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I've been cold calling and specutively sending in my resume to small boutique firms.

I've had some positive responses - in that Head responds back and says "we do not have anything suitable at the current time. I thank you for your interest. We will be in touch if something suitable materialises" blah, blah

Now whilst many would think of this as a blow off, I thought of it as a not now, maybe in the future, and am hoping to email them every 3-4 months with updates. Am I wasting my time?

Secondly, my friend said if they were truly interested in me they would call me in for an interview even if there were no positions available, just to see me and have a chat; is this true?

As a newbie to the job search world, can I just say feelings are overrated and in these circumstances a blunt yes or no from firms would have been appreciated!

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    You're asking 2 very distinct questions, which are typically better suited to being separated into multiple question posts, although: (1) An email every now and again could yield positive results, it could also have no effect or possibly bug them enough to cost you the opportunity. We can't predict which would happen, so it would be better to ask how to follow up, not whether doing so is useful. (2) Some people might want to have a chat despite not having any open positions, others won't. We can't really tell you whether any given person not interviewing you means they're not interested. – Dukeling May 25 '18 at 10:44
  • Your first question seems very similar to this question you asked a few months ago - Is periodically checking in with potential employers a good strategy? – Dukeling May 25 '18 at 11:42
  • Also similar to your other recent question here. The best way to get help will be to word your post so it asks a new, distinct, single question: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/112445/… – dwizum May 25 '18 at 12:38
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    Please feel free to join in the chat room its possible that talking your issue over might give you some good insights to this and your other questions. – user44108 May 25 '18 at 12:52
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    You should read the book "what color is your parachute". It talks in depth about the job search strategy you're doing, but I think it will help you improve your chances by teaching you how to do better company research before you make any calls. It's so important you know who you're calling first, that you try to find a person to introduce you and that you know what their challenges are before you call. – user7360 May 25 '18 at 22:02
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I've been cold calling and specutively sending in my resume to small boutique firms.

For most jobs this is a very, very low yield strategy, it is much more effective to spend the time finding actual open positions and applying for them. As I mentioned in my answer to your question here I've never seen it directly work for a "professional" role. If there is literally no positions coming up at all through the job boards and recruiters have got nothing then it's better than doing nothing I suppose but I certainly wouldn't be treating it as plan A.

I've had some positive responses - in that Head responds back and says "we do not have anything suitable at the current time. I thank you for your intere>st. We will be in touch if something suitable materialises" blah, blah

Now whilst many would think of this as a blow off, I thought of it as a not now, maybe in the future, and am hoping to email them every 3-4 months with updates. Am I wasting my time?

Sometimes yes it's a polite blow off, but othertimes it is exactly what it says on the tin. I have to say though that following up every 3 months is excessive and far more likely to sour a contact on you rather than help. 6 months is the minimum time I'd leave between contacts and even then only if you actually have something new and worthwhile to add such as new experience or qualifications.

Secondly, my friend said if they were truly interested in me they would call me in for an interview even if there were no positions available, just to see me and have a chat; is this true?

There's no definitive answer to this but your friend has a point in one important respect - if they were interested in hiring you in the near future (say < 3 months) then I'd probably expect a proactive response from them such as a meeting or phone conversation. The absence of such doesn't necessarily mean that they wouldn't hire you though - it's far more likely that they just don't have anything for you. When I've been in roles where I've been responsible for hiring staff it wouldn't have mattered how good a candidate's CV was that came across my desk. If I don't have a role for them to fill I wouldn't do any more than send the sort of response you've got as otherwise I'd be just wasting everyone's time talking about a job that didn't exist.

As a newbie to the job search world, can I just say feelings are overrated and in these circumstances a blunt yes or no from firms would have been appreciated!

While I sympathize you don't know that they are just sparing your feelings, "not now but maybe" is a perfectly valid answer.

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Am I wasting my time?

In all likelihood: yes. Most companies follow a fairly strict process for hiring: you need to open a "requisition" or "req" for short. It contains job description, justification, and budget impact. People are the single highest expense for almost all companies so there is a fair bit of scrutiny involved and the req needs to be approved fairly high up in the food chain.

