Monday, February 26, 2007

Resume Bloopers

Resume Bloopers from Robert Half... Mind you, these are real examples from resumes reveived !


Responsibility makes me nervous.

They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 every morning. Couldn't work under those conditions.


Was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches. I was working for my mom until she decided to move.

The company made me a scapegoat - just like my three previous employers.


While I am open to the initial nature of an assignment, I am decidedly disposed that it be so oriented as to at least partially incorporate the experience enjoyed heretofore and that it be configured so as to ultimately lead to the application of more rarefied facets of financial management as the major sphere of responsibility.

I was proud to win the Gregg Typting Award.


Please call me after 5:30 because I am self-employed and my employer does not know I am looking for another job.

My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I have no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.

I procrastinate - especially when the task is unpleasant.


Minor allergies to House cats and Mongolian sheep.


Donating blood. 14 gallons so far.


Here are my qualifications for you to 'overlook'.

Education: College, August '1880' to May 1984.

Work Experience: Dealing with customers' conflicts that arouse.

Develop and recommend an annual operating expense 'fudget'.

I'm a rabid typist.

Instrumental in 'ruining' entire operation for a Midwest chain operation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writing An Accomplishment Driven Resume

In the midst of hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes recruiters and employers receive for any given position, your resume needs to stand out from the crowd. You must make the Hiring Manager want to read your resume more thoroughly than just the rudimentary 10-20 seconds the vast majority of your competition will warrant. The way to do this is by designing an accomplishment driven resume.

What makes a resume that is focused on achievements so effective? Most job seekers tend to list their responsibilities of their past and current positions. While this may be important, it should not necessarily be the focus of your document. The higher level the position you are seeking, the more crucial the accomplishment aspect of your resume. You need to provide proof of the results you were able to achieve with the implication that you can bring the same, if not better, results to your future employer.

Say for instance, you are a CPA. Your current resume states things such as “Control accounting activities”, and “Invest and manage cash activities”. What does that really say about your abilities? How does that differentiate you from all of the other CPAs out there applying for the same job as you? It doesn’t. You need to show the potential employers what you can bring to their organization. Now is the time to brag. How have you improved a company’s bottom line? Have you spearheaded any projects that resulted in increased revenue, company savings, or employee morale? That’s the kind of information that Hiring Managers seek out amongst the resume clutter.

Your resume is your own personal sales pitch. Keywords are an integral part of that pitch. While you are describing your accomplishments, be sure to use powerful keywords to signify the importance and magnitude of those feats. It is not the time to be modest. Use strong action verbs that really drive home what you’re trying to say. Use industry terms, where appropriate, if you are seeking a job similar to your current position. The company will understand this terminology and be relieved to know that you are competent enough to comprehend them as well.

Another significant part of an accomplishment driven resume is the format. Do not clump your achievements and responsibilities together. You can write an overview of your responsibilities in a paragraph and then highlight your accomplishments with bullets. You don’t want to have everything in a paragraph, and likewise, not everything in a bullet format. You must draw the reader’s eye to the important parts that you really want to sell. If everything looks the same, nothing will stand out.

Using these techniques, you are on your way to writing an accomplishment driven, extremely effective resume. Your potential employers will not only see what you have achieved in the past, but what you could offer them in the future.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thought for the day - John F. Kennedy

I think 'Hail to the Chief' has a nice ring to it.~

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), when asked, what is his favorite song was !

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Most frequently asked Interview Questions

Well, its that time again for the job interview..

Time to prepare yourself for the journey that lies ahead. It can be a little scary, but with the proper preparation you will do much better.

It would be wise to plan ahead and do a little homework! Research the company and the position if possible, as well, the people you will meet with at the interview. Review your work experiences. Basically, have your facts ready!

Once you have finished studying, begin role playing (rehearsing). Write down answers if it helps to make your presentation more concise. Try to keep your answers to the information your new employer will want to know.

Before we jump in with questions and self-assessments, let's get one thing upfront and on the table. An interviewer develops an impression of you in the first few minutes of your meeting, and spends the rest of the interview confirming, not altering, their initial impression. Therefore, practice, practice and practice some more

Finally, below are some general tips to get your focus on track. With a few interviews you'll be on your way!

