Friday, October 1, 2010

The other side of the mail chute: The "no phone calls" saga continues

This anonymous comment wandered in from someone who is obviously a frustrated manager:

I get the job of going through all the resume tapes sent to the station before giving my top choices to the news director. One thing I can't figure out---why is it only the undesirable candidates that continually call and email asking if I've received their reel? If we want to talk to you, we'll make it happen! It's ridiculously annoying.

Well, that certainly brought back memories, as this comment is spot-on. Despite the "no phone calls" notation in most job postings, some people think that being aggressive in job hunting will improve their chances.

I remember one person in particular who wouldn't leave me alone. We had posted a reporter opening, and, as is always the case, a few nanoseconds after the post hit my phone rang. (And I'm not making any of this up.)

Job applicant: "Hi, my name is xxxxxx and I'm calling about the reporter opening--"

Me: "The ad says no phone calls."

Job applicant: "But you won't need to look at any other tapes. You can hire me right now. I'm the most dynamic person you'll meet!"

Me: "I'll look at your tape when it arrives and if we're interested we'll contact you."

Then the emails and follow-up calls started. Every single day. "Have you received my tape yet? Have you looked at it? Do you have any feedback?"

Needless to say, the tape was from someone who "wanted to be on TV" as it was a montage of weird stuff shot on a home video camera. I'd seen better wannabe tapes from fashion models.

This person kept calling, I kept saying I was hiring someone else. And yet the applicant wouldn't go away, like a stray cat you fed once who now shows up at the door on a regular basis. It got to the point where the person was demanding feedback. And that's where this person and many job applicants miss the point:

As a News Director, you watch 15-20 seconds of a resume tape. Unless you watch a lot more, you can't give feedback.

But back to the original comment. People like this can be truly annoying. Instead of sending a tape and letting the work do the talking, people who incessantly call and are demanding are shooting themselves in the foot.

Being overly aggressive is a good trait for a reporter, but not when it comes to the job hunting process. If you want to "keep in touch" with a News Director, it's perfectly acceptable to send a tape every two months or so. But to hound someone on a regular basis makes no sense, and puts you at a disadvantage before your tape even arrives.


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