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Moving on from Old Employment Opportunities

"JT & Dale Talk Jobs" is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com. Dear J.T. & Dale: I've been out of school about two years and have had only internships and non-career jobs. About a month ago, a recruiter left me a message on my cell phone about a job at a well-known PR firm. I returned the call and got his machine. The following week I called again but heard nothing. The following week I left a message saying to let me know if the opportunity was still available, blah, blah, blah. It's been a month now, and I haven't heard from him. I'm thinking about calling again one last time. What do you guys think? — Duncan Dale: There's no reason not to make the call, although I doubt it will help. It's likely that the recruiter has moved on to filling other jobs. An analogy might help you keep from torturing yourself: The recruiter is like a professional shopper: someone who's at the grocery store with a shopping list, filling the cart, moving at a time-is-money pace. He paused at your section to look over the choices, made his selection and moved on. Now he's in the next aisle and can't hear you crying out, "Hey, what about me?" J.T.: As analogies go, that one's a bit cold and dehumanizing, but I won't say it doesn't happen. Dale: But it's dehumanizing only because the job hunter let it be so... he's just another product until he makes connections and makes it human. J.T.: Speaking of which, if you thought the PR firm was a good fit, Duncan, don't give up on it — use social-media tools to find people who work there, then reach out to them and try to meet them so you can find out what it would take to work there. Dale: Don't stop there. Make a list of other companies where you'd love to work, and do it again and again. It sure beats sitting on the shelf, waiting for a recruiter to notice you. JTandDale.com LogoJeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of the career consulting firm, JTODonnell.com and of the job search blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com. Please visit them at JTandDale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. 3D man with grocery cart image from Shutterstock