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October 26, 2014

JobsByFax...Does it Really Work the Way they Say it Does?

We have had a few readers ask about a relatively new company in the job-hunting field called JobsByFax.com, so we decided to check it out.

First, lets start with the facts. JobsByFax is what we would classify as a "resume distribution" company. For a fee, they will allow job hunters to fax their resume to companies within a database that they maintain. JobsByFax is a small company based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is owned and operated by Matthew Saunders. When we visited JobsByFax, we found that much of the company's story was written for all to see on the home page. We are always a little skeptical when we read about a company "from the horse's mouth", but there does not seem to be any blatantly false or misleading information that we can find. The company started as a fax advertising firm more than 10 years ago and due to changes in fax law was forced to discontinue their operations. Our research has found that the TCPA did implement new regulations around the time they claim, so this would further support this story.

Now lets get down to the knitty-gritty. Does it work? The short answer is yes, but you have to use it to your advantage. As we mention above, JobsByFax comes from an advertising background. That being so, they use an "advertising like" approach to job hunting. The idea is pretty simple when you get down to it. If you send your resume and cover letter to enough places, you are bound to get some calls. Just like advertising though, the more you send, the more response you are going to get.

So how many should you send? That is a very good question. We called their customer service number to ask them and the response we got was pretty much what we would expect. Like advertising, you should see a 1 to 5% response rate. So, if you sent to 1,000 companies, you should receive a little more than 10. This is assuming of course that your marketing piece, aka resume and cover letter, is up to par. Does it clearly state your objective in the first line of your cover letter? Is it short and to the point? Is it mistake free? If not, you better take a look at our resume tips before you even bother sending to a large number of employers. Or better yet, you can take a look at theirs at http://www.jobsbyfax.com/resumesandmore.asp. They even have some samples that have been successfully used with their service. From what we saw, they seemed to be fairly well written for the purpose.

Something else you may want to consider is the availability of the job market. For instance, if you are looking for an admin job and you send to 1,000 companies, you will most likely receive far more calls than someone looking to be a CEO. Think about it, every one of those 1,000 companies has some kind of administrative personnel. Most of them will have multiple jobs that you qualify for. Add to that the fact that lower level positions have a higher turnover rate. This means that at any given time, many of the 1,000 companies are going to have not only jobs that you qualify for, but available jobs that you qualify for. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the CEO. For any given company, there is only one. CEOs typically stick around for a while, so openings rarely come up. Even then, companies usually hire from within for this job, so it will be slim pickens. Out of 1,000, there may be zero openings for you. If you broaden that to 10,000 and your odds are much better. The more you send, the better your chances with this service. Of course the more you send, the higher the cost as well, so it is a delicate balance that you must weigh for yourself. JobsByFax has an option to send to up to 200 companies for only $30.00. While it is possible to find a job by sending to 200 companies, just remember that 1% of 200 is 2. The odds of both calls being good leads are slim, so you are probably going to send to more companies to give JobsByFax a fair chance. There is probably a reason why they do not offer any guarantees for orders under 1,000 companies.

The benefit of a service like JobsByFax is that you are not waiting for an employer to find you on a job board and you can not delete a fax as easily as an email. Once the fax arrives at a company, they will have to read it to decide what to do with it. At that point, your foot is in the door. If they need you, they will call.

We are also impressed that JobsByFax is willing to back up their service with a refax guarantee. If you use the service and you send to over 1,000 companies, you can resend again every 30 days to a new group until you find a job. Obviously, JobsByFax knows that by putting your information in front of more than 1,000 companies, you are probably not going to need to send again. And if you do, you can double the number of companies that see your resume after a month at no charge.

To sum up, yes, JobsByFax is a real service that will really help you distribute your resume to many employers very quickly. Will it work for you? There is no reason why it shouldn't as long as you send to a large enough group and you have a well-written resume and cover letter. If you are having a hard time with traditional job-hunting methods, this might just be a way to change it up and get some activity.



December 3, 2010

Unprofessionalism in Job Hunting

If you are having trouble getting first or second interviews, maybe it's time for a little self-reflection to see if your first impression is turning off potential employers. You may be unaware that there are things you are doing that scream, "I'm unprofessional, don't hire me." Check the following list to see if any of these apply to you.

