The “Write” Response to Resumes

In our fast-paced world, it’s only natural to look for shortcuts. However, in your zeal to save time, one task you shouldn’t omit is responding to resumes. Replying to prospective candidates isn’t an obligation; it’s an opportunity to build relationships. A well-written letter used in conjunction with an “autoresponder” can make this previously time-consuming task convenient, while providing you with a chance to make a favorable impression about your organization. An “autoresponder,” which also goes by the aliases “mailbot,” “infobot,” and “email-on-demand,” is a computer program designed to send automatic replies to emails. Autoresponders vary in cost and capability. They range from free or almost free basic shareware programs to more complex services that, depending on your needs, may be worth the investment. To find out more about autoresponders, visit CNET, where you can also select and download from a list of software. Since system compatibility varies, be sure to select a product designed to work with your operating system. Another selection of autoresponders can be found at The Biz Bot Weekly. Although these are billed as “free,” some come with added baggage, such as advertisements. However, Biz Bot offers a product-by-product explanation regarding their various offerings. Unlike at CNET, you can’t download directly from Biz Bot’s site. Instead, they provide links to individual product sites where you can then either download the software and/or obtain more information. Web & Internet Marketing also features autoresponders. Like Biz Bot, they offer links to the products they list. Once you choose a vehicle for delivering your message, you need to decide on the message itself. The purpose of your correspondence should basically be twofold: to acknowledge receipt of the candidate’s resume, and to advise him or her about what will happen next. Give some thought to the second part of this seemingly simple proposition. Will he or she really be hearing from you within 30 days? If not, don’t be misleading. If you will only contact those candidates whose skills match your immediate needs, say so. People appreciate knowing where they stand. Try to be as specific as possible regarding your follow-up policy, while remaining general enough so that your letter works for all or most candidates. While delivering your message in a clear, concise manner is the primary objective of your correspondence, a properly worded letter can also serve another purpose. Your letter is an opportunity to introduce your organization. This doesn’t mean providing details about your operation. It’s more subtle than that. Think about the content of your letter, and the overall impression it makes. Is it courteous, friendly, and professional? Is it in keeping with your corporate culture? Keep in mind that, in most cases, a letter responding to a resume is the first personal communication a prospective candidate will receive from your organization. Also remember that the person to whom you’re replying isn’t simply a name on a piece of paper. This is someone you may wish to employ at some future date. By carefully crafting a letter that provides prospective candidates with appropriate feedback, and by using it with autoresponders to accelerate the reply process, you’ll effectively manage resumes and help market your organization.

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Paula Santonocito is an e-recruitment strategist and columnist for AIRS, the global leader in Internet recruitment training, tools, news and information. AIRS News:www.airsdirectory.com/news/newsletters/ AIRS Training:www.airsdirectory.com/products/training/ AIRS SearchStation:www.airsdirectory.com/products/tools/searchstation/

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