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  1. #1

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    Job Application Question: Saying You'll Call in Cover Letter?

    I know there are a lot of people here who are involved with hiring in different ways, so I'd like to get some opinions on what I think is a fairly common piece of advice for job hunters - which is to include a line in your cover letter to say that you will call that person in a few days to discuss the opportunity.

    Personally, I am not in favour of including this line and also not in favour of job hunters making these kinds of calls. IME if I want to know more about an applicant I will call them myself, and I will also be in touch if I want to set up an interview. If someone is interested in the job, I know that because they applied. And it is not a good use of my time to handle multiple phone calls of this kind, if there are a lot of applicants. Also IME the people who call most frequently to "discuss" the vacancy are usually the least qualified or the most obnoxious.

    However, I know that a lot of job hunting advice says to put this line in your cover letter and to make the call, because it shows initiative and that you are pro-active.

    What do others think?
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    IME, most front line hiring managers are busy, and this type of call would be more of a nuisance than a help. I suppose the exception would be if the applicant's personality is so sparkling or charming - or his or her credentials were so super impressive. Then a call would be a plus.

    The other application for a phone call would be networking - not is response to a specific job, but in getting your name out there. That might be useful in the bigger scheme of things. But that has somewhat of a different goal then getting an already posted job.

    But I understand your point, that if candidates are constantly told to do something to get hired - then, hey, they are following directions from the experts. It is a good question and would also be interested in the opines of our own experts.
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  3. #3

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    There isn't a definitive answer to your question, but I'm in favor of including the line--without saying "to discuss the opportunity."

    Those in charge often get bombarded by e-mails, calls and letters. There is a very good chance that you'll get voicemail. To me, the important thing is the nature of your call. Most "powers-that-be" will not take time to "discuss the opportunity," unless they call you and want to do so.

    But there's nothing wrong with calling and saying, either one-on-one or on voicemail, things like: "just wanted to touch base with you to confirm that my application arrived." "Thank you for your consideration and assistance." "I look forward to hearing from you, at your convenience."
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    I think it depends on the position and the work environment. After dropping off a resume at a cafe or a retail shop? yes, coming back and inquiring would work, and would probably make an applicant memorable. it would show initiative and professionalism in an industry that often lacks either.

    but in a professional office? It makes the applicant come across as green and/or arrogant. If I'm in the middle of hiring and someone contacts me before I've sent anything to them, it leaves a very bad impression. Only someone with really outstanding or unique skills and/or experience would get an interview after that.

    ETA - there's a huge difference in following up to make sure the application is received (which should be directed at the hiring staff, not necessarily the eventual manager of the position), and just calling to talk about the position. There's also a difference when applying somewhere that has an HR or hiring department, where the person you are annoying contacting is not the person responsible for the hire. Then it's more of a technical call than a fishing one.

    It is also becoming more and more standard to see "NO CALLS" in job postings. I wonder if the rise in job hunting advice to do follow up calls is responsible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    IME, most front line hiring managers are busy
    IME the front line hiring managers rarely see the cover letters. They stay with the internal recruiters. In fact, for many jobs, you don't even know who the hiring manager is when you apply!

    Therefore, I think this type of advice is dumb. It feels like a fad like when we all were supposed to put an objective on our resume.
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    I don't like it either, even calling to see whether the application was received - particularly if it was sent electronically - it is intrusive. I've seen 'No Calls' specified in job ads as well.

    I agree that following up on an application to a coffee shop or the like is okay, as they are relatively casual environments.

  7. #7

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    I agree for retail or a restaurant, following up, in person, is a good idea. Telephone calls are never a good plan. I was a very busy HR manager and it drove me nuts when people called. I guess the best question to ask yourself is "If everyone did this, would it still be a good idea?" Well, when I had 800 resumes for one position, even if only 10% called, it took A LOT of time.

    A clear and concise resume, minimum 11 point font, and a professional sounding cover letter and absolutely no typos or grammatical errors is still, IMHO, your best first impression. As a side note, I also found calls from people who wanted an appointment to speak with me about future opportunities to be a bit annoying. I know people are told to do this, but you really need to do some research. When I worked for a local government, most of our positions were unionized and all openings had to posted. We had very strict screening criteria so it didn't matter a hoot whether I had met you before or not. Now in some industries knowing people on the inside is the only way to get a job. You just have to do the research to figure out what the process is before you hound an overworked HR person.

    One final piece of unasked for advice, be very polite to the receptionist. I can't tell you the number of resumes that went straight into the "no" pile because the person dropping it off was rude to my assistant. I figure if you are rude to support person, you are not the kind of person I want to work with.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I know there are a lot of people here who are involved with hiring in different ways, so I'd like to get some opinions on what I think is a fairly common piece of advice for job hunters - which is to include a line in your cover letter to say that you will call that person in a few days to discuss the opportunity.

    Personally, I am not in favour of including this line and also not in favour of job hunters making these kinds of calls. IME if I want to know more about an applicant I will call them myself, and I will also be in touch if I want to set up an interview. If someone is interested in the job, I know that because they applied. And it is not a good use of my time to handle multiple phone calls of this kind, if there are a lot of applicants. Also IME the people who call most frequently to "discuss" the vacancy are usually the least qualified or the most obnoxious.

    However, I know that a lot of job hunting advice says to put this line in your cover letter and to make the call, because it shows initiative and that you are pro-active.

    What do others think?

    I am in position where I hire people and like others have said I'm far too busy to talk about a job position because it would feel like you are putting me on the spot if we have advertised or made it public that we are hiring... However if this is a blind application/querry then I don't think there is anything wrong with saying you will followup with a phone call or email (our preference is email )...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    I've seen 'No Calls' specified in job ads as well.
    My employer does that. Hiring where I work goes strictly by department, IOW you don't deal with our HR person until after you are hired. And 99% of the time it's for warehouse positions (I work in a retail steel company), or for truck drivers, and those people are screened, interviewed and hired by our warehouse manager. They have to come in and fill out an application in person, and submit a driving abstract and a photocopy of their CDL if they are applying to be a driver, which they will then give to me (I work the front desk amongst other tasks), and then I pass it on to the manager. I always tell applicants that, if the manager wants them to come in for an interview that he will call them.

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