A reader writes:
Thanks in advance for your help. I have been applying online for jobs with no success. I never hear back although I am sure to be qualified for the positions I am applying for.
My question is: Is it poor etiquette to call the local company and speak to a manager regarding the position or should I wait for a recruiter to call me? I don't want to jeopardize my chances of an interview by being presumptuous.
It's fine to call -- once. What you don't want to do is harass them, but one phone call a few days or a week after you submit your application is fine. It might sound something like this: "I submitted my application for your __ position last week, and I just wanted to make sure my materials were received. I also want to reiterate my interest in the position; I think it might be a great match, and I'd love to talk with you about it when you're ready to begin scheduling interviews."
Something like that -- short and sweet -- is fine. What's not fine is something that some job-hunting guides advise: saying that you're calling "to schedule an interview." You don't get to decide to schedule the interview; they do, and it's presumptuous, not "good salesmanship" or whatever those books claim, to pretend otherwise. Someone out there is also advising people to say things like that in their cover letter, which is leading to lots of closing lines like, "I will call you in a week to schedule a time to talk." Ick.