Steps to Take to Get Employers' Attention

by | March 31, 2009

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The tension is building as the job searches continue. From 1995 to 2000, a growing number of online job board services and career marketing technologies found their way onto the Internet. Companies believed that if they posted the position online, the talent would come. Applicants searching the boards believed that one need only to "seek and ye shall receive five job offers." That mantra may have proven true -- especially against the backdrop of a thriving economy -- but easy (not to mention short) job hunts are a thing of the past.

Now, job seekers using third party online job boards are dismayed with the results they're getting. "I have over 12 years of experience in my field and have been searching for a job for over a year. I've used over 50 different online job boards -- posting my resume, replying to job postings and e-mailing my resume to companies. I get no response," says Betty Jasper, a technical writer. Media and communications specialist Asha Desai has been searching for a job in television for over a year and a half. "It's becoming comic," she states. "You see a job posting online, or in print. You respond with your cover letter and your resume. And you wait, and you wait and - nothing. No phone call, no e-mail, nothing but a generic letter saying "we'll keep you on file for six months, and after that, try again."

The waiting may be the most difficult part of the hunt, and these days it may seem like the waiting goes on forever. Many times applicants do not hear back from companies at all, and frustration mounts. Job seekers may begin to experience self-doubt and ask themselves "what am I doing wrong?" During a networking meeting Desai faithfully attends, she summarizes the effects of a prolonged search: "Job seeking wreaks havoc on your self-esteem and mental health. You begin to doubt your abilities and talents, and wonder if there's anybody out there, or if the employers really do care about applicants -- who are probably buying their products or services on a daily basis."

Top Job Seeker Complaints

1.I submit my resume online into what seems to be a "black hole".
2.I never receive a "real" response, or follow-up, to my online submission.
3.I am treated like a second-class citizen when applying for jobs.
4.I have tried all types of job services and consultants and have seen minimal results.
5.The jobs posted online are not actually open positions.

To be sure, the recent technological transformation of the job search has caused some headaches on the other side of the hunt. Employers are bombarded with phone calls, e-mails, and faxes from both qualified and unqualified job seekers. Some companies ignore applicants because they simply don't have any more job openings. Alicia DeVaull, staffing manager for Fort Worth Transit says, "I received more than 80 resumes via e-mail in two weeks, a result of a concentrated marketing effort for two positions. Supply and demand are unequal, but what can I do?" Some companies use state-of-the-art technologies to manage data flow and have sliced recruiting staffs in half, leaving the data to sit in a database for future reference. Other companies have issued indefinite hiring freezes. Some employers simply refuse to invest in technology or staffing departments at all, and leave their data collecting dust in an e-mail file.

So what can job seekers do to ease the strain of the hunt?

1.Relax. Focus on your assets and skills. Target the company directly, instead of resorting to the "third-party" career portal.
2.Get the name of a decision-maker at the company you?re targeting. Make an effort to build a relationship with people who can keep you informed about the company's momentum, hiring practices and staffing needs.
3.Organize your search and keep records. Many job seekers find a company online, submit their resume, and never keep track of when they sent their materials or to whom. These simple bits of information are essential when it comes time to follow up with a company.
4.Inform your family and friends that you are searching for a job. Tell them exactly what you've done with your career and where you're headed.

Filed Under: Job Search

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