by Mark Anthony Zappa
So often we are reluctant to call an employer to check on the status of our application. We fear we will offend or anger the person answering the phone, who will scream something at us like: “Hey pal, what is WRONG with you? Take some advice: don’t call us. . . we’ll call you!” Fear not. Stressed-out, overworked receptionists and NO CALLS warnings aside, let’s take a positive, business-minded approach.
In addition to submitting the online application, you should try to get a name and email of a person inside. You could target the hiring manager, an HR person, a connection who works there, or a sales person. Send this person your resume and a well-thought-out, brief, yet compelling cover letter about how you would add value to the position and the company.
In other words, tell them WHY they need to talk to you…and soon, before you’re discovered by another company. In the concluding paragraph state when you will follow-up if you have not received a response after a certain date.
Then follow up! It shows the employer that you are organized, enthusiastic and goal-driven. You have just sent a sales letter, a proposal, and need confirmation of its receipt. Otherwise, you really don’t know if your correspondence was filtered out, deleted, or forwarded into the digital caverns of a data bank.
You want to know your status while making a human connection.
Not only do savvy employers not mind this, some look for candidates who demonstrate gumption, creativity, interest in the company, confidence to take intelligent risks, and yes, follow through. All of these are positive and needed skills.
Job seekers need the charm, persistence and tough-skin of a seasoned salesperson. We will knock on many doors and some will not open. But, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Try to create a “YES, let’s talk.”
Mark Anthony Zappa is a workshop facilitator at the North St. Paul and St. Paul WorkForce Centers.