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About this Blog

Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write, provides expert insight to the job search process that puts your career in gear with tips for interviewing, networking, job search strategies and how to create a winning résumé and cover letter.

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Resume and advice blog from Debra Wheatman

11:47AM

How Long to Wait Before a Second Follow-Up Call?

Hi Debra:

How long should I wait before making a second follow-up call?  I sent my resume to a job opportunity two weeks ago.  One week after, I called to be sure they received my resume.  The HR assistant checked and confirmed it was received.  It’s been two weeks.  Shouldn’t I have heard by now?

Thanks!

Lexi

Dear Lexi:

It is a waiting game.   Two weeks may be a little soon to receive an answer if the employer has received many applicants.  Also, in the summer and over the holidays it takes a bit longer due to vacation schedules.  Resumes may sit waiting for the initial reviewer to return from vacation.  Also, there may be more than one decision maker, so there could be a lag time if the person choosing is very busy.  I would wait two more weeks before making a second follow-up call or email. You don’t want to become a pest.  A second call within two weeks may be too aggressive and a turn-off.

Thanks for writing!  I wish you all the best in your career.

Deb

7:00AM

Networking Time Wasters

Astute professionals know that networking is essential to career success.  At any stage in your career, it is necessary to be connected so you can stay on top of the latest news, give and receive expert advice, and learn about upcoming changes.   Although networking is a worthy effort, there are networking time wasters that you’ll want to avoid. Here are the four networking time wasters to side-step.

Lack of a Plan

The lack of a plan can lead to inefficient use of your networking time in the real world and online. Try to get the greatest results relative to the time you spend by carefully selecting the conferences and networking events. Include online networking in your plan.  Identify industry forums and social media websites that are a match for you.  As part of your plan, commit to engaging in online networking on a daily or weekly basis.  With a plan, you are less likely to aimlessly peruse social media outlets and attend low-value events. 

Too Much Time on the “Wrong” People

Have you ever been to an event and you find yourself drawn in by a long-winded talker? Before you know it, attendees are leaving, and you have not met the number of people you had hoped to meet.  Your time is valuable, so be brave and politely excuse yourself and walk away.  A simple, “Excuse me, I need to catch up with someone before they leave” will suffice.

Staying in Your Comfort Zone

When confronted with a room of one hundred strangers, it is very tempting to cling to a friend by the appetizer table.  Rather than gravitate toward the people you know, venture out and meet new people.  The time wasted chatting with your friends would be better spent making new connections.  A wise move is to scope out attendees in advance, so you have a game plan of the people you want to meet when you arrive at the event.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Some people are natural joiners.  They find themselves joining a multitude of groups and not really making an impact in any of the groups.  It is alright to join many groups. However, evaluate your memberships and focus on the top two or three groups based on your career goals.  Consider taking a leadership or committee role in one or two of the groups.  It will be rewarding for you and an excellent way to build strong relationships.  Also, consider the many professional associations that you can participate in virtually.

Always approach networking with purpose.  Determine your networking goals and devise a plan of action.  Leveraging relationships to support your career is just one aspect of networking.  Networking is a way to support others, to share information, to stay informed, and to be a part of a larger community.  Avoid the above networking time wasters so that every moment engaged in networking is time well-spent.

6:00AM

Need More Vacation Time

Dear Deb:

I am planning to return to work as a marketing director after a 12-year break.   I want to communicate to the employer that I will need time off to accompany my husband when he travels to Europe and Asia for work.  Most times, we have a 2 to 3-week notice of the trips. We’re usually gone 10 days and probably only go 3 times each year.  Also, when my kids are off school, we spend some time at the beach.  So, the grind of working with only 3 weeks of vacation is not going to work for me.   How do I make this clear in my resume and cover letter?  I would rather them know upfront so we both don’t waste our time.

Regards,

Phyllis

Dear Phyllis:

It is smart to think about your priorities and create a vision for your ideal job before you start your job search.  The next step is to determine if there are jobs that meet your requirements available in the marketplace.  I would say that a position as an employee will most likely include two to four weeks of vacation per year plus holidays and a few days of paid-time-off for illness or personal days.  For non-executives and recent hires, two weeks of vacation is more common.  

Of course, everything is negotiable.  The time to lay out your terms is not in the resume or cover letter.  These are things to be discussed after a job offer has been made.  If you mention in your resume or cover letter these requirements, your interview invitation rate will likely be non-existent.  During the application and interview process, the focus should be on the value you offer and not on your needs and limitations.

My recommendation is that you consider working in a contract position so you can work for sprints of time and have plenty of breaks for travel and recreation.  Another option that may suit your lifestyle is to launch your own marketing consulting practice. 

I wish you all the best in your career!

Deb