Dear Mr. Walberg: I enjoyed your recent column about cover letters, and it helped me a lot, but I still have a question. How do you end a cover letter effectively? Should I write, “I am looking forward to hearing from you” or just sign off? A couple of companies I want to contact say “no phone calls” in their postings, so I can’t say that I will phone them for an appointment. — R.S.

Dear R.S.: You’ve brought up a very important point and your request for information will help others.

Many years ago, someone said that if you send out resumes and do not follow up, you might as well climb to the roof of your city’s tallest building and toss your resumes to the wind. The result would be about the same.

I tend to agree. In today’s workplace, employers receive hundreds of resumes from people with varying degrees of qualifications, all basically wanting a job. To be noticed and, with luck, interviewed and hired, you must first be qualified for the job, and then make sure your resume and cover letter get noticed.

Do all the right things to polish the content of your resumes and cover letters. Then, no matter how you made initial contact with the employer, follow up within seven days after sending a resume.

If an employer says “no phone calls” in a posting, send a follow-up letter via email or snail mail. If you’re brave, go knock on the door. Just follow up.

If you don’t get any response, wait a few more days and then do it again. You must make yourself noticed and show the employer that you don’t give up when you’re working on a project — and, your job search is a pretty important workplace-like project

Never say that you are looking forward to hearing from the employer. Be assertive: Make things happen for you. Follow up on every resume you send to employers, and keep networking with everyone and anyone. Networking helps eliminate competition and puts you one-on-one with employers.

Whatever you do, do what others fail to do.

• Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, see

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