Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

RE Cold calling + job hunting sites

So resuming the cold calling thread... I was inspired to give it a try.  (warning: long)

I saw a job listing on a company's website that I really wanted, and I used the web form to upload my resume and cover letter.  I waited a couple weeks for a response, but got none.  I called them, I guess in what would be a cold call.

The first time I was directed to a particular person in HR, and her message said that she would be out for a few days.  I left a message but she never called me back.

I called a week later, to the general office number, and asked to be directed HR again.  They directed me again to someone who was out of the office!  I guess that must be their policy for people calling the general number.

So I called back and said that the person was out, and could I please speak to someone who was there.  The lady I spoke to was not very receptive from the get go, and it was obvious.  The minute she knew I was calling about a job, she basically was like "uh-huh".  I asked her if anyone had reviewed my resume, and she was like "Probably not, we're trying to fill the senior positions first."  (didn't even ask who I was)  Even though the job was posted 5/12, and I sent my resume on 6/2, and it's now 6/24.  I asked her what the time-frame was for reviewing the resumes, and she was like "ASAP".  That doesn't seem to be consistent with it being 6 weeks after the job was posted, and not having reviewed the resumes.

She asked if I was local because they only want local candiates, as if trying to get rid of me if I wasn't, and I said "I live about a mile away from your office", which is of course true, and she had no response.

I would have tried to sell myself but it was obvious this person wasn't receptive at all, and it would be stupid to try to brag about my past accomplishments when she didn't even ask.  I guess I led with the wrong question.  I didn't know what to start out with, so I just said what position I was interested in and asked if anyone had seen my resume.

So I guess I can interpret that as a total blowoff.  The frustrating thing is that I'm sure no one has looked at my resume, but if they did, I would be one of the top candidates.  I'm sure everyone thinks that, but seriously, I have excellent academic qualifications (BS and masters magna cum laude from an ivy league school) and a year of experience doing audio programming, which is a somewhat rare discipline, compared to a lot of things.  And I have a lot of hobby experience with pro audio.  On the description it said it is an "entry level job", which I think is appropriate for 1 year of experience.

But now I wonder if I really want to work for this company if their HR dept sucks and ignores the jobs website, and won't even consider someone who is obviously qualified.  The funny thing is that I asked my manager at my current job if anyone looks at OUR job site ( when they're hiring, and he was lke "Nah."  So what the hell is the point of having that site there?  PR?

But I'm sure there are many companies with good engineering and bad HR.  She said she would "look out for my resume", yeah right.  Oh well, I don't think a third call would do any good.  Too bad I don't know anyone at the company, that's how you have to get in.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

was the company in question AVID/Digidesign? Cuz they did the same thing to me.

chunk doobiest
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Remember: Buying an ad is expensive, posting a job-ad is cheap.

Here in Germany there are quite a bunch of tech companies who publish full-page job advertisements while not seeking anyone for real. 70% of that pages are covered with the usual marketing buzz, while the rest deals with technologies the company is working with, cloaked as a job description.

Of course, magazines gratefully accept those "job advertisements", knowing they are cloaked ads, because they make their magazines more attractive.

Johnny Bravo
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I've had a few calls & people fowarding me their resume when I was working @ Citi - recent college grads and such. I was in no position to hire them at the time - we weren't hiring in my dept. and I couldn't exactly hire them for another dept.

So I stuck it in the job bank / referral system and told them I'd done so. I was polite to them, but after they called back a few times (this happened with more than one person) it started to get annoying.

Now multiply that by being in an HR position. How many cold calls do you think you might get a day?

A better course of action would be to research a fairly senior mgr - find some magazine articles on him, and send him an e-mail telling him how much you liked the things he had to say and ask him if you could treat him to lunch to learn a little more about his philsophy of management or whatever.

Do not ask for a job, just let him know that you're unemployed if he asks, that you're looking, if he asks, but don't ask him for a job!

You probably won't get 100% response here either, but you're probably more likely to get one than by bugging an HR person.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Don't Judge the IT Department on the Other Departments in the company!!!!!

Don't you read Dilbert? HR, Marketing, Sales, Accounting are filled with trolls & morons!!!!!!!

The current job I'm at now took 2 months and 6 interviews to get.

