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Jewish World Review Feb. 22, 2001 / 29 Shevat, 5761

Getting Hired By Marvin Walberg

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Consumer Reports

Worried about job discrimination -- DEAR MR. WALBERG: I have probably sent more than 25 resumes to various organizations in the past three weeks and not a single employer has contacted me for an interview. My resume and cover letter are prepared by career professionals, and I have a master of science degree and five years' experience in human resources. My work experience is in a Third World country rather than in the United States or other industrialized country. Am I not getting interviews because of my Third World work background? I would appreciate your thoughts. -N.L.

DEAR N.L.: To deny that part of your problem might be discrimination would be like denying that day follows night. Discrimination exists in our workplace primarily because of ignorance, and you cannot eliminate all ignorance with legislation or laws.

We can, however, overcome a lot of discrimination and ignorance in our hiring practices by doing our job searching as effectively as possible. Therefore, I would ask you the following questions:

- Did you contact only those employers who were advertising open positions? If so, you were inviting competition.

- Did you send your resumes and cover letters to specific company officers or managers who may be able to influence hiring decisions, or did you address your correspondence to human resources? Do you research and make contact with specific hiring authorities when possible.

- Was a resume and cover letter prepared specifically for each company contacted, or did you use a generic resume and form letter for a cover letter? Tailor your resume for specific jobs, and never use a prewritten form letter for a cover letter. Make each cover letter personal for each employer.

- Did you follow up each resume and/or cover letter mailed, or just wait for a reply? If you don't intend to follow up each mailing, save your postage.

Follow up and follow through; do what others fail to do. Do you think 25 employer contacts in three weeks is adequate? Your job search is your job right now. Put in the hours and the effort, do your research, make the right contacts, follow through, be assertive, believe in yourself and do your best to educate the ignorant.

Marvin Walberg is a job search consultant and the author of ''About Getting Hired: the Job Search.'' Comment by clicking here.


02/15/01: Good vibes with employer, less with recruiter
02/08/01: Ten tips that deal with job loss
02/02/01: Include cover letter even if ad says 'resume only'
01/26/01: 'Greatest accomplishment' answer can be relevant; recover from stupid interviewers

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