Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't Call Us, We'll Call You

While in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant last night, I noticed a large Help Wanted sign next to the pick-up window. At the bottom of the sign, in bold letters, was: "Do Not Call Back to Check On The Status Of Your Application".

This made me think of lists of job hunting tips I've read over the years. Every one of these lists has, without exception, strongly advised job seekers to make return calls after applying for jobs. The reasoning for this was to show the employer your sincere interest in the job and as a way to make oneself stand out from the other applicants, which would, presumably, give one a better chance of getting an interview, or getting the job after one had already been interviewed.

This was one tip I'd always felt uncomfortable with, even though I understand the reasoning behind it. I always felt like a pest calling back after I'd applied for a job, feeling as if I was begging for the job. I thought I'd make myself stand out, all right, but as an annoyance, rather than as a go-getter.

And in today's economic climate, I can understand why an employer would ask that people not make such calls. With even the crappiest jobs getting applications in the triple digits, if everyone was making repeated call-backs to check the status of their applications, the business wouldn't get much work other work done. This is especially true for small employers who do not have a separate personnel department.

But it still leaves a question -- how does a person make themself stand out from the 900 other schlubs who have also applied for this McJob if they are barred from further communication with the employer? To me, "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" has always been synonymous with being brushed off, never with being a prelude to being hired.

I was grateful yet again to have a job, though it's nothing special.


1 comment:

Roger said...

I'd love to see a Help Wanted sign.