Job Search Ques: How Many Times to Follow-up?

So, ever since I spoke to my manager about several of my projects drifting downhill in terms of quality, and my manager told me to “care less,” I’ve been looking for another job.

I saw something really great at a local Ad agency – it would involve a longer commute but that’s better than ritual suicide, I figure, and that’s where I’m headed at my current job. Without going into a lot of details, it is a very good fit for my experience – for the first time in my life I have 3 years of experience in the specific arena noted in the job listing.

This company requests that resumes be submitted through their online form. Fine, dandy, I did that. However they do not offer any point of contact for follow up, nor an address that I can send a print version and cover letter (the form did not permit a cover letter).

Using my vast resources of cleverness, I called the front desk of the company and asked to be put through to HR. I got someone’s voicemail who spoke too quickly to catch their name. On tuesday I left a brief message indicating my interest in the position and requesting an address for a hard copy resume. No call back – hardly surprising. Repeated procedure two days later, this time briefly stating my experience as well. Plan on repeating procedure today.

So, how many times do I call this poor lady before it goes from “delightfully persistent” to " a pain in the arse?"

Please, anyone?

I’d move on to another target. Personally, I’d be appalled at the lack of courtesey of a call back! Depending on what the position is you’ve applied for your persistence may have been noted and liked (is it sales? colections?). I once made 4 calls to an employer AFTER the interview and fter leaving a message the 4th time I asked the receptionist point blank, “What do I have to do to get this guy to call me back?” She put him on the phone & I got a second interview and an offer (which I declined cuz I felt they were playing games to see if I was persistent).

They may still be in the applicant search phase of their hiring process and have an interview phase planned in the future. Maybe leave one more message, indicate this is your final call, but that you just wanted to confirm that your information was received. Be pleasant.

God luck!

Could be they are just collecting resumes too, some underhanded head-hunters do things like that. I usually send a resume with a nice cover letter (directed at specific requirements they have and how I can fulfill those requirements). If I don’t get some kind of response from them in 2 weeks, I figure I wasn’t a good fit, they already filled the position, etc. If I do get some kind of response, then it’s my turn to move, I send them whatever they asked for, then a few days later I call with specific questions (when will you start interviewing, some general benefits questions, etc.). But generally, if they don’t get back after my initial cover letter and resume, I figure it’s a lost cause.

As far as your OP. Nothing grinds my gears more that a manager that tells me to just “slap it together, it doesn’t have to work real good”. Yeah, right, then it gets out in the field and it’s a piece of shit and who will get the blame for that? You guessed it. So, I usually just agree with them, “OK boss, I’ll just slop some shit together and put out a piece of shit product, no problem”. But then I go about my business of trying to make the best product with what limited resources I have to work with. If I get fired for trying to make a product better than what I was told to do, then I don’t want to work for those people anyway.

ccwaterback it’s definitely not a resume collection in this case. The posting was posted at the company’s own website, not at a 3rd party like a recruiter or Ad agencies get enough unsolicited resumes without inviting more to their doorstep for no reason.

Also, part of the problem is I am trying in vain to get an address to send a hard copy/cover letter. The company obviously does NOT welcome them! Made my third phone call today, voice mail, again.

As for my current job, there’s nothing I’d like more than to say “take this job and shove it” but it’s just not an economic reality. I absolutely cannot afford to get fired – my regional economy is Very Bad Indeed. FYI, my job started out 3 years ago as something challenging but very cool, something I could be proud to work hard on. Now I’m embarassed that my name is associated with 90% of my projects.

I would try other places too.

Oh, here’s one other thing I remember. We had people working for us under a “green card”. I’m not sure of all the legal mumbo-jumbo involved, but they had to have the company put an ad in the paper for THEIR job. It’s something like they have to prove to Uncle Sam that they aren’t taking any jobs away from US born citizens. When the company got replies to the ad, of course they just tossed them out, it was all just some formality.

Good luck, I know it’s bad out there, but things SEEM to be picking up a bit.

We recently went through a bit of recruiting at work. All the people who were contact points for various jobs got very shitty with the persistent callers. I don’t think anyone felt that the repeat callers were “delightfully persistent”. I even recall a conversation that basically went, “After you tell them that you will be in touch, do you think we can just throw away their application if they ring back?”.

