Frequently Asked Questions
Getting Started: Submitting and Updating your Information for your sales job search
- I tried to submit my information but I am getting a message that says my application has not yet been processed. What does that mean?
When you submit your information to us to begin the sales job search through either a job board or directly through our site, we may take a day or two to process your information. This means that it first must be imported into our system, and then assigned to a member of our recruiting team. They review all resumes that are submitted, and if they feel they have a potential match for you they will contact you via phone or email immediately.
- I submitted my resume and/or completed an application, so why haven’t I heard from anyone?
We receive literally hundreds of applicant submissions every week. During peak times of the year (May/June, September and January) these numbers can almost double!!! It is impossible for us to respond to every applicant individually, especially if we do not feel we have a potential opportunity for them. We truly wish we could place everyone, but unfortunately it simply isn’t possible. Once your information has been submitted, you will receive an email confirming that we have received it and has been entered into our database. You do not need to follow up with us in order to verify we have your resume. Again, if we feel we have something that matches your background, we will contact you immediately!
- I just updated my resume on the Porter Group website, so what else do I need to do to ensure that they know I am actively looking?
NOTHING! Once you have updated your resume and online application, we receive a notification letting us know. This indicates you have started a new job search and we will either contact you (should we have an immediate match) or keep our eyes out for any potential opportunities that match your skill set.
- I am ready to start my sales job search but I don’t have a great looking resume. Should I wait until I get my resume professionally done before contacting The Porter Group?
No! You can reach out to us with the resume you have and we are happy to offer a few suggestions to get it in shape. It actually helps the process if we can recommend some verbiage to better market you to our clients. Should your resume need a full overhaul we do have several resume services available for a fee, but contact us and get the ball rolling! There are also resumes tips and samples in under the resources page.
- How much personal information will I need to provide The Porter Group in order to begin a new sales job search?
You will need to provide your recruiter with your basic contact information including name address, phone numbers, past earnings history (both base salary and W-2s) as well as quotas, achievements and performance history. We will also need to know your entire work history including your current employer. WE DO NOT, AND WILL NOT EVER CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER. The nature of our business is based on discretion and confidentiality. The information you provide to us is essential in our ability to conduct an effective search and any missing information will only hinder the process. Sometimes candidates are hesitant to share their income history or refuse to provide it all together. Without this information we cannot represent you effectively to our clients and will require it before moving forward. Please note that we keep all information confidential and none of your information will be publicized in any fashion.
- I’ve heard that recruiters sometimes charge people fees. Does The Porter Group charge job seekers to assist in their sales job search?
No, we do not charge any fees to represent you and help you secure a sales career with one of our clients. However, if you choose to use any of our resume services, there are costs involved. We do not “push” our resume services on anyone and most candidates can tweak their own resumes without spending a dime. It is likely that if you are invited in for a live interview, we will offer a few suggestions to spice up the resume. You can make these changes at home easily and then send us your revised version.
Working with your recruiter
- I am working with a recruiter already at The Porter Group and have left him/her several messages to touch base and see how the search is going, but have not heard back. Does this mean they are no longer representing me? Why haven’t they called me back?
This is probably the most common concern we hear from career seekers. During the initial interview with your recruiter, they should have explained the process moving forward and exactly what to expect in terms of follow up. As a practice, we do not “touch base” with our active candidates with updates on the search process. We focus our time on securing interviews, following up on resumes we have submitted to our clients and negotiating offers on behalf of our candidates. Reaching out to just “touch base” without any new information to share, only slows down the process. We understand there is an emotional component to sales job searching…please remember that we are working hard on your behalf, even when you don’t hear from us. It is imperative that we keep the momentum going and focus our efforts on getting you in front of our clients! However, If anything in your search criteria changes or you have a question for your recruiter, be sure to leave them a detailed voice mail or email. They should return your call or email within a reasonable amount of time. We ask that you do NOT leave a verbal message with anyone who answers the phone as we cannot be sure it will in fact make it to your recruiter. No recruiter on our team will stop representing you without your knowledge. We ask that if you secure a position on your own, you let us know immediately. Remember if you don’t hear from us, that means we are busy working on getting you a new job.