Why have you selected to join us?
I always longed to work with a company. I am familiar and whose products I have used and trusted. (Narrate briefly how you can prove your statement. Do good research on the company before facing the interview)

Where do you want to be in 5 years?
I would like to be frank. Judge me from the work and I am sure you will put me right where I want to be.
Note : Do not over ambitious and speak in a way that you are not satisfied with your current job which you have applied for.

Describe your ideal career?
Talk of what you enjoy most your skills and natural talents. Do not specify your goal and any job title.

Tell me something about yourself
Do not just repeat what you have given in your resume. Be ready with the answer, a talent or something you did out of the ordinary. You can sound it as unique or give it a touch of your personality.

How did you apply for the job?
Be specific and give a straight answer of how you came to know about the vacancy. If it was advertised specify how you came across it.

Why do you want to work here?
Have a research done about the company / organization. Give just one or two reasons why you are interested. You can add these points (1) company's reputation(2) desire to join the specific field of interest.

Don't you think that you are over qualified for this job?
(This question is put to you to puzzle a candidate. Be calm and answer the question with a positive and confident approach). Answer in the negative My experience and qualification will just help me to do the job better. Moreover I am at establishing a long term relationship which my qualification will favor me to handle more responsibilities and help me to rise to your expectations.

What competition do you see if you take up this job?
When you answer, clearly show that you have researched carefully and acquired more in-depth knowledge about the company. Enumerate some positive and negative traits of the company and their competitions. Feel confident to show that competition is not an unexpected one.

What would you do if our competitor offer you a job?
Show your confidence in the company's worth, stress the point 'I would say No' by pointing out some qualities you found out in your research about the company.

Why are you leaving your current job?
You should give two or three reasons for leaving. Lack of challenge, focus on the limitations etc. Point out your ambition to prove your worth confidently.

What salary do you expect?
(This is a tricky question to be answered carefully. Interviewers often accept people with realistic financial goals.)
If you mention a salary that is low it shows that you are not up to the mark. If you mention too high you have ruined a chance to get a job. So the best is to ask for the salary they offer and then show your capacity, how your experience and qualification rate with what is offered.

What interests you most about the job?
(Show how you believe that you are most suited to the post. If you can find out an earlier experience it would be fine.) If you have experience, you can quote some similarities from the past and how you achieved success.

What is your dream job?
Make the question a chance to display your aptitude that fits the job you have applied for. Display how your skills can be put into suite the challenges and modern trends.

Why should we take you?
This is often the concluding Question( Some tips to the answer)

Don'ts : Do not repeat your resume ..... Do not enumerate your experience
Do's: Prove Your interest... Be positive in your answer... Be prepared with what you are going to say

If you have unlimited time and financial resources how would you spend them
Even though it is tempting to discuss thing you would do for fun, answer these questions with strict coherence with the job you have applied for. ie., if you are into teaching, touch on your interest in adult literary programmers and other teaching oriented aspects.

How is your experience relevant to this job?
Sketch out some similar work which you have done in your previous job. It should be something justifiable by you, even though others may think differently. You can even ask some question where you can prove that your experience stands in good strand.

How could you enrich your current job?
Design your answer to show that you are still interested in the job and you point out a few instances where improvements can be made. Convince the person that you can be relied on and you will not get bored with what you do with time.

How many days where you absent from work?
Give a solid attendance record. But at the same time show you were not responsible . Convince that you are willing to take up responsibility. An example - I was absent 7 days. 4 days due to conjunctivitis and one day due to the death of a close relative and 2 days had to accompany my parents for their check up.

Tell me about a time you had to deal with an irritate customer, how did you handle the solution?
The question is aimed at you to hear from yourself how you handle people when others loose their temper. Here the best answer you can give to describe a situation and show how you handled it with maturity and diplomacy.

How do you manage stress in your daily work?
You can describe a situation of how you had managed stress in your previous work if you had one or narrate how you can find time in your busy schedule to relax a bit.

Describe a professional skill you have developed in you?
It will be better if you be specific with your answer. Narrate some thing you worked for to fulfill your work more efficiently. Describe how you attended a seminar and brought about the changed in your work.

How do you manage your work to meet dead lines
Answer the question effectively . Describe in detail how your plan out, set priorities, determine schedules, how you follow out to see the progress and meet the dead line.

What books you read?
Do not ever say you have read a book which you have not. Here your suggestion can lead the interviewer to know your taste and interest. It can also hint on how you take your profession.

