I am heading north and will be speaking at the Private Career School Association of New Jersey 2009 Annual convention but wanted to share a recent question and response from LinkedIn. Before we go to the question, my topic of discussion for Friday’s workshop is: “Job Placement approaches in a Difficult Economy.” If you would like the PowerPoint presentation, let me know.
On this note, if you have any questions, find me at LinkedIn or email me directly, and I’ll be glad to offer over 12 years of experience in human capital management as a strong and diverse academic background. Nothing wrong with data triangulation as we all could use a helping hand now and then!
I bring the following as the question may be pertinent to just about everyone, including students and directors at all levels…
Apply online or in person? Should you just drop off your resume/application, or ask to speak to someone?
Just like in all situations, being prepared for any type of contingency is paramount to success. As an owner of a human capital company and writer of career/professional textbooks and collateral, I can tell you timing can be the determinant of which is best and which is not. Let me explain for a minute or two:
One of the most expensive and taxing elements of being an employer is attracting and retaining qualified candidates. With this, placing an electronic job posting is money I find not always well spent. Thus the catch, if I want qualified candidates, how do I attract them without extending an already over- bloated budget? One way is to receive candidates without advertising. By the very nature of being non-advertised, the candidate must show an initiative and act on it.
Responding online: Think about it this way, according to the top three career management associations in the US, approximately 80% of all jobs are NOT advertised. Thus, for the person responding solely to the advertised market, the pickings are slim yet the pool of applicants is HUGE. As a result, applying on line, and only on line, is not my recommendation. Then again, do not neglect the advertised market as many great positions are posted.
Dropping off resume/application: I am a firm believer in not only claiming a strong desire to work for a company, but also proving that desire. Granted, the vast majority of “walk-ins” will result in simply handing your resume/application to the receptionist, but the character displayed may play heavily in the decision making process. As a career coach and college instructor, I inform my clients and students to dress the part, keep a positive attitude, develop a game-plan (research the companies targeted), and follow up in the days to come. For the employer, having a candidate ready to work, without the expense of posting an advertisement, is a benefit and is much appreciated. This approach also can lead to finding the right contact person within the company for future references and inquiries.
Ask to speak to someone: No doubt you do not want to be pushy or aggressive but you do want to be assertive. Be polite and if your first contact is over the phone, request to speak to the manager of the department you are hoping to work in. If the receptionist (or gatekeeper) is not cooperative, thank her or him for the time and ask for the manager’s name and prepare an introductory letter. If you are walking in, again be polite and know your presence is probably an inconvenience (due to no schedule). As a result, ask if a scheduled appointment can be made at a later date. While I was a vice-president at my last place, nothing bothered me more than an unscheduled meeting. Then again, when I was seeking candidates for employment, nothing was more pleasing on the budget. Thus, it’s all about timing.
Ultimately, the best approach would be to focus on the advertised AND the unadvertised market. By incorporating a triangulation method, your chances of success dramatically increase. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate is at a level to foster discouragement. My words are for you to NOT become discouraged and through perseverance, the career most desired will come to fruition.
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110