Monday, March 27, 2006

Hard Copy Resumes Need Not Apply

I heard a presenter (didn’t catch the name) on KAGM 106.3 FM talk radio in Albuquerque telling people to fax, email, mail and strategically drop off their resumes everywhere. The radio presenter actually said, “The squeaky wheel eventually gets the grease.” Although this analogy is generally correct, I am in direct contradiction of this statement when it comes to applying for a career job. Traditional Hiring Practices have drastically changed. Companies no longer fax over a job posting and pin it to a board for all employees to see.

Today’s Mom and Pop shops or otherwise called, small employers without online database technology for e-Recruit may still accept hard copy (paper) resumes. However, companies with more than 100 employees will most likely have an online application system. Smaller companies really should consider an investment in some e-Recruit software.

Highly technical companies with open positions do not want hard copy resumes, including ones sent via email. Show me how you use technology by placing your resume in my database. Who and what company in the world has time to put your resume in the system for you? Pay somebody if you can’t do it yourself. My perception of an applicant unable (unless by ability issues) to place their resume into our system and fill out our online application is, “Why would I hire you?” How bad do you want the job? Spend the time online.

Another argument in the hiring world is, “Some people don’t have access to a computer.” I read an article in the April 2006, Harvard Business Review on Page 18 concerning internet users. One-sixth of the world’s population or 1 billion people were logged online and internet users, as of 2005. Can you fathom that number? These are the employees companies are fighting for. There is no excuse to not have computer skills in today’s U.S. emerging workforce. Free computer use in libraries and Department of Labor offices. Free e-Mail accounts on Google Mail.

A 2005 Emerging Workforce Study conducted by Harris Interactive (the old Harris Poll) asked 502 senior human resources executives across the U.S. the following: By which methods do you feel you find your best candidates? Their responses: Referrals 58%; Internet/job boards 34%; Classified advertising 33%; Internal recruiters 29%; Professional associations 14%; Staffing/recruiting agency 14%; Temp-to-hire engagement 9%. [Multiple selections were possible].

Almost 60% of the surveyed managers hire by referrals! So if you can’t send hard copies, how do you get referred? Be creative! I suggest you network with professionals in your field. Most companies have a general phone line. Call the general number and ask for the field you are looking to get hired into, try to get a name. Use the website to find an email address of someone in the field. Ask for an informal meeting – meet for coffee, it works. Meet with a professional in the field, but, don’t bring a resume, it isn’t going to be pushed down their throats. Try to build a relationship first. If you impress the individual and keep in touch, your network may pan out with a job. Be creative…

No comments: