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How to Follow Up Your Resume: Phone or E-Mail?

When following up on a resume, phone calls can be more persuasive than e-mail messages. If you e-mail your resume follow-up, however, it can pave the way for your phone call. Either way, following up your resume is the key action.

You might address a hiring manager in an e-mail and say:

My proven background in supply chain management looks like a good fit for your advertised requirements and my qualifications for the assistant manager position. I’m unsure whether you’re at the interview phase yet but I would be delighted to answer any preliminary questions you may have. I’ll call you tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

Follow up a resume with phone calls

Most job search experts agree that a phone call is much more personal than e-mail and dispenses with any thoughts — on the employer's part — that a candidate could be hiding behind technology. You may argue with that judgment, noting that you lose your nerve and don’t come across as accomplished and confident and so you should stick with e-mail. You think some “shy” people just can’t sell themselves on the phone even if they can sell other things. Telemarketing yourself is tough stuff, but so is getting yourself recognized on the Internet.

If you're nervous about speaking directly with a potential employer over the phone, then practice. Gather several jobless friends and practice on each other. Or go way out and take a temp job as a telemarketer to become somewhat desensitized to rejection after rejection.

What if the ad says “no phone calls”?

If a job ad says "no phone calls," call and call again. You may receive a few hang-ups and rude responses, but you’ll also get some positive responses. When you’re told to bug off, be ready with an immediate hook that grabs attention.

For example:

I understand you don’t want to be swamped with unqualified candidates, but that’s not me. My team cut inventory losses by 30 percent in nine months. I was a key team member and I’m ready to make similar savings happen for you. My accomplishments and future value to your company are much too good to pass up. Can we talk sometime this week?

Your challenge is to prepare a memorable, brief statement — a sound bite — designed to melt a hiring manager’s frosty no-calls defense shield. Promise good things but avoid specifics until you’re interviewed.

If you’re stonewalled by a screener — administrative assistant or HR specialist — with a no-calls defense shield, you can modify your response to push for an interview or a good time to call back. More likely, you’re going to have to skirt around the screener by calling before and after the workday hours when screeners aren’t so likely to be answering the phone.

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