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How to Use Direct-Mail Job Campaign to Land a Job of Your Choice

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This article introduces the Direct-Mail Job Campaign that could effectively increase your chances of landing the job of your choice.

Direct-Mail Job Campaign

This job campaign is identical to the unsolicited sales campaign, with one important exception: the initial written packet is usually mass produced and is always mailed out in quantity to organizations whose names and addresses are collected from various sources and compiled into a mailing list. Often each packet consists of a high quality reproduction of a carefully prepared model resume and an unsolicited application letter. This mass-production, mass-mailing approach to job-seeking allows you to maximize your unsolicited contacts with prospects while using minimal time, energy, and money. With a mass-produced packet, it is particularly important to make certain that the copies used are attractive and that the contents of your resume and letter are interesting and offer immediate appeal to all readers receiving them.

The fully reproduced packet is one important approach to the direct-mail job campaign. Other approaches include (1) fully reproduced resumes and individually typed letters, (2) partially reproduced resumes, allowing for individually typed resume titles and/or job objectives, and individually typed letters, and (3) partially reproduced resumes, allowing for individually typed resume titles and/or job objectives, and partially reproduced letters, allowing for individually typed letter insertions, such as inside addresses, salutations, company names, and specific job titles.

The rule to follow in successful job-getting is to achieve high visibility in the marketplace through a large number of contacts with prospective employers. The company-announced and direct mail campaigns make excellent companions and, used together, enhance job-getting possibilities.

You should, however, recognize the basic differences in the two types of campaigns. In waging a company-announced campaign, you are applying for publicly announced openings-most often of a current nature-along with many other applicants. Unless your credentials and resume are superior, you could easily be lost in the shuffle of hundreds of other applications.

In a direct mailing, you are not responding to public announcements of current openings and must realize that most people receiving your material may not have positions immediately available. Yet there are offsetting advantages that can be claimed by using this approach. Many people receiving your applications will not be bogged down at that moment, frantically reviewing the hundreds of resumes that often result from a position announcement. Your chances of gaining the individual attention of employers are greater. In addition, you may gain the benefit of possibly ''being in the right place at the right time.*' For example, a job may have just been created but as yet is unannounced to the public. Or a new job need may have just been identified by the employer to whom you are writing. In these cases, your direct mail packet may arrive at just the right moment to land you a job. In addition, your direct mailing may be of sufficient interest to an employer to spark the development of a new position for you. These advantages cannot be claimed by using the company-announced job campaign. One job applicant who waged a direct mail campaign mailed out 100 packets to different firms over a period of four weeks. From this mailing, which used a fully reproduced packet, he received 95 responses of which 85 were courteous refusals and 6 were positive invitations for interviews. Out of 6 invitations, the applicant took 4 interviews and was offered 3 jobs. This is a good direct mail case.

In another case, an applicant sent out 150 resumes and letters. He received 108 refusals and 2 invitations for interviews. He took both interviews but received no job offers. This direct mail story is definitely not as exciting or productive.

But as mentioned before, the success of a direct mail campaign depends upon a number of factors, some of which are difficult to determine.

Numerous references are available to you for compiling your own mailing lists for the direct-mail job campaign. Many of these are available to you free at the reference or business sections of public and university libraries, at company libraries, and at university career and placement offices.

Here are a few key sources to consider:
  1. Dun and Bradstreet Million Dollar Directory. Lists corporate names, addresses, telephone numbers, officers, principal products or services, sales ranges, and number of employees, as well as providing an alphabetical listing of top management.
  2. Dun and Bradstreet Middle Market Directory. Coverage is similar to the Million Dollar Directory but limited to U.S. companies whose net worth is between $500,000 and $999,999. Approximately 33,000 companies are included.
  3. Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors, and Executives. Provides alphabetical listing of several corporations in the U.S and Canada Gives addresses, telephone numbers, officers, products or services, sales figures, and number of employees. Lists thousands of executives with some biographical information.
  4. Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers. Lists manufacturers under headings of thousands of products. Some volumes are arranged by products and services, with volumes arranged as an alphabetical list of companies with addresses and telephone numbers.
  5. Black Enterprise (magazine). See "The Top 100," which is published annually in the June issue. Businesses and service organizations owned or managed by blacks and grossing more than $1 million annually in sales are listed. This special issue covers top banks, savings and loan associations, life insurance companies, and advertising agencies.
  6. Fortune (magazine). See ''Directory of Largest Corporations," which lists the largest companies in banking, life insurance, diversified financial services, retailing, transportation, and utilities; largest industrial corporations outside the US; the largest industrial companies in the world, the largest commercial banking companies outside the U.S., and an index of several industrials and the banks.
  7. Forbes (magazine). See ''Annual Directory Issue" that ranks the 500 largest corporations annually.
  8. College Placement Annual. Contains a list of firms in the US and Canada seeking college graduates. Also lists firms according to geographic regions and occupational specializations. Gives brief information about companies and job openings.
  9. Membership Directories of Professional and Trade Organizations.
  10. Telephone Directories and Yellow Pages.

Whenever possible, type the name, position, and department or division of the appropriate executive as part of the mailing address on the envelope. If the name cannot be located, be certain to give at least the executive's title and department. This should assure that the packet will be properly directed upon arrival at the company.

If you are multitalented, possess very broad qualifications, and are qualified for several types of work with a firm, do not send a broad and general resume. You will have a greater chance of selling yourself to a firm by preparing two or three different resumes, each one stressing different qualifications and aiming for a different line of work. Reproduce each resume and send each group to a different list of firms. Remember, you are more impressive to a firm if you have predefined and carefully chosen job goals that are well supported.
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