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Thread: Should I send out resumes when no job is posted?

  1. #1

    Should I send out resumes when no job is posted?

    Since my job search is going so poorly, I was wondering how effective it is to identify a number of places you want to work at, identifying who the hiring person is, and then sending them a resume and cover letter, even though no job is being advertised. The cover letter would describe why you want to work there and what you have to offer the organization. I was under the impression that for public agencies, this tactic is pointless since they have to give everyone a fair chance. It might work better at a private firm, but I don't know. Anyways, does this tactic work?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I would call it a non-starter. If they are not advertising they do not have a position, especially in this economy. Government is not like the private sector, where a company may discover a person with a much-needed talent and the ability to gain customers, and then create a position. (Before you head in that direction, this is rare, too. It happens when that one-in-ten-thousand person comes along who is so desirable that the company must have them.)

    Resumes that are received unsolicited may get filed, but they will never be pulled out again a year or five later when the company is hiring. This is why you network, network, network. Did I mention you need to be constantly networking? Throughout your career?

    When cities and consultants do hire they first think of the people they know. Get on a state APA chapter committee, speak at conferences, go to conferences and talk to people, get involved in the profession, and get your name known. Sending an unsolicited resume to someone you do not know is an act of desperation. Calling somebody you have known, even casually, for the last several years lets them know you are available. If they have a position opening sometime soon they may think of you. If not, they may pass along word to others they know are hiring. That is how you get a job.

    OK, so you may be new to the profession and have not had the chance to network. If that is the case, look beyond the obvious job titles. Can you find work as an analyst? In community development? as a Main Street manager? There are plenty of jobs (sure, low-paying) that can lead to a very successful career in planning. The 2-3 years you do this work will give you the opportunity to NETWORK.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Sending resumes to government agencies is definitely pointless if there no job advertised. You are better off networking with those same individuals in a professional environment than cold calling or sending a resume. Cardinal gave you some great suggestions for networking...I would also suggest seeking out planners (maybe alumni from your college in an area you want to work in) and interview them. Not only is it a great way to network, but you can get feel for their jobs and let them know you are looking if they know of anything coming up (they could have a connection that could benefit you). Good luck, I know its tough out there!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I agree with Cardinal. As a hiring manager in public and private sectors over the years, you'll get round-filed. In the event you send it to HR and they have the time to route it to me, I'll send it back with a note to round file. No offense. We're just too busy doing our jobs and not getting laid off ourselves to deal with people doing such things.

    On the constructive side - Network Network Network! In the company I worked at with said Cardinal I managed to hire a VERY bright person fresh out of graduate school. He approached me, confidantly, at a conference with his resume. As business picked up he was hired without a formal interview by meeting my boss over lunch.

    Good luck.

    And keep in mind your first impression - planners are wierd ducks. We tend to flock together for a long time. If you over-assert yourself now, you may get a label that sticks with you. I know a few of those. Be reserved, yet confident, I guess is my best advice.

  5. #5
    I did this in the mid-80's, but I went on personal visits instead of the letter route.............it took about 8 months to land a job that way, and this economy is a lot different from then..............I would say if you are in the area, go visit the manager..............

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by aspiringplanner View post
    Since my job search is going so poorly, I was wondering how effective it is to identify a number of places you want to work at, identifying who the hiring person is, and then sending them a resume and cover letter, even though no job is being advertised. The cover letter would describe why you want to work there and what you have to offer the organization. I was under the impression that for public agencies, this tactic is pointless since they have to give everyone a fair chance. It might work better at a private firm, but I don't know. Anyways, does this tactic work?
    Your better off setting up informal interviews to introduce yourself and see if you can fit in an organization.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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