I’m sure that the company have their own reasons for conducting their recruitment the way they do and may not be charmed by efforts to subvert their method. Keep in mind that the people at the company have other things to do, they aren’t spending every minute thinking about the job you want and shit happens.

Just take it easy and go along with what your prospective employer wants. That’s what I’d like from a prospective employee.

Hello Again, my company was hiring recently. I’m both the person who answers the phones and screens resumes. I hate to tell you this, but even before the call you planned, you were already at annoying. From what I’ve seen, for a pretty wide variety of jobs, companies are getting hundreds of resumes per position open. If the company you applied for only set up a web-based form, there’s probably a reason for it which at least one person thinks is good. If I can take a wild guess, I’d say one reason for insisting on a web-based form is so that they can collect basic data such as name, address, and contact information automatically, rather than have someone type in that information for several dozen people. Also, as don’t ask said, ability to obey simple instructions is important in the early stages. Yes, you may make yourself stand out in your potential employer’s mind, but are you sure you want to do so as someone who requires special treatment?

Sorry if this is a bit Pit-ish. I came very close to ranting about this sort of thing during the hiring process.


It’s okay Siege I appreciate your perspective. Here’s the thing (no offense). I have seen in my own company how the HR people make “screening descisions” that make no f*cking sense. In fact I wouldn’t have the job I have now without having “subverted” the HR process (I dropped by the manager’s office and asked if he’d received my resume. He hadn’t, because HR had “screened” me out for no reason I or the manager could discern. Later, I got the job.)

Perhaps the HR people at my (fortune 500) company are unusually bad at their jobs. But I am inclined to think that it is quite common for people to be passed over unless they make the extra effort.

The other thing is, web forms are not exactly 100% reliable. Data can be currupted rendering the form unreadable. The database can get swamped and fail to return properly (as we here on the Boards know very well). If I could hear a confirmation that they have indeed received my resume, I would leave it at that and write them a thank you card for their trouble.

I’m sure they’re swamped with resumes but I don’t even know if mine made it where it was going.

UPDATE: They called to confirm receipt of my resume!

I kept it short, many thanks were proferred for returning my call(s). The person said that the position was not yet filled and a recruiter was looking at my resume… and “you should hear something soon.” Which is either good, or just what they tell everyone, but either way, better than a kick in the pants.


I wouldn’t have the job I have now without having “subverted” the HR process


As for my current job, there’s nothing I’d like more than to say "take this job and shove it"

Just thought I’d point this out. How much of your opinion about the job is the result of the job changing as opposed to YOUR changing? Could be possible you were not a good fit for the job & HR saw this early on. There IS a reason for the HR department.

It is the result of the job changing. My personal tasks have more than doubled since this time last year, my manager has changed, the stress levels have become intolerable. People who were always upbeat are feeling ground down to the very limit of their endurance… people breaking down in tears at their desks has been a not-unusual occurance recently. 4 people from my group – each with more than 5 years standing with the company (my group has about 20 people) have left in the last 3 months. (3 of the positions were left unfilled, leaving others to take up their rather large responsibilities). Prior to this, we had no turnover for 2 years, other than people being promoted and jobs shifting due to the frequent restructuring (see below).

It’s hard to explain but my job has changed dramatically since that moment 4 years ago when I was hired (after the subversion, etc.) I was hired into a group, for instance, that no longer exists, and 3 times since then the company has undergone a major restructuring of the Marketing Dept (of which I am now a part, though I was originally part of a separate subsidiary company…) Twice my group merged with other groups in the company. We got a new VP, and two new Directors, and many other changes have taken place, that, if I described them, would be telling the world a little too much about where I work and what I do. I’ve changed desks 11 times since being hired, without ever leaving the group of colleagues I started with.

Let’s just rest assured that I have been doing my job with pleasure and very good marks in all the time since I was hired. I have been given steadily increasing responsibilities and my work is praised. It is only in the last 3 months that my feelings have changed.

I’m sorry, it’s very hard to describe but I think the entire company has a morale problem right now, I hear people saying negative things about their jobs who used to say they were the luckiest people alive to be in their positions. I have a feeling you’ll think I’m being defensive but seriously, the situation is just bad.