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    The Ad Said “No Phone Calls.” What Now?

    You’ve applied online.  Their last line says, “No phone calls, please.”  Should you call?  If so, what should you say?

    The short answer is, yes, you should call.  The longer answer lies in your approach and what’s really behind the company’s instruction not to call.

    First, here’s why the company puts that line at the end of their opening.  They don’t want to have to field a thousand calls.  Posting that line greatly thins the herd, so to speak.  Most people won’t call for fear of “not following the rules and getting screened out.”

    Don’t let that line discourage you from calling.  Just don’t be an overly persistent pest.

    Here’s your game plan.  Submit that application.  Wait a few business days, then (assuming you can get their phone number) call the company and ask for their Human Resources (HR) department.  With most companies it’s the HR department that’ll be the first filter you’ll need to pass through.  That won’t be the case in tiny companies.  With those small companies you’ll be first filtered by your potential boss, but you’ll still be safe in asking for human resources.  The admin will still put you into the voicemail of the hiring official.

    Voicemail is likely, whether it’s with the HR department or a hiring official.  Actually, getting voicemail is a good thing, since you’ll have the chance to say what you’d like to say without interruption.  Take time to script out what you’ll say if that’ll help.

    After a few business days, call – and whether you get voicemail or a live person – tell them your name and that you’re calling to follow up on your application for their xyz position.

    Continue with acknowledging they probably have received many other applications… and that you wanted to ensure yours had made it to their desk, since their opening matched well with your qualifications.  Ask them to respectfully consider your supportive materials and that you hope when they review applicants that they’ll recall your call and give consideration to your application.

    Begging?  I guess that depend on your perspective.  Employers get a flood of applicants.  If you don’t have an advocate who can contact them to put in a word for you, you’re limited to the resume/application and your follow up call.

    If you don’t get a reply in a handful of days, email the company.  Use LinkedIn to try to find a contact there.  If you don’t have anyone who can promote you, just know you’re facing tough odds.  Call again, but not more than twice… and space those calls over 10 business days.  There’s a fine line between being interested and being a stalker.

    Bottom line – understand their ad instruction is to greatly limit a flood of calls.  Employers desperately want people to stand out – whether via networking contacts or through personable and professional follow up.  So make the call.  Do it professionally.  Good luck!

    Randy Wooden
    Randy Wooden is Director of the Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC. Randy launched The Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC, the first program of its type for any Goodwill®, in 2012. His experiences in career coaching, executive recruiting, business ownership, as a hiring manager and as a job seeker have afforded him the opportunity to view the hiring process from all angles. He developed and provided on-air talent for the Internet’s first daily, live television program targeted toward job hunters. He shares job search tips through a bi-weekly newspaper column; regular appearances on television, radio; and frequent public speaking appearances. Contact information: rwooden@goodwillnwnc.org, (336) 464-0516
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