What are the most rewarding aspect of you most recent job?
The best way to answer it is to focus in what you do efficiently, keep in mind the position you are applying for.

What aspects of this job do you feel most confident?
Narrate what you are good and match it with the present job requirements. You may ask questions to clear if that particular skill will add benefit to the company

What can motivate you?
The Interview expects an answer to know you better. Keep in tune with your job and work you have applied for. Do not beat around the bush.

Whom do you choose as your reference and why?
Name the references and how you know them. You can also show that you are a person who care for relationships and how you stand in good stead with them.

Can we call all your references?
If you have given your present boss as your reference you can tell that you prefer to call your current boss only after you receive a confirmed offer as he may not like you changing the job.

Do you have any questions?
Be prepared to answer this question in advance. List out a few questions you wish to know more about. After you have faced the interview your logic will guide you to ask the question you really want to know more about.

How do you handle criticism
Here the interview is on the look out for your accountability and professional character. Simply explain a situation that caused a problem and narrate how you faced it and overcame it.

Tell me about a situation that upset you at work
Her the interview is trying to find out how you deal with pressure. Be diplomatic and objective with your answer. Prepare the answer so that the answer comes as a smooth reassurance

Have you ever been fired?
If the answer is negative, the answer is simple. But if you have been fired, you need to be prepared to the answer the follow up questions that my come up.

If the termination was for reason beyond your control narrate it. If not do not try justifying yourself. If you had a fault, admit it and convince the interview that you have corrected it.

Do you change your job frequently?
Be honest and if you had changed the jobs frequently there could be ample reasons to do so. Put them up as contracts that expired at the stipulated time. Be convincing when you say that you long to have a steady and long lasting relationship with the present job you are applying for.

What is the toughest job you had?
Avoid making any negative statements especially about your previous employer. Change the question with a positive outlook and answer it with a satisfied remark of your outcome.

How do you handle tension?
Answer with ease that in any job and any situation that tension is a part of it. Relax before putting the f act you are very used to such type of works.

What is your current salary?
Do not bluff. Be specific on the answer. Do not hesitate to say the benefits you enjoyed in the previous job. It may be verified so never mention the benefits you have not got.

Will you be willing to accept transfer?
Tell you preference but do not specify that you will be not willing to work else where.

What is your weakness?
Turn the question to a positive one. Simply say that you are a perfectionist and your commitment to output of high quality perfect work. Say this is your weakness.

How did you get your last job?
A polished answer is what is expected. Frame the answer in such a way that it shows how you had planned to get the job. Make sure it was not by happenstance.

What was your position in your last employment?
Provide a consistent answer. Precision will help you from answering the questions which will follow from ambiguous answers.

What is the reason for you leaving your last job?
Answer the question with confidence. Do not give a selfish answer. Frame the answer in a broader way. Do not point out short comings of the company.

How did you hear about this position?
Be honest with the answer. This will help you from complicating the interview by giving a wrong answer later.

Have you received any other job offers?
A positive answer can show that you are efficient. A positive answer should be true as it may be verified.

What do you do with your spare time?
The interviewer is looking for some insight into your personality by asking the question. If you say something be ready to answer more question on the topic.

What is your current salary?
Answer carefully. If you have filled up a form they would already know it.

Have you been denied a salary increase?
A positive answer shows that you are a person with a problem.

Have you had a pay cut?
A detailed explanation is needed it you agree you have had one. Be prepared for the follow up questions .A negative answer is the best.

Have you been asked to resign?
Prepare in advance how to answer the question if the answer is yes. Disclose the circumstances objectively.

Has your work been criticized?
This question asked by an experienced interviewer can give an insight into your ability to communicate, your tolerance to take criticism, and the environment you have been working. The ideal way is to describe a situation that shows your work was criticized, but portray them as being borne out by situation itself.

We find gaps in your resume. What were you doing this time?
You should be prepared to answer the question before hand. Make your answer crisp, brief and focused on the point and but do not be defensive.

Do you have any objection to psychological testing?
You can answer that you have no objection to being tested. The interviewer is probably just trying to find out if you have any problems.

Can we contact your references?
Be sure that the references you give are people who will stand strong in your favour. You can therefore answer in the affirmative.