Don't feel bad companies are just reallly conservative right now and are taking their time picking candidates.

Keep trying the person you had the contact # & name of...

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Roose - you could do a Google search for "" and look through the results for any tech mailing lists to which employees made posts. With any luck, you might find one that's obviously a developer - gauging by the post.  Call the company and ask for him/her, then make your pitch. See if they'll give you the name of the hiring manager. It's worth a try.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Google pretty much ignores the @ and now you get every page in the world that mentions the website you're interested in. Case in point:
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

You're right about the @ symbol. Just change the search to filter out common non-email prefixes for a site, e.g. "" -"" -"".

For most companies this works well - I've used to locate people I know whose email addresses I didn't have.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

You sent something in 3 weeks after the listing was posted and then waited another 2 weeks to follow up so I can imagine that they've filled the spot and moved on.

Send the inquiry in sooner, follow up more quickly, be firm but polite and don't act like you are doing them a favor.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Thanks for all your responses.

Actually one of the first things I asked her was if it was still open, and she said yes.

It wasn't Digidesign, but I was thinking of applying there too, except I'm not sure how they are doing as a company.  I kind of see that they failed to move into the low-end prosumer market, which is growing extremely fast.  Plus they are more Mac-based, while the PC is definitely gaining popularity in audio.

In response to Mark, I understand their side of things, but in this case they WERE hiring.  I was responding to a very specific job listing.  It would be nice (but maybe expecting too much) if they could bring up my resume from their web database, and scan over it real quickly to see if they should give me the "uh-huh, bye" or maybe take 5 minutes to ask me a few questions and decide if they could let me talk to the hiring manager, or at least take my phone number.  I did ask to talk to the hiring manager at the end but she said that he would be too swamped.

Thanks for the suggestions on the strategies.  I may try them, but I am currently employed, and after this I am not sure if this company has it all together.

I think the lesson here is what I have known intuitively for awhile.  Company job websites are basically BS.  For my current job, I posted my resume on the website and got nothing.  And then I contacted my friend who worked here, and he gave my resume to the right people.  Basically the jobs website is like the last resort after they've exhausted everything else.

Personally, I don't think hiring for this position would be that hard.  First you can filter out all the web submissions by zip code to get local candidates only.  Then scan the cover letters for generic ones and throw them out.  If they don't even mention audio, then that would be a good sign of spam.  And then look for a degree.  I know that might controversial here, but this is an entry-level position, and very few people out of high school would know audio-specific stuff in programming.  (If it was not entry-level, then obviously experience is much more important).  Then look for a person who has done audio programming before.  I would find it hard to believe that after that filter, you would have more than 20-30 reasonable candidates, in which case it shouldn't be too much work to actually read their letters and resumes in detail for 5 minutes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

most of the audio places i've contacted are flaky.

i've tried: digidesign, m-audio, motu, and propellerheads.

propellerheads were the least flaky. they replied promptly. i wasn't the most qualified for that job, and i didn't want to move to sweden. the other three mentioned gave me the run around for a while. but I do receive unsolicited spam from digidesign's recruiter now. :(

audio seems tough to get into. i think you basically have to create a product yourself and hopefully steinberg will buy you out at some point. 

how did you get your first job? I'm thinking of trying the grad program at U of Miami, just because it sounds fun.

chunk doobiest
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I saw a little video of Cubase's offices... To my surprise everyone there wore a tie, they gathered around the coffee machine, and sat in cubicles. Where were the musicians and where were the sound rooms?

Nope, they're businesses like any other.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Well I wouldn't expect Metallica to stroll in but I wouldn't expect them to be wearing ties either. : )  Where did you see the video?  I would imagine it's just like any other software house.  The marketing guys wear ties perhaps but the programmers are casual, and sometimes less than casual.  Maybe a sound room or two for user interface and listening tests and whatnot.

I work for a video game company, and it is funny what people expect to see when they get here.  They think it is going to be this "hip" and "creative" atmosphere.  In reality it's a bunch of cubicles.  There are arcade machines all around the office though, and consoles in every developer's cube.  But otherwise it is pretty much like any other corporation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

> Where did you see the video? 

I dunno, it was a few months ago... Can't find it anymore, I was all over Steinberg's website. It may have been another audio company, but I do remember that they were foreign.

