CareerOwl Featured Career Article

Does 'No Calls' Mean No Calls?
copyright © by Kevin Donlin

You've seen want ads that end with, "No calls please." But you REALLY want that job. And you know it makes good sense to follow up after sending your resume to employers.

So, should you pick up the phone, or not?

Kevin Donlin
Kevin Donlin

If you call the HR department simply to ask if they got your resume, that won't help your case.

One HR manager in Minneapolis, Steve, says: "If you call to ask about the resume you've sent, it puts me in an awkward position, because I probably won't recognize you. I simply read too many resumes to remember them all."

With that in mind, it can be productive to avoid HR and other gatekeepers by instead calling the manager you'd actually work for. Especially if the job requires persistence and determination, a well placed phone call can help. But do it right!

"Cold calling me out of the blue won't improve your chances," says Terry, a Fortune 500 manager based in Eagan, MN. "However, if a candidate has made contact with me before or comes referred from someone I know, then I don't mind a call. If I see a good match, I can pass their name on to HR with a recommendation."

Moral? Dig your well before you're thirsty! Start expanding your network of contacts at potential employers NOW, so you can make more phone calls later to decision makers who know you.

Think of it like this: everybody at every company knows somebody. Call or write everybody in your network now and ask: "Do you know anyone--personally or professionally -- who works at ABC Company?" Eventually, you'll make a connection. Then make the call.

Meanwhile, if you REALLY want to call about a job posting that says, "No calls," make sure you bypass HR and talk to a decision maker directly. You can get names and numbers from corporate Web sites, periodicals or even by phoning the main office.

When you call, be brief, professional and informed. Offer to email or fax your resume for review and give reasons why you'd be valuable to the hiring manager. Then, send a short note to thank them for their time.

Best of luck to you!

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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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