. So far, so good.

Then I asked him if he had written and mailed thank-you letters to the people he had interviewed with.

"No, gosh, I forgot. Oh, well," he said.

I wanted to jump through the phone and strangle him.

"Chuck," I said after first counting to 10, "you're making a critical mistake. Never assume the interview went perfectly. It's essential that you sit down right now (it was Saturday), write and mail a thank-you letter to
everyone you spoke to. Thank them for their time, restate your best qualifications and tell them how much you look forwarding to working with them."

"OK," said Chuck.

Two days later he called back.

"I got the job!" he said. "The hiring manager appreciated the thank-you letters I sent. He said nobody he's interviewed in the past year did that, so I really stood out."

Normally, I hate to say, "I told you so." But not this time!

Your takeaway: you've heard it again and again that you must send a thank-you letter to everyone you interview with. Yet, so few people take the two minutes to do it. Their loss is your gain.

You owe it to yourself and your family to find the right job as fast as possible. And diligently following up, before and after the interview, will help you get that job.

So do it!

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Kevin Donlin is Managing Editor of 1 Day Resumes. The 1DR writers provide same-day, one-on-one resume writing assistance. He is also author of "Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed," a do-it-yourself manual that will help you find a job in 30 days ... or your money back. For more information, click here.

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