Job Search Fail: Sending a Resume First

Resume StrategyMany job seekers measure ob search productivity by how many resumes they send. They seem to believe,”If I get my resume to enough employers, someone will surely hire me!”

In their quest for hitting their daily or weekly resume quota, however, “qualified” and fit” seem to be secondary considerations. The job seekers fail to  consider what happens on the receiving end, and are surprised and discouraged when they get no response!

Applying to jobs where the fit is marginal at best and hoping for an interview is a losing strategy.

So… does that mean you should never apply to jobs if you don’t have the exact experience? No! However, it does mean  you will have to approach the opportunity with more than a resume. You will approach them… with you, first.

How do you do that?

  • Use LinkedIn to find people that work at the company… anyone; connecting with someone in another department than you’re pursuing is fine, as they can point you to someone closer to the position you want
  • Ask friends who they may know at the company, people at networking groups and your first level LinkedIn connections
  • Call the main number at the company and ask for the contact you’ve found; you don’t need a direct phone number if you have a name
  • Prior to making the call; prepare a script for yourself to keep your conversation on track without rambling; create a second script for possibly leaving a voicemail
  • Google to find email address at the company; connect by email if you can’t reach them by phone
  • Don’t rely on one contact, find multiple people and talk to as many as you can!

Yes, this is a lot of work… but diligent networking, referrals, direct contact, and being professionally, pleasantly persistent are critical!

It’s not always the best qualified person that gets the job. Rather it’s the one that is perceived to be able to most successful in the role and in the organization. Personal skills, professionalism and culture fit are factors that carry a great deal of weight and are best demonstrated through personal contact.

A resume alone gives an employer no reason to call if it doesn’t match the position as well as other applicants. A person that has connected with them, shown professionalism, competence, and persistence beyond most applicants they’ve seen is much more likely to gain interest even if the resume seems to be a marginal fit.

Don’t rely on your resume alone, even when you are a great fit… when reaching out and connecting with an employer directly is likely to improve your results dramatically!

Think about how your application is perceived. Know how the game is played, from the recruiter’s point of view. Most important, measure your job search by the number of new contacts made and results… and not by number of resumes sent.






For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at The Wise Job Search!


HarryAbout the Author: Harry Urschel has over 25 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, and writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search. Contact Harry by email and follow him on Twitter!



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