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September 6, 2009

WorkWise Q&A: Gatekeeper, blitz, pizzazz

How do you get past the gatekeeper for the job? That's what one readers asked Dr. Mildred Culp. Find out what Culp had to say by clicking on this story.


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, How do you get past the gatekeeper for the job? I’ve had only a handful of interviews after many applications. One HR person told me that I wasn’t selected was because the manager was looking for a BA not BS. Wilting

A: Dear Wilting, Your campaign won’t be once you know what to do:

Change your mentality. Forget thinking that one call will do the trick. Forget expecting the process to work without YOU taking charge energetically. If the gatekeeper says the honcho is busy, ask when you can call back. When you do, if he’s still “busy,” ask when to call back. Keep that up and be respectful all of the time.

After you’re sick of being told nothing, ask when he arrives and when he leaves. Call close to those times -- usually before 8:00 or after 5:00 -- when you might miss the gatekeeper.

Still no luck? Call during work hours and ask the gatekeeper to set a five-minute conversation with the honcho. Tell her you’ll call her back. Do.

If he won’t talk to you, consider dropping by the office. Or trying the same tactic elsewhere. mlc


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I have applied for 116,987 jobs. I don’t count those where someone asked to submit my resume. When I was first unemployed, back in 2008, I was applying for about 500 jobs per day, or about one job every three minutes. (Most mail merge applications can do, conservatively, about 25 per minute.) I’d spend the night hours finding the jobs, copying and pasting them into my database, and then while sleeping, I’d merge the database, letters and resumes together and print or mail each one. In the morning, I’d stuff all the envelopes and take them to post office. So, in a sense, I was working at it almost 24 hours a day.

I didn’t do the online submissions because those forms and web sites can take hours to get through. I only submitted to jobs that had email addresses or street addresses. I spent hundreds of dollars on postage, but did get a bulk rate! Today, I only submit about one thousand a month and I am filling out the apps on web sites. Productive

A: Dear Productive, You are, but this form of job hunting isn’t working for you. Try other methods. Go through people before you turn yourself into a machine. mlc

Dr. Mildred L. Culp welcomes your questions at Copyright 2009 Passage Media.

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