Are you looking for a temporary or a permanent job?
Prepare your answer carefully before hand because it offers your potential employer a clear chance to judge you by the statement you make.

How long have you been without work?
Answer the question with a convincing tone with a positive touch. If possible narrate why you were unable to work.

What career option do you have at the moment?
Be specific with your answer. If you are answering to a human resource consultant you may quote your interest if not stick on to what you have applied for because the person may lose interest in you if you divert from the present context.

What do you look in your job?
Whatever you say add that I am looking for a job where I can make meaningful contributions and grow professionally.

Describe a major goal you have set for yourself?
Plan the answer carefully. Select a concrete project either professional or personal. It can be concerned with education or some personal development programme.

How do you feel about your career progress so far?
Be frank with the answer. Keep it so straight forward that it becomes the answer to demonstrate satisfaction to a point which is the reason for deciding to move in the particular direction now.

How do you define success?
This is a question which should be answered in a way to impress the interviewer. Example; I define success as being able to financially provide for my family while performing work that is tied to the success of the organization that employ me.

What personal trait is needed to be a success in this job?
Some of the qualities that are to be included as you answer the question are Persistence, Work Ethics, Loyalty, Truthfulness and Insatiable Curiosity. Be ready for the follow up questions by preparing some instances where these qualities were put to use.

What are your long range goals?
Aim for the top and express it politely. Do not forget to be practical and realistic.

What will you do if this job is not offered to you?
Show your disappointment. Simply express how you have a lot to loose .

If you could start your career again what changes will you prefer?
This is a tricky question .Be careful with your answer. Just point out how you could have improved your career rather than go for a change in career.

What do you know about the position you are applying?
Do a lot of ground work before you attend the interview. This will help you to answer the question with precision.

What is your learning style?
Even though it may look to be a silly question if asked a definite answer should be given .The question can be made use to project your systematic nature.

How do you keep update with the latest trends in your job?
This is a question which throws light on your personality. It should be answered with accuracy. Include the latest techniques available like the Internet.

Why did you choose the subject?
A simple question but it will show how you determined your career and what aspects made you choose the career that you are pursuing.

Have you worked for a difficult person?
This question is aimed at you to show how you handle work pressure and how you will satisfy tense situations as and when they arise.

How much time do you spend for your hobby?
A question to be answered in a creative and subtle way that the time you spend will not interfere with the working span.

What mode of communication do you prefer?
In the present situation most of the big companies are with their communication on line. Answer the question considering the level to which you have applied for. Do not hesitate to say you are well versed in all modes

Do you plan and organize before you start a work?
This question is aimed at you to show how systematically you plan and proceed with your projects. If you have experience give a systematic answer. Do not beat around the bush as they are looking for a concrete stuff in your answer.

How were you evaluated in your last job?
Be brief and honest. Clarify the evaluation with a system.

What are things that you find difficult to do?
The question is asked to make you answer the thing you do not like to do. Remember to have a piratical touch in your answers.

What is your relationship with your former employer?
It is a question aimed at to know you better. The answer will throw light on how you were in the last work place.

Describe a situation where you could not attain your goal?
Be ready with the answer before hand or you may land in trouble. Choose one and give correct details

Can you work overtime?
Do not be intimidated. Agree if you are willing but clarify the details before making commitments.

Do you have any questions?
Be casual and clear all the doubts you have. Do not try out any question that will bring forth any questions back to you.

Have you had difficulty getting along with others?
Give a reply in the negative and bring forth the idea that you are easy to get along with others.

What can you do for us that others cannot?
This is a question that can be answered to bring out your talents and to prove that you are efficient and dynamic.

What reservations do you have about working here?
Do not have any negative at the moment to pint out. Answer the question with a positive statement. Point out the organization as one where you really wanted to belong and work.

Why do you want to work here with us?
Do a deep study about the organization and have a list of merits ready so that you will be able to give a steady and easy answer.

This job requires long hours will it be a problem for your spouse /children?
Frame the answer in such a way that you give equal importance to your work and family. You should be able to prove your credibility.

Do your spouse work?
The question gives an insight if you are the only bread earner of the family. If the answer is yes there will be follow up questions as to who takes care of the children and the rest.

Whom should we notify in case of an emergency?
The question gives a clear insight on whom you depend and trust .It is almost as equal as giving a reference.