Approval frees up the money in the budget and kicks off the actual recruitment process which includes posted the job description, looking at internal candidates, plowing through LinkedIn and looking through the internal data base of applicants.

Almost all hiring happens "against an existing req", i.e. it's targeted to a specific job description. The only way a "cold" application would make it into the pool is if a) you have a first line recruiter who takes the time to match your resume against the open reqs and is knowledgeable to enough to identify a match, or b) you have something very unique and outstanding and a hiring manager with extra cash that needs exactly this.

Both circumstances are exceedingly rare.

You can greatly improve your yield rate by doing the work of matching your profile against an open job description yourself. You will do a much better job than any "Talent Experience Specialist" in most companies. Then apply for these jobs

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I have gotten many letters of the "we have no suitable openings now but we will keep your resume on file" sort in my career. I have never, ever heard back from a company that sent me such a letter. I take it as a polite rejection. (a) There's no need for the company to be rude, and (b) On the off chance that their preferred candidate turns the job down, or another job really DOES open up a month later, they haven't burned their bridges.

I suppose there are probably times when a company sends such a letter and then actually does call back. But realistically, just take it as a polite rejection and move on. Do not sit by the phone waiting for them to call back. Spend your time pursuing other opportunities.

Are you wasting your time? Probably. You could have the most amazing resume in the world, but if the company doesn't have an opening at the moment, they're unlikely to create one just because they're so awed by your resume. I had one time that an excellent employee quit, and maybe a year later we got a call from a recruiter asking for a recommendation. I gave her a very good recommendation, apparently so good that the recruiter asked if we wanted to hire her back. And I could only say, "I would love to, but we just don't have an opening right now."

If there's some company that it's just been your lifelong dream to work for, you've wanted to work for Fred's Dairy Stand since you got your first ice cream cone there when you were 10 or whatever, I suppose it doesn't hurt to send them a resume just to see if anything comes of it. But really, it is much more productive to spend your time looking for actual advertised openings. Contacting someone again every 3 months is just doubling down on wasting your time and theirs. I don't want to be cruel here, but if when I was a manager I had gotten a resume every 3 months from the same person when we weren't even advertising an opening, I am sure that this would become a standing joke in the office, "Oh, another resume from your pen pal, should I put it in the stack with the last twenty?"

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Now whilst many would think of this as a blow off, I thought of it as a not now, maybe in the future, and am hoping to email them every 3-4 months with updates - am I wasting my time?

Absolutely not! %70 of jobs are not advertised. You never know what could happen.

secondly, my friend said if they were truly interested in me they would call me in for an interview even if there were no positions available, just to see me and have a chat - is this true?

Not necessarily. If it is a cold call they may or may not want to meet you, there are no rules and it entirely depends on the circumstances. I've cold called many times in the past, only one time I was asked in for an interview for a job that didn't exist. It can happen but generally my guess would be that it doesn't.

As a newbie to the job search world, can I just say feelings are overrated and in these circumstances a blunt yes or no from firms would have been appreciated!

It is a mental minefield that no sane person enjoys. You just need to grow a thick skin and not take things personally. Good luck.

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    Citation for the "70% of jobs not being advertised"? – motosubatsu May 25 '18 at 7:15
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    "%70 of jobs are not advertised." I don't think this is true. Most companies I worked even had strict requirements that ALL positions must be posted, simply for legal requirements (visa, immigration, non-discrimination, affirmative action, etc.) – Hilmar May 25 '18 at 12:13
  • I've heard that "70% of jobs are not advertised" statistic before. Think about how someone would actually know that. It's almost certainly a made-up number. But more to the point: Are there job openings that are never advertised? Sure. Sometimes companies hire based on personal referrals, relatives of current employees, etc. But in these cases, are they going to hire somebody because their resume just happened to come in the mail while the company was looking for a friend of a friend to fill the slot? Probably not. – Jay May 25 '18 at 15:43
  • I was told of the "%70 of jobs are not advertised"statistic from an actual job recruiter. In my experience that I have seen, roughly %50 of the time a job was advertised it was for formality, they already had someone in mind. I have also had direct contacts on linkedin who found me (and in one case hired me) for a job that was not advertised. – solarflare May 28 '18 at 0:10

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