Monday, February 8, 2010

So how do I reach you?

It happened again today.  We are hiring, three nice positions are open right now.  We sent out notifications to applicants who indicated a preference to receive updates announcing openings.  And what do we get?  Email bounces.  Lots and lots of email bounces.  I don't want to see these notices that don't get to you.  And we don't have the people resources to contact each one of you and ask you to update your contact info.   So I have a few ideas that should help.  At least this one dilemma.  

Some really basic ideas of staying organized during a job search.  
1.  Make it easy for us to reach you.  Get an email address that you are going to use specifically for job searching.  I hate to have to even say this -but don't use one with your birthday or birth year or heavymetal love or fuzzy navel, etc. Use your name or some variation of it. Something easy. I strongly encourage and prefer a Gmail account for job seekers. As an HR person, I see the fewest problems with Gmail;  I have the most problems with Yahoo and Hotmail accounts.   
2.  Check that email account.  I have to say this because I have received nasti-grams when people don't check email and missed our announcements.  And somehow, that's my fault.  
3.  For your job search, please don't use an email account that uses a spam filter.  When we send out our notifications, we will receive a percentage back from ISPs like Earthlink that use a spam guard of sorts.  I have to enter a password for my email to get to you.  Guess what? With 50 or 100 of those, I am not going to take the time to do it.  I don't have the time to do it.  No one has time to do it.  And you are going to miss the announcement.  
4.  If you are fortunate and have found a job, don't send our office a note back telling us to remove you from our listserv.  Surely, SURELY, you know someone who is looking for a job and could use our notice.  Take the 10 or 15 seconds that it may take you and forward it on, for heaven's sake.
5.  Get a phone number that is dedicated to your job search.  How?  Sign up for Google Voice.  When available, you can get a custom phone number and voice-mail that you can forward to any phone number.  It will act as your voice-mail, translate voice-mail that you receive and will email you the message.  The transcription needs some help but it's pretty darn cool.   So should you receive a call on that phone number, you know it's about a job.
Remember, make it easy to reach you.   


Ben Eubanks said...

Great comments, Deirdre. Definitely some great tips.

Jennifer McClure said...

Point #4 is so important. I too get frustrated by people who wanted to hear about every opening - until they get a job for themselves. It's so important to continue networking to manage your career and helping others is one of the best ways to do that.

Deirdre said...

Ben, thanks for visiting!
Jennifer, thanks for the comment! I am always so surprised when people opt out. Seems sort of counter intuitive.

Lisa Rosendahl said...

Not only are these wonderful tips, as usual, I now know a good use for that Google Voice number I have too! Enjoy your weekend.

Etienne said...

I agree with everyone, great tips, and so true!

Some spontaneous ideas of my own:
When offering to email candidates with job openings, you could add the following information:
* add your email address to their contacts. This should avoid problems with spam filters
* if they use a dedicated job search email address, they should forward messages to their main email account

This is getting more complicated, but you could also send job opportunities as a newsletter. This way candidates can unsubscribe automatically. And if you use a known service like aweber, the spam problem can also be avoided (although it costs).

And one last idea, then I'll shut up for now: you could publish job openings on a blog (can be discreetly integrated on the "jobs" page of your company website) with the option of RSS feed, posts per email and automatic Twitter updates. Now wouldn't that be awesomely geeky? ;-)

Deirdre said...

Lisa, you could dedicate your Google voice to "special projects." :)

Etienne, good ideas. We currently use Majordomo for our listserv so people can subscribe/unsubscribe individually. But many people don't want to take the steps themselves and email us to do it for them. Still counter-intuitive when so many people are looking for jobs but oh well. Thanks for stopping by!