How do I follow up with companies that accept resumes electronically?
February 26, 2013 1:33 PM   Subscribe

I've been submitting applications for jobs in the retail sector, and most of the those applications are accepted electronically. If I follow up a resume submission, how should I make the approach?

There is a particular retailer in the area that I'd love to work with in the near future. They also seem to post new openings on their website with some regularity. Unfortunately, I can't seem to convince them that I'm the right person for the job.

I thought I might help myself by making an in-person visit after a resume submission, something I've neglected to do in the past. The reason I've put it off until now is I'm not quite sure how(or if) I should do it. I've been brushed off in the past at other companies with a "Please apply using or website. Thank you," and that kind of shuts down a pro–Gin and Comics type conversation. Further, the company has an assessment/personality quiz as part of the hiring process ("How would you evaluate your sense of humour?" and similar) which I can't be sure I passed, and the thought of my resumes going straight into the circular file without even being told is a tad disheartening.

In brief:

Should I approach a hiring manager? And if I do, what should I say to promote myself?
posted by Gin and Comics to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well G&C, if you want to work at a particular retail place, spiff yourself up and go in and talk to the manager on duty. Bring your resume, and a list of the postings you've applied for.

"Hi! I'm Gin, I stopped in today because I really want to work here, and I've been applying like crazy. I know that sometimes it takes awhile for things to grind through the system, so I thought I'd leave my resume with you. If you have a minute, I'd love to pick your brain, I'll take you for a smoothie at the food court and perhaps I could talk to you about the process?"

Of course I have brass balls.

At this point, what have you got to lose?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:39 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

When my son was job hunting last year and decided he wanted to work for a particular retailer, he was told by a regional manager that calling or visiting managers would up his chances significantly. (He was open to working at more than one location.) All of the interviews he got (and his eventual job) were based on those calls, which he made a week after applying online. Quite often the manager would pull his resume and set up an interview on the spot. He just said "Hi, I'm soandso and I applied electronically last week. I am really interested in working at your location! Would it be possible for me to set up an interview?" He tried doing some spontaneous visits, but inevitably the hiring manager wouldn't be there, so calling worked better.
posted by Wordwoman at 2:35 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

Do you know who the hiring manager is? Is that person in a retail store environment that is open to the public? Then by all means, yes! I love the brass bunny's take. Cheerful, low-pressure. It can rarely hurt to clearly and explicitly state your desire to work someplace. Good luck!
posted by waterisfinite at 7:35 AM on February 27, 2013

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