Are you in the habit of changing your jobs frequently?
Answer the question with the resume you have given .If it shows many places worked give a reply that you wish to stick to the present job applied for.

What do your parents do?
The question is asked to understand the background of the applicant. If a parent has a positive tie- in to the organization /industry that you are seeing, employment you may mention this.

Are you a religious person?
An odd question but if the organization is run by religious institutions your answer in the positive will have real good effects.

What organizations do you belong to ?
You may list the various organization in which you are a member. Make sure you do not list any organization that can bring negative impact.

How old are you?
Just a question asked to remind you that you are too old for the job or too young for the job. Be aware and answer the question with accuracy.

How flexible are you ?
Be brief, direct and focused with the answer. Prepare the answer and keep it ready.

How do you deal with change?
The ideal answer is to give an idea that you can accept any change as long as it is for the good. The answer also throw light on the personality. It also reflects how dynamic you are.

Do you think you are too young for this post?
Convince the maturity that you have will stand in good stead than the years of experience.

Will you be willing to start at a lower salary because of your inexperience?
Deal with the question by emphasizing the fact that inexperience will not come in the way of doing the work efficiently. Have many justifications to prove it.

Do you have any disability?
This is a broad question to be answered carefully. If you have any, disclose them.

How long have you been disabled?
A follow up question of the previous one that can be supported with documents.

Have you filed a compensation claim with any company you worked for?
If the answer is yes it is better to say that you do not wish to answer the question and end at it. There is no law that prevents one from getting a job because of prior workers compensation claim.

Have you been a target of sexual harassment? Have you filed a complaint?
This question is raised to determine your proclivity to take legal action at work place. Be open and express yourself freely as the question came from them and it was not you who initiated it.

Have you ever been arrested?
The question can be answered negative unless you were arrested and proved guilty by a court of law. This is because a person who is arrested is innocent until proven guilty.

Has any court found you guilty?
This question is asked to clear and clarify if any criminal record is present.

It is important that during these stages you pay attention..

During the interview, remember to be an active listener, pay attention, and ask good questions. You should show respect to the recruiter, answer clearly, and keep your enthusiasm high. Exhibit good posture and maintain eye contact. When shaking the hand of a recruiter, use one firm squeeze and do not break eye contact.

Susan Bixler a leading image consultant, recommends that if the recruiter doesn't extend his or her hand, the candidate should wait one beat, and immediately extend his or her hand. This shows a high level of confidence and business awareness.

Susan Bixler says you should never underestimate the importance of nonverbal communication in a job interview.. Your suit is from Brook Brothers. You've got an MBA from Harvard. Resume is awesome. Research on the company? Done. Interview, schminterview. Feelin' good. Nothing could go wrong. And then, as you're talking to the recruiter, you're not sure about what to do with your arms, so you cross them over your chest. Uh-oh, now you could be in trouble.

Whether you like it or not, whether you get the job or not could actually hinge on what seem like superficialities, including how you shake the interviewer's hand, whether you make appropriate eye contact, and, yes, where you put your arms, says image consultant Susan Bixler. Even though good body language alone won't land you an offer, it could tip the impression scale in your favor. On the other hand, posture that suggests you're defensive or other nonverbal blunders could take an otherwise strong candidate out the running, Bixler says

Now for questions that you should ask the recruiter

  • What are your company's strengths and how do you capitalize on them?

  • What are your companies weaknesses and how are you dealing with them?

  • What changes do you anticipate in the industry?

  • What risks will your company face due to industry changes?

  • What are the best opportunities at your firm for new hires?

  • How have you strategically responded to the competition?

  • What legislation is pending that will affect your firm?

  • Where will the major sources of your business be in the next 5 years?

  • How is worker performance measured and reviewed?

  • Do you have a mentor program? How about formal training programs?

  • What is your company's management style?

  • What challenges are facing this company?

  • How is the Company reacting to these challenges?

  • Why do people leave?

  • Why have you stayed on with the company?

  • Describe my initial assignments?

  • If you hire me, what would be the three pressing issues you need resolved?

  • Now, be polite while asking these questions and not as blunt as referred above.. Change them to suit the situation and also note to add any of your own queries that you need to get resolved.

    While hiring companies always present the best before you.. their public relations or PR is at its best.. They are selling or marketing the company to you. This is to say they would try and cut costs at every stage [although most preofessional companies maintain have a strict policy with salary scales]

    Nonetheless, if you know your worth and if you have done your research and homework well, you could easily turn the tables in your favour.

