Should you call — when job ad says “no calls”?

OK, I’ll circle back to the “should you ask why you didn’t get the job,” because I think most folks want to know, “should I call after I send in my application — even if it says no calls please.” darth_gimp_cordless_phone

This is frustrating. Sometimes you get an electronic response that your application has been received. But other times, nada. I’d applied for a job at an online company and signed up to get their newsletters — only to find that all of their newsletters were landing in my spam file. So — I tracked down the editor and simply asked if my materials were in the hopper with them — and not in their spam files. (They said “yes,” but I’ve heard nothing from them since.)

Here’s what CEO John Challenger at outplacement consultancy firm Challenger Gray & Christmas in Chicago says about dialing up a potential employer when the ad says “no calls”:

You should definitely respect that request.  Many companies that accept electronic resumes have an automatic response email to let you know that your resume has been received.  You can also follow up via email. That being said, responding to classified ads and online job postings, which is where you will most likely find the “no phone calls” request, should represent just a small portion of your job-search activity.  The bulk of your time should be spent expanding your network and meeting with people who can help you with your job search.  Many of the people you will meet with are not in a position to offer you a job, but what they can offer is access to more people who can help you.  Eventually, one of those people may connect you with someone who is actually hiring.  Through networking, you enter the hiring process through the side door as opposed to the front-door classified ad that attracts hundreds of other job seekers.

Coming next: If you don’t get the job, how do you ask why? Should you?

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Got a nifty job or job-search rant? Post it in comments or email me at


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