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Published: 7/25/2006

To Rejection and Beyond

If a prospective employer says no thanks, keep digging employment is one lead away

By Bob Lankard

CTW Features

Many job seekers find themselves running through the same old scenario when they follow their interview with a phone call.

Good morning, Mr. Murphy. This is Susanna Miller. I wanted to call and thank you for the interview and office tour regarding the counselor s position at the Career Center. I am very interested in this position and want to follow up to see if you have made a decision.

Miss Miller, we have offered the position to someone we feel has a better background for doing actual job counseling, said Mr. Murphy.

I am really sorry to hear that. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am still interested in employment at the Career Center. Do you expect other openings later on?

There are no anticipated openings, but, anything can happen, said Murphy.

How can I keep myself open for future consideration?

We keep resumes for six months. After that time they are discarded. I would suggest that you come into the office periodically and update your resume.

This is where the call generally winds down, but it s at this crucial juncture where the unemployed should keep mining for job leads.

Thank you for that information. You know my background and the needs in the industry. Could you suggest any places where I could apply?

As a matter of fact I can. Operation Independence is in need of a counselor. They run a program for disadvantaged youth ages 16 through 25. It is an employability development program. I suggest you contact Mr. Lightner about the opening. You can even tell him I suggested you call.

Susie did a number of things right in this follow up: She used the employer s names, said thank you for something specific, asked about future openings and asked for leads.

Susie also avoided a common response to learning that she was not hired when she followed up after the interview. She did not say, Well why not?

Many job seekers are frustrated by employer s unwillingness to give a thorough answer to this question.

Mostly employers do not provide this information because they do not have to. Some states, Pennsylvania included, are what are known as at will states. At will means they can hire and fire at will.

Another reason employers don t give why not answers are that they do not have time. There are just too many applicants for each position.

Also no one likes to give bad news. Finally employers feel by not going into detail they are avoiding legal issues.

WHAT TO DO IF HIRED

Frequently the job seeker is so excited about this they forget to ask important questions. Be sure to get the contact persons name and phone number so you can call for additional information. At a minimum be sure you know: when you start, where to go, whom to see and what to bring.

It may be at this time the job seeker gets involved with salary negotiations. There is only one rule for salary negotiations. Do your homework. It is the most important rule in negotiating.

Job seeker s who approach negotiating cold stand a good chance of being offered less than they could have gotten.

The best way to learn entry-level pay scales is by networking. Ask questions to people in the industry or the company.

This information can also be gained using the Internet.

Another way to gain insight into entry-level pay is by reading classifieds noting the pay scale for similar jobs.

IF THE EMPLOYER

IS STILL UNDECIDED

The job seeker at this time needs to stay in control. Ask what is the new timetable for making a decision? Once given that answer say, I will be in touch after that date if I have not heard from you.

SECOND INTERVIEW

Some companies take more than one interview to come to a hiring decision. A company may interview 20 and then call back three for a second interview. More than two interviews are not unusual for higher paying jobs. Being scheduled for a second interview is a good sign. A second interview is more detailed than the first. It will get into a more thorough investigation of your qualifications.

In a second interview the applicant is more likely to get what if questions. An example would be What would you do if a customer asked for rye bread and the last loaf had been sold earlier in the day?

Bob Lankard Bob Lankard, a business columnist for the Indiana Gazette and former program manager at the state Job Center in Indiana, Penn., offers common sense advice and innovative tactics to help all levels of job seekers satisfy their employment ambitions.

Copyright CTW Features



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