An Essential Guide to Resume Feedback
I have gone over ways to format your resume, interview effectively, and send a thank you letter, but what if you never hear back when you send your resume? Then what? Most people typically move on and send their resumes to more companies and positions and hope that the old adage of quantity or quality pays off. However, if you are smart about your job search and interested in improving yourself then it would be to your advantage to get feedback from initially submitting your resume.
“Stephen,” you ask, “how would I do that? I don’t even know who the manager is!” Well here I am to offer you some help!
First of all, make sure you are sending a cover letter with your resume that accurately reflects why you are a good fit for that particular role. What experiences and accomplishments do you have that qualify your for this position? Make sure to highlight these on your cover letter and attach your resume that you formatted specifically for this job. Remember, in your cover letter it is always best if you set a time to follow up rather than being passive in your resume submission. When that time comes to follow up with your resume submittal there are a couple ways you can do this.
If you submitted your resume to someone specifically then email that person with a follow up. Ask them if they received your resume, if they have a timeline for setting up interviews, and again highlight your experience relevant to the job. I highly suggest attaching your resume to this email again to aid in the convenience to the person you are sending to.
If you submitted it to an automated system then I suggest looking up information on that company website; often times, there is a Human Resources or specific email that you can use. On certain occasions, you can look up employees of that company in a directory and receive their contact information that way. If it is a smaller company and the manager is specifically hiring then find the manager of the group you applied to. Remember, writing an email to someone specifically rather than sending to a general mailbox is going to be your best option. If you can’t find contact information here are a few options to follow:
Call the company and ask the receptionist for that person directly or for their email. Tell them you just need to follow up with them on a business matter and you should be able to get their information pretty easily. If that doesn’t work…
Utilize linkedin.com. You can go to their site look up people by name or company and function. At this point they may have their email listed on their profile and you can use that information. If not, you can then call up the company and ask for their email directly since you now know their name. It’s amazing the amount of information the web can provide.
I have included a sample of a follow up letter below for you. You are going to be told a variety of answers but the most popular will be:
- You are still under consideration and they are reviewing resumes still. (positive)
- You will not hear a response at all. (neutral)
- You are no longer under consideration (usually no specifics).
The last one is a good opportunity for you to follow up and ask where you fell short. This will give you the chance to sell your self on your perceived weaknesses. Also, it will give you a good idea of what they are looking for in the position and where you can strive to improve professionally. Remember, you never want to burn bridges so keep this professional and consultative.
Now that you have the right contact information and know what to say, here is a follow up letter example:
Hello, I recently applied to a (insert position here) position your company has available and wanted to take some time to follow up with you on the submission of my resume. I truly feel I would be an excellent fit for this position based on the following skills I possess:
- List 4 or 5 bullet points related to your experience and the job
- List some accomplishments specifically
- Try not to get too detailed as this should be brief
I believe if you afforded me the opportunity to meet with you in person that you would be impressed with the presentation of my experience, skills, and abilities. This is an opportunity that I am very interested in and believe that I would excel at (insert company name) if given the opportunity.
I have attached my resume to this email for your convenience. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss any further details you may need.
Thank you in advance.