Ask A Progeek: Networking When You Can’t

Ah, job ads.  How many times they have instructions that have our heads spinning.  Let’s take a look at our latest Ask A Progeek:

If a job posting says that “only qualified applicants will be contacted” and “no phone calls please,” it seems like they don’t want you to contact them after applying.  In that case, how do you follow up? (or should you?)

This is a case of a fundamental job search issue – two different principles colliding.  In this case the rules of “networking” and “followup” with the other rule of “don’t annoy the people who may want to hire you.”  Your job search plans grind to a halt when something like this happens, because where do you go?

Actually you don’t let the problems butt into each other head on – you go around the situation.  Just like any obstacle you find away to go around it.  You circle around the obstacle.

In this case?  The obstacle is the HR department policy.

Now this policy may make sense.  As much as it heads off your plans, they may be too busy, too concerned, too careful, or too antisocial to want you contacting them.  Ask yourself if you were recruiting or hiring, wouldn’t there be situations where you wouldn’t want anyone contacting you?  The answer, by the way, is yes.

So you can’t charge on ahead and bug HR.  So you turn around and find another way to follow up.

The big way is networking.

See you can probably find people at the company you want to work for, or find people who know people there.  These people, if you know them or can get to know them, can follow up with you personally.  It’s not going and bugging the HR department (who are probably overwhelmed), its just good networking

Now this is going to take persistence and can have you running round and round to find the right people.  But if it’s a job you really want, then it’s worth the effort to go around the barriers . . . that they kind of put in the way anyway.

A final tip – no matter how friendly they are on followup, give potential employers MANY ways to reach you – phone, email, web page, etc.  Make it easy for them to get back to you.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at

Ask A Progeek – Linked In and Broadcasting Out

This “Ask A Progeek” question is about something obvious.  Of course it’s not something that’s obvious, but something that’s about the obvious.

So what’s our question?

If you’re looking for a job, is it a faux pas to say so on Linked-In?  If not, what’s the best way to do so?

So let’s look at the obviousness of this question:

If you need to hide the fact you’re looking for work, it’s obvious that you hide it (or at least dissociate the public search from your public identity).  That’s a given.

If you are looking for work and don’t need to hide it, it’s obvious that you have to make it as public as possible.  The more people know you’re looking the more they can help.  The more people that know you’re available, the more people can employ you.

If you’re on LinkedIn it’s obvious your career and employment are important to you.  So it’s kind of assumed by most people there that at any point someone may be looking.  It won’t appear tasteless or to anyone on there.

With the internet available to you, from Twitter to web pages to LinkedIn, it’s also obvious there’s a lot of ways to broadcast your job search.  So go use them.

There’s no reason not to use LinkedIn (or anything else) that you’re looking for work – as long as you don’t mind making it public.

For you, my pro geeks, here’s a few ways to broadcast yourself, obvious or not:

  • Put it on LinkedIn
  • Announce it on Twitter – with regular (but not overdone) updates.
  • Announce it on Facebook – and chronicle your job search (again without overdoing it)
  • Start a tumblr to track your job search and make it interactive.
  • Chart your results and experiences on your blog.
  • Put it on your web page.
  • Form an online group or join one for a job search (pro tip: make sure any job search group contains people who have work and are helping).
  • Use your related skills to chart your job search and announce it – art, web design, writing, etc.

Go on, make your search obvious – if it’s obviously safe.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at

Ask A Progeek – Desperation Gyrations

We’re always churning resumes and burning time as we try to find jobs.  Well a question that came up from the depths of geekdom relates to that, as someone asks:

How many times can you apply to the same company without looking desperate?

I hear this one every now and then, and it makes sense.  Who wants to look desperate in front of a hopeful future employer?  It simply looks bad, or can hit that there’s something wrong with you.  If you look like you’ve got something wrong with you, you might not get hired . . .

However it’s not quite what it seems . . .

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