Tuesday, March 18, 2014

There are Two Sides to this Job Hunting Scenario

Yesterday I got a call from a job seeker that I've advised in the past.  He has been job hunting for several months now, and is a bit discouraged about how it is going.  He said that when he sends out a resume to a job posting, he never hears anything back.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm when submitting resumes.  From stories candidates tell me, they rarely if ever hear back from a submission, not even a confirmation that their resume was received. 

This has got to be hard to take.  Yes, I do advise people to follow up on any submittal whenever possible.  If you just sent your resume to an individual at the company, check back with her before the week is out to make sure she received your resume.  While email is good, if you can call her to check that could just do the trick.  Not all hiring managers like the call, but gauging how often I get follow up I think they don't get a lot of calls. 

Why would you want to follow up on a submittal.  Well you would of course want to know that your resume got to the person intended, and also to find out what the status of the job opening is.  You do have to use a little finesse in your follow up, gracefully saying you were making sure your resume was received while also casually inquiring into what the next steps in the review process are.  Being pleasant and also eager are great qualities to exhibit when making these inquires. 

Sometimes my best candidate for a job has ended up in my spam folder, and only after they inquired about their submission did I find the email.  It happens, not all the time, but I am sure those candidates are glad they did follow up with me.

Now, I want to discuss the flip side:  What it is like to be a job poster.  Over this past weekend I posted a job to Craigslist.  I put information about the job and that WineTalent was the recruiting company on the position. 

Quickly I started getting responses.  Some were very detailed email messages with attached resumes and cover letters.  Some didn't have any email message at all, only a resume attachment.  Some email messages were kind of bossy, "Read this message to hire me for the job", and "Contact me immediately about my candidacy".  This role is for an Executive Assistant who will be handling all of the communications for the winery owner and will be supporting the company in many different settings.  Attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills and a professional demeanor are all traits I am looking for in this person.  My first impression is going to come straight from the first email communications.

Knowing that all too often candidates never get any feedback about their submittal, I can understand if they don't put much effort into the submission.  If you'll never hear back why bother finding out anything about the company or the person you are submitting to?  I can understand the logic there.  But maybe you need to go the extra mile when you are sending your resume to a posted job listing? 

Now I'm not one to complain (That's Cranky Recruiter's job), I do think if my contact information is on the posting a candidate could address the email to me directly.  Granted, Craigslist does use a blind email submission process, but someone could still find out who they are sending their information to.  Doing a quick Google search of the word WineTalent immediately brings up my website.  If someone pulled up my website they could probably quickly find out who to address an email too.  Maybe addressing it to Dear Sirs isn't the best salutation...?!  Also, if I have listed that I'm recruiting for my winery client, maybe discussing your interest in working at my winery doesn't make sense.  I don't have one, only many of my clients do.  And if you note on your submission that you are impressed with the wines I have produced and you want to be involved in a world-class production operation like mine you really do not know who you are submitting your resume to. 

So what?  You want a job and I'm going on about etiquette in email submissions.  I will say that some folks who submitted their resume have already gotten a call from me, and I'm off momentarily to conduct an interview with someone who sent her resume in yesterday.  Why did these submissions make the cut?  These emails were professional and directed to this specific job posting.  The emails expressed their relevant experience to the job posted.  They were concise yet compelling.  Of course their resumes showed they had solid work histories and the skills needed for the job. 

Take the time with the first step, and you'll set yourself up nicely on the path to a new job.

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