  1. Spelling errors and incorrect grammar on your resume and/or cover letter
  2. Leaving your cell phone on during an interview. Even a vibrating phone can be a distraction so it's always best to leave it in your car.
  3. Silly e-mail addresses
  4. Unprofessional voicemail greetings
  5. Not sending a thank you note after an interview
  6. Walking into the interview with a Starbucks cup in hand
  7. Bringing up salary before it's appropriate
  8. Asking obvious questions about the company that should be known before coming to the interview. Do your research so you don't have to ask stupid questions (and yes, there are stupid questions when interviewing).
  9. With today's social networking so easily accessible, assume you will be googled by potential employers. Make certain that whatever can be viewed online, reflects a professional, positive image of you.
  10. However, remember professionalism works both ways. The hiring manager, and others you meet while interviewing, should extend to you the same professional courtesy. Keeping you waiting for an unreasonable amount of time, cursing, taking every call that comes in during your interview are disrespectful to you, as well. How you are treated during the interview process will likely be a reflection of how the company treats their employees on a daily basis.



    October 18, 2010

    Using References

    Reference requests typically come towards the end of the interview process. If a hiring manager is asking for references, you can feel confident that you are a strong candidate in the running. So how do you ensure that the references you are using are going to get you to the final step in the hiring process?

    A list of references should be prepared prior to your first interview, however it should not be sent with your initial resume and should not be given to the hiring manager until they request the list. When preparing your list of references, you will want to use at least one or two individuals that are in the same field where you are seeking employment. Your most important references will be those that you previously reported to, and co-workers who can attest to your day-to-day work style.

    Always call these individuals first and ask them if it is OK if you use them as a reference. Type the references on a separate sheet of paper and be certain the information you list for each individual is current and accurate; reconfirm their title, company name, and phone number.

    You may also want to consider using former customers. They can give a different perspective as to what kind of employee you will be from the customer's eyes. This is particularly important if you are seeking a sales position.

    Be certain you have references that will present you in the best possible light, and if there is any doubt, do not use them. Don't list relatives and avoid personal friends who have no ties to your industry. Reference letters are typically a waste of time, so best not to ask your reference to go to the trouble. And once you've been offered the position, be sure to call them back and thank them for their support.



    September 30, 2010

    Holiday Jobs

    Need a little extra income to get you by until that perfect job comes along? October is the ideal month to seek temporary part-time holiday employment. Retail stores are now advertising temporary jobs to cover Black Friday and Christmas shopping. If you've been unemployed for awhile and need a little extra cash, a few months of weekend work at the mall may be just what you need to get you over a few financial hurdles.

    Be prepared for low pay and night and weekend shifts. Retail typically pays less than $10 per hour, so go into the interview knowing this will not be permanent employment, but just a little extra to get you by.

    Because it is only temporary, make it fun and apply at stores that sell items that interest you. Can you spend hours roaming the aisles of Home Depot? Apply at your local hardware store. Is your TV permanently set to ESPN? Check out the local sporting goods store or ticketing booths at professional sporting events. Do you love to read? Books stores always beef-up their staff during holiday shopping. Do you stop by your local coffee shop every morning? Why not see if you can work there for a few months.

    There are many opportunities to make a little extra cash this time of year, so set your ego aside and explore the options.

    Companies like JobsByFax.com is always looking for new Channel Sales Managers to help expand their affiliate base. Take a look at the job description at jobsbyfax.com/employment.asp



    August 20, 2010

    Resume Follow-up

    If it feels like all those resumes you've been sending are disappearing into a black hole, you are not alone. After all that hard work, you want to follow up so you're not always left wondering if you were a potential candidate, or not even a consideration. So how do you turn your online-only contacts into personal human-to-human contacts?

    Don't just wait for the phone to ring. If you have a contact name, use it! But give that person enough time to review your resume. Wait 5-7 days after submitting your resume to call, then when you do, ask the following questions:

    • I submitted my resume on _____, can you tell me the status of the position and the hiring process?
    • Is there additional information besides what is included in my resume that will be useful to you during the hiring process?
    • When do you expect to make a final decision?

    Respect the hiring managers time and keep it short, unless they are the one that continues the conversation. If you get their voicemail, leave a quick message. The key is to give them your name and express your interest in the position so that you will stand out among the stack of resumes.

    Often, there is no contact name when submitting resumes through a company website. However, websites frequently list the names of department heads. You can use this list to narrow down your search, or call the human resources department first to inquire if the resume you sent will go to HR first, or directly to the department that is hiring. If you use a service like JobsByFax.com to send your resume to thousands of companies at once, you can always review your company list in your purchase history to determine if there are any key companies that might be worth a call.

    Rehearse your script before making the call and keep track of all of the resumes and messages you have left to avoid being caught off-guard if they return your call.