On the other hand, these guys are way cool, click on "Crew" and check out the spycam pix.
Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Regarding Cubase, I've played a little with it lately but it seems incredibly outdated, ugly, incomprehensible, and badly documented as well. Or is this just the learning curve?

Frederik Slijkerman
Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Which version?  There is cubase SX out now, it is supposed to be a complete rewrite or something.  I haven't really tried it out.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003


I've used cubase a long time and it seems good to me, but it's entirely possible that I've fallen behind the times. What environments have you used that you like better and what about them is better?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

I downloaded a demo of Cubase 8 VST a few days ago. The menus are just a mess, I can't find anything, and everything looks so ugly! I think Logic from eMagic is much better. Haven't heard about Cubase SX though.

Frederik Slijkerman
Thursday, June 26, 2003

SUBJECT:i apply for a job
Dear Sir:
i got your e-mail by my intimate friend in u.k and,

I would be very happy to write you if you decide to employ me.

Please send me your name and address.

Firstly, I want to thank you for your trust and confidence in myself. Now I

want to present to you my full name, Ali Kharraz.  I weigh 145 lbs. and I am

5 ft. 5 in. tall, with a lot of different experiences and confidence that I

will please you in my work.  I want to realize my dream to work and live in your

city.  I want to develop my thoughts and ideas to assist me in my future

writing.  I also wish to help my family financially in Moroc.  I spend my time

reading, writing, and do some social work with (A.M.E.J/


for clients who suffer from psychological illnesses.

I also cut hair for free for the people in Center De Protection De L'enfance.

I live a modest life. I do not smoke, or drink.  I have a good basic

education.  My Mother died in 1997 in an accident.  My Father is unemployed at

this time and I have five brothers and sisters that wish to help support.I am

trustworthy, reliable, and eager to please you.  I do not have a requirement for pay.

I will need living accommodations, food, and fair wage.

I will be happy to share any part of my life with you to answer questions

that you may have about my ability to assist you in any way you wish.

Thank you very much for considering my resume.

Best greetings from Agadir

Your Sincerely,  Ali

thank you for sending me your question was well understood.
now i want to send you my resume:
familly name:kharraz    proinoun:ali    sex:male
date&place of birth:19/07/1975 in casablanca.

tel:00 (212) 67 90 37 58.



diploma:informatique 1 year in accontancy/1 year in management informatique
      2 years in hairdressing

nationality:moroccan.                religion:islam.

passport n°:n924 046    identification card n°:j302 945.

level school:bac.

* Since 1997work at bazaar. (sales agent)
-buying different types of jewelleries , clothes that we ring from marrakech

-the contact with that . i developped my language.

* 2001work in the massage salon. (massage therapist) .
-we convaince our clients about the important of massage .
-activiting the weak points (606 in the body).
-providing some psychological and physical informations that disappear  stress.
-making the yin-yang (to make the balance of the corp).
our goal is to let our clients expressing with experience,with feeling,with


* 2002 work as a bell boy/service with accomodation.
-taking to clients luggage to their rooms.
-providing them for some informations.
-giving them some informations about our culture
(religion,cities,mythologie,civilisation...) by driving a golf-car.

2002work in the printing as a commercial agent.  (sales presentation)
-showing to the establishements our brochures.
-providing them for some informations abot our prices.
-providing them for the price concerning prospectus,flayers,visit card,  prespcription in the album that i show to them.

* 2000:write my first writing (the future intellect in the civilization).
* 2002:write my 2nd writing about conversation between different

-i make the prof of illiterate person
- make some training in child education:
(play work,play groups, childminding,nursery...and i try to learn more about -la gerontologie-science that bases on stdying old man character)
first:conversational arabic.
Hobbies: jogging, swimming, reading and writing,religion, moving, correspondence,
I am open to the different cultures especially all concerning spirituality.
00 (212) 67 90 37 58.
best greetings from agadir-morocco.
i'm open to different culture especially spiritualism.

in sophisme : ibnou arabi , ibnou maskawaih .

immoralism: frederick nietzsch.

meliorism:walker james, emerson...

dialectique of materialism: karl-marx.

instrumentalism: dewey that people american likes verry well....

i want to know more about the mental topography , and the semiologie the language of this time.

thank you verry much

your sincerley ali

ali kharraz
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home