Followup is Key in the Face of No Replies from Employers


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Bill writes: I’ve sent out 175 resumes. Some I’ve received an email acknowledgments and others I received snail mail acknowledgments, but the rest I’ve received neither. How should I handle the no replies? Should I send another resume — or email or phone them?
The Career Doctor responds: Bill, okay . . . I am assuming you sent out cover letters with your resumes, and I am further assuming you followed the proper cover letter techniques — specifically, writing to a named individual, requesting an interview, and promising action — I would strongly suggest that you put all those recipients into a spreadsheet and start contacting them right away. You should never expect employers to respond to your inquiries, and as you have discovered, very few do so. Not knowing how much time has elapsed, you may need to send out another cover letter and resume once you’ve spoken with the people. If that’s the case, then send those people your resume and cover letter and follow-up about a week to 10 days later with a phone call. If you did not write a cover letter, or you did not follow the cover-letter rules — and the biggest no-no is not addressing each letter to a named individual — then you might as well start all over again because the likelihood that your cover letter and resume are still somewhere in the employers’ offices is pretty darn slim. You can read more about cover letters and job-hunting at Quintessential Careers: Cover Letter Resources, which includes a link to the cover letter tutorial. Follow-up is crucial in all aspects of job-hunting.