Not Even A PFO Letter

Wednesday, 17. August 2011


You’ve done your research, you’ve sent out your resumes, so why isn’t anyone calling you back or even responding to your emails? Not even so much as a PFO (Please F@#k Off) letter these days.

The economy may be in the toilet, but surprisingly there are still some jobs out there to be had. After the confidence bruising effect of zero responses how do you get back on track with your job search? Well I’m glad you asked.

Step 1: Find some constructive criticism

The reason no one is getting back to you may be a simple as the first thing they see, your cover letter and resume.

You’ve probably worked on it for days, proof read it numerous times and ran it through every spell checker imaginable. Even if you asked some friends to look it over, they may not have had the heart to let you know that your resume just plain sucked.

It’s now time to seek out professionals and people who will be fair and honest about your resume. There are even many free services that will critique your resume for you; from online professional resume writing services to local job connect and social services in your local area.

If you really want to land the interview, use everything at your disposal to make sure your resume is perfect.

Step 2: Clean-up your Internet reputation

We can’t kid ourselves that hiring managers and recruiters are not searching for us on the Internet.

The reason you are not being invited in for an interview could be something as simple as that picture of you from college that is circulating online. You know, the one where you are half naked dancing on a table while drinking beer from a boot, yeah, that one.

It might be time to delete some of those old photos from your social networking accounts like Facebook and MySpace. And for the love of God, set your privacy settings higher so only people you accept as friends can see your full profile.

Step 3: Start networking

The old adage rings true, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’ If you are a faceless applicant that has to rely solely on your cover letter and resume to get your foot in the door, well then you better make sure it is printed on gold.

Well, maybe that is not entirely true, but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt.

Like any good caper what you need is an inside man. Someone to, maybe not so much put a face to the name, but at least a person to the paper. If no one speaks on your behalf, to the hiring manager you are just a piece of paper, but if Bob from accounting can come in and put a good word or two in for you, well you may have just gotten your resume moved away from the circular filing cabinet and into the maybe pile. Congrats.

So how do you find Bob from accounting? Well good old fashion networking of course. Join some clubs, take up a co-ed leisure sport, start a pottery class. Whatever will put you in a room with a bunch of strangers where you are expected to socialize, well that’s networking baby.

You might want to stay away from those, “Hello my name is ____, and I’m a….” type groups, unless of course you really need them.

Step 4: Update your skills

Your cover letter and resume may be perfect, with what you have to work with anyway. You’re the poster child for a clean, respectable Internet reputation. You may know everyone from the president of the company to the mail clerk, but you still are not getting that interview.

As every girl that has ever broken up with me wanted to say, the problem is not me, it’s you.

The problem is you. How is that for confidence building?

What you need to do is update your skill set. Learn some new skills. Hone the ones you have. Show to the hiring manager and recruiter that you are one that is always learning. Always up for the challenge and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

How do you update your skill set?

There are many workshops and classes, both online and brick and mortar, available to take. There are also many opportunities to volunteer your services; NGO’s and nonprofits need help all the time. It’s not only a good way to give back to the community and gain some new skills, but you will also be networking at the same time.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet Bob from accounting.

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