    As a closing note, the interview is not a one sided affair. Remember that this is the only chance you have, where you can what you want. So if you are prepared and if you are in control of the situation, you can negotiate yourself a cool package, which cannot be done at a later stage. A contract once signed, takes a minimum of six months to one year before it can be assessed or reviewed again..

    A humorous example of this is cited at the below post or can be obtained at this link..

    Wishing you the best..

    Recruitment.. the divine way !

    There was once a human resources manager who lived exactly the way as a HRD Manager should. She made sure that every job she did resulted in a win-win situation.

    Unfortunately, one day, while walking down the street she was tragically hit by a bus and she died. Her soul arrived up in Heaven where she was met at the pearly gates by St Peter himself.

    Welcome to Heaven said St Peter. Before you get settled in though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we've never once had a human resources manager make it this far and we're not really sure what to do with you.

    No problem just let me in, said the human resources manager.

    Well I'd like to, but I have higher orders. What we're going to do is let you have a day in hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in .

    Actually I think I've made up my mind.... I prefer to stay in Heaven.

    Sorry, we have rules. And with that, St Peter put the human resource manager in an elevator and it went down to hell...

    The doors opened and the human resources manager found herself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of her were all her friends - fellow human resource managers that she had worked with and they were all dressed in evening gowns and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the country club where she enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner.

    She met the Devil who was actually a really nice guy (kinda cute) and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing. The human resources manager was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave.
    Everybody shook her hand and waved goodbye as she got on the elevator. The elevator went up and opened back up at the pearly gates and she found St Peter waiting for her.

    Now it's time to spend a day in Heaven. So the human resources manager spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds and playing the harp and singing. She had a great time and before she knew it her 24 hours were up and St Peter came and got her.

    So you've spent a day in hell and a day in Heaven, now you must choose your eternity.

    The human resources manager paused for a second and then replied, well I never thought I'd say this, I mean Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in hell.

    So St Peter escorted her to the elevator and again the human resources manager went down to hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks. The devil came up to her and put his arm around her.

    I don't understand, stammered the human resources manager, yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a country club and we ate lobster and we danced and had a great time. Now all there is is a wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.

    The devil looked at her and smiled... That's because yesterday we were recruiting you, but today you're staff !


    Recruiting, whereever it may be, is the same.. so you better have your research and facts ready.

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    Salary Negotiation !!

    Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Manager asked a young engineer who was fresh out of engineering, "What starting salary were you thinking about?"

    The Engineer said, "In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

    The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a red Corvette?"

    The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"

    The interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it."

    The best way to follow up

    Steve Kobs, a human resources manager at Hanley-Wood Custom Publishing, a Minneapolis-based marketing communications firm, offers this advice: "If you'd like to follow up with a company after submitting your resume, one week later is a reasonable time to do it," he says.

    And the best way to follow up?

    "I prefer e-mail," says Kobs. "If you call me on the phone and ask if we've made a hiring decision, you put me in an awkward position if I have to tell you bad news … or if I've forgotten who you are. Candidates who follow up by e-mail show respect for my time, which I appreciate," he says.

    Andrea Hoover, CEO of JobLynx Online, offers additional ways to set yourself apart when applying for jobs online.

    First, when submitting resumes online, be sure to use a professional-looking e-mail address, not the one at work or a cutesy one like

    Her follow-up methods, which are more aggressive than what an HR professional might suggest, include the following:

    • The day after you submit your resume to a company, e-mail them a quick note asking if they received and were able to read your resume, or if they require a different format for their database

    • The day after that, print and send a stationery version of your resume by U.S. Mail to the hiring authority, along with a copy to any other company contacts, for review and filing for future opportunities

    • One week after your initial contact, send an e-mail to the hiring authority inquiring if you can supply any further information not included in your original resume

    • Finally, around 10 days after your online application, send another e-mail asking for the phone number of the hiring authority, since you are considering several other offers. Attach your resume to this e-mail so they won't need to hunt for it. And ask for a convenient time to contact them for a brief phone interview

    Whatever method you use, your goal in following up aggressively is to sell your abilities and experience. Push for the face-to-face interview as soon as possible. And get that job!