I sent my resume to a company that advertised a position I really want. I haven’t heard back yet. What’s the next step?
By Cynthia Lett
I sent my resume to a company advertizing a job I really want. I haven’t heard back yet. What’s the next step? This question is all too common among job hunters these days. Unfortunately, many large companies use scanning systems to pick out important keywords and phrases. If your resume doesn’t contain those words, it may never get seen by a real person at all.
The best way to gain an edge over your competition is to make a connection within the company. People get hired not because of their resume, but because they have proven they will contribute and fit into the culture of the workplace. Ask your friends if they know anyone at the company, and visit networking sites like LinkedIn to see if you have any first- or second-degree connections.
Once you find a contact person, ask them to refer you to someone you can speak to about the job you’re interested in. Then you can call that individual and say, “Amy Jones in the marketing department referred me … ” Be prepared to start all over with your resume and cover letter, and ask if you can follow up in a few days. Don’t be a pest, but don’t disappear either. Follow up on the timeline your contact suggests. If they keep putting you off, that’s usually their way of saying, “No thank you.” In that case, it’s best to move on.