    June 8, 2010

    Job Hunting When You're Overqualified

    For many, jobs that would never have been a consideration 5 years ago, are positions worth fighting for now. If you've been unemployed for 6 months or more, the need to just "get a job, any job" overshadows your qualifications and you find yourself applying for positions that are well below your experience and pay level. However, many highly qualified candidates are realizing that they are not even being considered because they are so experienced. If you are in a position where you just need a job, how do you convince hiring managers that you are the right candidate for a job when you are overqualified?

    Adjust your Resume
    Many hiring managers use your resume as a way to disqualify you and narrow the search down to a reasonable amount of candidates. An overqualified candidate is often immediately put in the "no" pile because they are concerned that you are not really serious about the position or will not be satisfied with the pay. To overcome the immediate rejection, there are ways to downplay your experience without misrepresenting yourself in your resume. Play down your higher-level skills and focus on the skills that will make you successful in the position you are seeking. Rewrite your objective to show why you want this particular position.

    Personal Meeting
    Many organizations request that all applications be submitted online, with no opportunity to meet face-to-face. If it is appropriate, go to the Human Resources department and let them know you have submitted a resume but have a few questions about the process. You will likely just speak with the HR assistant, however someone in the department now has a face to put with a pile of faceless resumes and they know that your interest lies beyond just applying online.

    5-Year Plan
    Let the hiring manager know that you have a plan and this position is on the path to achieving that goal. Sell them on the fact that they are investing in an employee that will be a great asset in the future as you quickly move up the ladder.

    During the interview process, keep in mind that the hiring manager's biggest concern is that you will get bored and want more pay as soon as the economy recovers. Calm their concerns by letting them know working for their organization and growing with the company is what is most important to you.



    April 30, 2010

    Making the Most of Job Fairs

    Making job fairs worthwhile requires more than just showing up on the day of the event with stacks of resumes in hand.  Jobs fairs are a great way to get face time with a number of hiring managers, and with those that are actually hiring, in a short amount of time.  And with proper planning prior to the show, you can make yourself stand out in the crowd of hundreds of job seekers.

    Your job fair experience will be the most productive if you approach it as a series of interviews condensed into a few minutes each.  You wouldn't go to a scheduled interview without first researching the company.  The same holds true for job fairs.  Typically, the event host will post a list of the companies attending the job fair.  This gives you time in advance to research and make notes on those that best fit your qualifications.

    Other ways to make a lasting impression:

    • Prepare several different resumes that are specifically targeted towards the various companies that will be attending the fair.  For example, if you are pursuing a sales career, but plan to speak to a variety of industries, take the time to individualize several resumes that highlight qualifications most relevant to each industry.  And bring plenty of resumes.  The worst mistake you could make at a job fair is running out before you are ready to leave.
    • Rehearse a quick introduction of yourself with relevant work history and your greatest strengths.
    • This is not the time to be shy or reserved.  Be assertive and shake as many hands as you can, while making each a quality conversation.  Collect business cards from everyone you meet, ask if you can follow up with them in a few days, and send thank you notes within 24 hours.
    • As soon as you leave, take the time to jot down notes from everyone you met with while the conversations are still clear in you mind.
    • Dress appropriately and professionally.


    February 13, 2010

    Informational Interviewing

    More than ever before, job seekers are stepping away from their area of experience and looking into careers outside their comfort zone. JobsByFax company president Matt Saunders states that, "...more than ever before, we are seeing our clients sending their resumes to an ever broader cross section of employers. Just because they have a degree in engineering doesn't necessarily limit them to that industry..." Treading into unchartered territory can be intimidating and you don't want to go into an interview unprepared and unclear of what this new job actually entails. Gathering information on the internet helps, but a great way to get a true picture and familiarize yourself with a new industry or new position within the same industry is through informational interviews.

    An informational interview allows you to ask "stupid" questions that you wouldn't want to ask in a real interview.

    • What skills are most important to be successful in this position?
    • Are there educational requirements for this job?
    • What is a typical career path for advancement?
    • What is the salary range for this job?
    • What is a typical day/week for someone in this position?
    • Is this they type of job where you are very busy some days or weeks and slow at other times?
    • What do you most like and what do you least like about this job?
    • What are some of the best companies to work for in this field?
    • Is this a growing field or is it changing?
    • Is there anyone you recommend that I should speak to about a possible position and can I use your name when calling on them?

    Finding Someone to Interview

    The best place to find someone to interview is through friends or business acquaintances. If you do not know anyone in the field you are interested in, attend a meeting for a professional organization in that particular field, call your alumni association, ask your neighbors, and use your networking skills. Keep in mind, you are asking them for a favor. Be respectful of their time, be prepared with a written list of questions, bring your resume (but don't ask for a job), and take the lead from the person you are interviewing to determine when to end the meeting.


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