Q. I’ve often applied online for PR jobs at large firms, such as Ketchum. After sending in my cover letter and resume, I’m often at a loss for what to do next. The firm’s site makes it difficult to contact an HR person (or anyone else) for a follow-up. I’ve gone through my contacts list and cannot find any contacts already working at the firm. What advice would you give for following up with these large firms after I’ve sent in a resume and letter from the online submission?
A. Unfortunately, most agency HR functions are understaffed and no longer able to properly handle the large number of resumes jamming their email boxes. I asked our HR director, Mary Lou Finn, to weigh in on this question. “If the candidate is confident s/he’s fully qualified for the position, they can call the main number for the office and ask for an email address for someone in HR,” she suggests. “If they have a recruiter, I would start there.” Mary Lou also recommends placing a call directly to an individual in HR. Like with an email follow-up, keep your message concise, and don’t simply ask: “Did you get my resume?” As an earlier post suggests, don’t become a pest with frequent emails or voice mails–unless you’re encouraged to call back.