The Reply Postcard Technique
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If you want to greatly improve your odds of receiving a reply to your
r�sum� and cover letter, try using reply postcards.
Using 4"x6" or 3"x5" standard postcard stock, on one side include
your name, return address, and a 20 cent (as of late 1996) return stamp.
On the other side, you can provide a series of follow-up questions for
the employer to fill out. An example would be to give the employer
several "outcome options" and a place for the name, title, and phone
number of the responding contact.
Using the Reply Postcard Technique will greatly increase your chances
of further contact with a prospective employer. Not only will they be
more likely to respond to you, they will usually be more likely to
review your materials in the first place since they will feel at least
some guilt and obligation for the extra effort you have put forth.
The following page includes a sample format for this technique.
____ Please call me to arrange an interview.
____ Please call me to further discuss your background.
____ We will contact you within ____ months to follow up.
____ We currently have no interest for the following reason:
You can have the above information printed onto postcard-size
perforated forms that can be fed through most laser, ink jet, and dot
matrix printers. The simplest alternative is to use the pre-stamped post
cards available at any U.S. Post Office. Another alternative is to use
laser forms such as Avery's Laser Index & Postcard form (#5389,
available in most office supply stores), which costs around $20 for a
pack of 100.
Remember, any "mailing campaign" should be limited and targeted. The
Reply Postcard works very poorly when accompanied by a "To Whom It May
Concern" letter. Take the time to properly research your target
companies, and direct your materials to the target prospect at each of
the companies you contact. Then be sure to follow up with a phone call
later. Sound like a lot of work? Not when you consider the payback. The
initial investment per letter is certainly greater than a mass mailing,
yet the benefits are far greater. Mass mailings often generate zero
results (and are far more expensive), while a targeted mailing and
follow-up campaign can generate ten to fifteen percent or more in
interview production. Do more with less. You are much more productive
targeting 20 than blanketing 200.