Answering Newspaper Ads

Go ahead and answer ads in the newspaper.Some people actually get jobs this way.The problem from your point of view is that it is such a low probability activity.





When companies place ads in the newspapers, they often get huge responses.It is not uncommon to receive 400, 500, even 1,000 responses to a particular help wanted ad.The person on the receiving end of that paper deluge has a problem.There is no way that 100's of people are going to be interviewed.At best 5 to 10 people are going to be called in for an interview.So there sits your answer to the ad in the pile of 100's of others.The odds of you getting a call are very low.And it has nothing to do with you.It is mostly out of your control.So when people tell me that they sent out 100's of copies of their resume in answer to ads and they never got any response, Iím not surprised.Nor, at this point, should you be.It simply is a very low probability activity for the job hunter.But should you respond to newspaper ads?Yes, of course, you should.People get jobs that way.You might be one of them.The point is that you shouldn't base your whole job search campaign on answering help wanted ads in the newspapers.


If you're going to respond to ads, then you should at least do it correctly.Figure 1 shows a typical ad.Figure 2 shows a typical response.The first paragraph in the letter give the date of the ad, the name of the newspaper, and the title of the job that you're applying for.The reason for this is that a company may be running many ads and, if you have little chance of getting a response, you have no chance, if your letter gets in the wrong pile.Next the letter spells out point by point how your experience and qualification match the ones spelled out in the ad.You may feel that a particular requirement is not germane to the job at hand but the fact is that your opinion doesn't count.If you feel that putting these requirements in a table is a little heavy handed and doesn't match your style, then by all means, express the thought in another way.If you make it easy for the person reviewing the resumes and letters to include your letter, then maybe yours will land in the interview pile rather than the trash pile.


Notice that the phone number is included in the letter. There is nothing dumber that an answer to an ad that doesn't prominently display the phone number.But I have seen it.†† A person who otherwise would have been interviewed, wasn't because they didn't include their phone number and the interviewer didn't know how to reach them by phone.


Don't respond with a form letter.This is a negative that could be used to put you letter aside.Remember that the person doing the initial screening is looking for a way to put each and every resume aside.Any negative will do as an excuse in this stage of the process.


My natural inclination is to say not to try to be cute in your letter to get attention.However, this sometimes works if you hit the right note with the screener.The problem is that you have no way of knowing what the right note is.It's out of your control.


Notice that the request for salary history is not honored.If it turns out that your salary is slightly above what is the salary range for the job being offered, then you won't be interviewed. If you are interviewed, and they decide that they want you, most companies can adjust their salary ranges to match your experience.


Don't send in your letter right away.Let a few days after the ad appeared go by before you mail your letter.The reason for this is that on the receiving end, you get the major response on the first day and then the number of letters dwindles.†† When do you think your letter has the best chance of being read; on the day when 600 letters arrive or on the day the 5 letters arrive?




MANAGER, MANUFACTURING for a small plant in SE. Must have 5-10 yrs. exp. with plastic inj. molding.TQM and MRP exp desired. College deg. required.Send resume and salary history to Box 23456.





†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Figure 1 - Typical help wanted newspaper ad.



Dear Sir:


This is in response to your ad in last Sunday's Morning Star Newspaper for a Manufacturing Manager.The following shows how my experience fits your requirements:


††††††††††††††††††††††† Your Requirements†††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† My Experience


††††††††††† 5-10 years Experience as a ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I have 8 years exp.

††††††††††† manufacturing manager.


††††††††††† Injection Molding ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††   I have 13 years exp.


††††††††††† MRP†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††    Helped install MRP.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††    APICS certified


††††††††††† TQM††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††     Started quality circles


††††††††††† College degree††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††   BS in Industrial Eng.



As you can see, my experience fits your requirements quite well.Please call me, (215) 555-5555, so that we can set up a time for a meeting.


Sincerely yours,



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Figure 2 - Ad Response Letter.