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Following up on a job application

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator_Hawks, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Gator_Hawks

    Gator_Hawks Member

    Any advice on following up on sending your resume / clips on a job posted on this board / JJ.com?

    i.e. timeframe, the right way to not come across being overly persistent, etc.

  2. JingleBells

    JingleBells New Member

    I typically email them everyday. And if they don't respond within, say, a month and a half, I ask them to grow up and be a professional about the process and not the dolt they are.
  3. The funny thing, though, is that there are so many stories about people getting jobs by being crazy about it. Romenesko posted a Q&A the other day with some NY Daily News cops reporter who ended up with his job because he cornered an editor in an elevator and had to shove his clips or resume in the guy's chest. I believe it was Carl Bernstein that got a job at the Washington Post by bothering Ben Bradlee, who ultimately gave in when Bernstein managed to call him at a vacation home or something similar. I've heard plenty of similar stories. I wonder if you were really, really forceful, you might get maybe one out of 50 jobs because somebody was impressed with your tenacity.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    The same is true of women.
    Of course, the other 49 times you get slapped with a restraining order. Guess there's risks with everything.
  5. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I'm sure the follow-up persistence has worked in the past, but I wouldn't count on it. The last time I hired, I stopped counting at 120 applicants. If you email me, you're one out of a pile of people, and I have no idea who you are unless you have some sort of in with my paper. If you know someone on the staff, then maybe following up improves the chance that I'll take a good look at your resume and clips.

    But if you don't have any connection at the paper, the follow-up email really does you no good at all. There are too many applicants, and I don't know one from the next. I suppose if you are reading the paper and can drop in some reference to a story you saw that you liked, it might help. But again ... total shot in the dark because I have no idea who you are. And I've got a pile of 100 other resumes from other people I don't know. Whatever you do, don't call. We barely have time to do the job, much less talk to a faceless applicant who -- in all likelihood -- doesn't really have anything to say other than, "I was calling to find out about the job."
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    When Williston calls, drop everything you're doing and head to the Greyhound station.
  7. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    I don't think it does much good.

    Here in Podunk, we get a ton of resumes. And only 3-5 are truly what we are looking for, believe it or not.
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    And, if I may fire a preemptive strike ... if the listing says no phone calls, they mean it! And, yes, it means you!!
  9. BobSacamano

    BobSacamano Member

    I hate you. Not personally, but fuck... I hate you. That's disheartening.

    It's like, as a job seeker, I sympathize with the sheer volume of applicants for a gig, but should that be the applicant's problem? I'm sure you're not the only who takes that approach, either. And I'm certain a lot of other editors/hiring managers review even fewer candidates. But that's so damn disheartening, man.

    Someone needs to teach me to stop playing fair and reasonable in a game that just isn't. Too fucking polite. I don't follow-up and like to trust in the decency of people to review and care about everything they receive. Job hunting is personal. I'm not just sending out blanket messages. These are cover letters tailored for the job, personal messages with a little about me, and clips relevant to the role. I hate thinking it's not even reviewed because I don't know someone on staff.
  10. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I never said I didn't review every application that comes in. I absolutely do. I'm saying that when I sort through a pile of more than 100 of them and it's a sea of sameness (which it is), an applicant can't help himself or herself with follow-up calls or emails unless they happen to know someone who knows me and can vouch for them in a meaningful way.

    Maybe it's not someone at my place ... maybe someone I know from elsewhere. Let's say someone I know comes to me and says, "Hey, you know my friend Bob Sacamano (Seinfeld reference!) ... he sent you a resume and he's pretty good." That helps. That's enough to convince me to go back and take a second look even if I've already moved you to the iffy pile.

    So I definitely read what comes to me ... the difficulty is so many people say so many of the same things in their cover letters and have so many of the same types of stories that they send. Like I said ... sea of sameness. It makes it very hard to stand out. I understand your frustration Bob, I really do. But don't assume that editors aren't reading, just because the pile of applications is big.
  11. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    And just to follow that in one more way, when I last hired and had the 120-plus applicants, there were probably 20 to 30 who would have been perfectly good matches for the job we had open. But you can't interview 20 or 30 people. You may be a good fit, but you don't get an interview only because there are 20 others exactly like you.

    I start with a few who seem like the best fit, and work through them. Some (many!) lose interest when they hear how little the job pays. I probably ended up going through maybe a third of those 20 or 30 before I got three people interested in interviewing.
  12. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    A frustrated writer/peer tries to go around the send-to-the-ether application process by tracking down high-level editors and, in effect, berating them for not keeping him updated on the application process. Needless to say, that approach hasn't done him any getting-hired favors.
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