To re-send or not to send?
January 9, 2008 9:35 PM   Subscribe

I have applied to many marketing and PR jobs since last month. Now, I have a great case study writing sample. Should I submit it with my resume to companies I have already applied to but have not heard back from?
posted by parmanparman to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would both send the sample, if I were the candidate, or be happy to receive the sample, if I was the hiring manager -- under one condition: I'd want there to be a demonstrable, self-explanatory reason that the sample wasn't submitted with the original CV/package/application.

So, say it was a great feature I'd got published... but because the publish date came after the original application time, I wasn't legally able to release the article till it had hit newsstands. Or, maybe the case study contained proprietary, confidential information about Acme Company's business processes... and at the time I'd submitted the original package, Acme hadn't responded to my request to release the case study for this limited purpose.

These are shite examples, but I think you get the gist?

What I wouldn't want to see, if I were the interviewer, was anything that conveyed that you didn't really have your act together in time to get me this before, when you first applied to my company.

So if there is a reasonable explanation for why this case study is coming in after the fact, go for it. If there isn't... I'd be worried that the tardiness would send a message that would overshadow the quality of the case study itself.

If I were the prospective employer, I wouldn't be at all bothered to receive an email or letter that said, "Dear [hiring manager]: On [date], I applied for [Position X]. Due to [valid reason for delay], I now have an additional piece of work to share as evidence of my aptitude in [skill set they're seeking]. Please find enclosed [short description of case study]; I hope this will provide a more thorough picture of my abilities, and aid your consideration as to my fit for Position X." Etc. Etc. Short and sweet.
posted by pineapple at 9:56 PM on January 9, 2008

Best answer: It's probably better to just phone up the hiring manager and see what the status of your application is, and then offer to send them the case study. I would say the jobs that are worth keeping are the ones cultivated as a result of a personal relationship. And it's true: there is a 'hidden' job market that is not advertised in the paper.

The difficult part is that most of the businesses in the corporate sector that employ junior PR folks are generally quite large, so it's difficult to bypass the HR gate keepers and connect with the hiring manager. And, generally, if a position is advertised online or in the paper, it's usually not a good idea to try to bypass the HR folks. That's why it's often quicker to pick up the phone book or comb through an online directory to identify a marketing or communications manager or director at companies that aren't advertising, to see what's going on. If you want to work at the company, you could keep checking in every month or so.

Government agencies will usually have a PR team, as will hospital authorities. Companies with 100 employees will generally employ a marketing manager, with perhaps an assistant. Smaller companies, especially tech companies, may have a couple of folks, one a writer, the other an events specialist, who both take a lot of direction from the product management team.

Smaller businesses that employ a dedicated mar-comm or PR person generally want someone with experience. I don't know where you're applying, but have you tried agencies? The pay will be shit, but at least you'll get experience and make industry connections.

I base my comments on the fact that I used to be a professional speechwriter in government and have worked on contract as a translating copywriter for name-brand corporations, and I have also worked as a compensation and HR specialist for the tech industry.

I also used to be a social studies teacher, and because of my career transition (I've also been fired before, but it was a blessing) I think I'm pretty knowledgeable about job hunting.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:04 PM on January 9, 2008

Best answer: As the person reviewing many strategic communications, PR and marcomm resumes and attendant portfolios of work, I would add that you should get external corroboration that the case study is in fact, great, before you send it to anyone. Their silence might have more to do with holidays and internal processes, not rejection of you, but sending along work that undoes what might be a favorable perception of your resume would seal your fate, in a bad way.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:30 AM on January 10, 2008

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