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The Reply Postcard Technique

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:


        Name:            ________________________________________

        Company:         ________________________________________

        Title:           ________________________________________

        Phone:           ________________________________________

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.


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