Monday, February 26, 2007

Keep Calling

Checking in
Following up
These are all words recruiters use when simply communicating with candidates and clients. But they are also the most important thing anyone can do in the job search business.

I recently advertised for several winemaking positions I'm working on. I posted them on and within 5 minutes I had received my first respondent. Over the next two weeks I have gotten at least 30 resumes a day, seven days a week.

Have I contacted all of these people. Well, although I like to stay on top of my work, I just haven't been able to. I've tried to get a brief email out that I received their message, and will contact them when a suitable position comes up, but I have not been able to get back to everyone. There's a nagging feeling that I'm letting someone down.

So why am I telling you this? Because I want you to understand that I am typical of a recruiter, a human resources professional, or a winery manager. My day, like those of other hiring managers, gets sliced and diced just like yours. My four hour morning of religious resume review quickly turns into an impromptu interview with a potential candidate, a client who calls in with a urgent new request, and an old friend seeing how things are going. By the time I get back to my email review, 10 new resumes have come in. This is where you come in.

If you are interested in being put at the top of the resume pile, follow up with your contact. Some candidates preceed their resume submission with a brief call introducing themselves. This lets me understand what types of positions they are interested in, and also lets us set up a review time. Many candidates follow up a blind resume submission with a call a few days later. This is also quite helpful because I remember their name, and am likely to call them. Guilt is a great motivator, and I always feel guilty when a job seeker is looking to me for help, and I don't get back to them quickly.

Unfortunately, sometimes a candidate who contacts me has great potential, but isn't the right skill set for my current recruitment. If I only see a resume, file it and never hear from them again, I may forget about them when the right position comes up.

So make sure if an interesting position comes up that you try to contact the recruiter. You'll have varied degrees of success. Hiring Managers within larger corporations tend to be harder to reach than owners of small establishments. Also Personnel departments have dozens of openings at any time, and have limited resources to take individual calls. But try to connect with the recruiter, it can have serious payoffs.

Oh, and if you've sent your resume and haven't heard back from me, guilt works!

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