- Every time I call my recruiter they say s/he is on the phone. How is it that they are always on the phone? Why are they avoiding my calls?
Your recruiter is not avoiding your calls, and is actually on the phone. The nature of our job is to be on the phones or in interviews. If we are doing anything else, we aren’t doing our job!!!! We understand it can be frustrating and for this we apologize, but please know that our being constantly on the phone means talking to clients and securing interviews for you! If you need to reach your recruiter, be persistent and leave them a detailed message regarding what you need to speak with them about. That way they can contact you with the answer ASAP.
- I keep seeing ads for a job that I believe I am qualified for, so why hasn’t my recruiter called me about it?
It is impossible for us to put every piece of hiring criteria into a small job posting. We make every effort to include the basic requirements our client has given us, but keep in mind, there may be many other qualifications not listed. Additionally, our role is to determine cultural fits and personality matches to ensure long term employee/employer relationships. Our success is based on truly knowing who will fit well where.
- I saw a job listing that says “entry level”, I have many years experience. How can I not be qualified for it?
While it may appear that “entry level” is defined as ‘virtually no experience’ it goes beyond that. One of the main reasons our clients who are searching for entry level candidates will not consider you is two words: Flight Risk. They fear an applicant who accepts a position at a much lower level will continue to search for something better, at a more relevant pay grade. They often ask us: “why would some one who has earned over $80K want to take this job for a base of $35K and a first year earnings of $50K????” The employer views this person as needing a stop-over position and will not stay for the long haul. This is not always the case, and we do our best to open up our clients to various potential backgrounds.
- I have the same experience as my friend did and my sales numbers are better, so why did they get many interviews last year when they came in, and I’ve gotten none?
Timing is everything!!!! We hear this all too often and wish we could offer a better explanation than the fact that things are always changing. We can never predict what sales openings will be available when you begin your job search. It is likely that your friend was in his/her search at a time when the market was more fruitful or had something else in his/her background that our clients found appealing. Sometimes it can be due to where you reside (in relation to the territory), earnings history, and most likely market conditions at that time.
- My friend with less experience got into medical, software, etc why can’t I?
Circumstances dictate most things in the job market from day to day. It could be that when your friend got into medical/pharmaceutical/software (insert hot industry here), they were lucky enough to interview during a “pilot program” or some other kind of oddity that allowed them to break into the field. It could have been a manager with a vacant territory who had been interviewing for months who was willing to compromise on experience to get the position filled as quickly as possible. You never know!!!!Comparing yourself to a friend that landed what you believe to be your “dream job” will endlessly frustrate you. Instead, spend your time focusing on what is available for YOU in TODAY’S market and adjust your expectations. This will ensure you have the best chance of landing a great opportunity that will offer longevity and growth.
- I want to get into government sales. How do I do that?
First consider why you want to get into government sales. Do you believe that it is easier than the private sector? Are you looking for Federal sales or more State and Local sales? These are important considerations and demand information before making a qualified decision. Unfortunately, it is very challenging to break into any kind of government sales due to the very intricate procurement process. Typically, the easiest way to get into government sales is to stay within your industry (where you already know the product or service) and join an organization that has both a commercial AND government sales division. Your industry knowledge makes you appealing to a potential employer, and you then have the opportunity to move within the company into the government sales sector. This ensures your learning curve will be much shorter since you will already know not only the product/service, but also the inner workings of the company.
- When I apply for a job that I saw online, how much information will you give me about that particular company and position?
Please understand that our clients request all of their openings are kept confidential. We are not trying to be evasive when questioned about an opportunity you may have seen posted online, and we are contractually bound to not divulge the company name. Additionally, it doesn’t make much sense for us to tell you all about this (or any) particular opening this early in the process. Even if we shared every detail about the open position, it would not be relevant, as you have not even been through our initial screening process. It simply is not an effective use of time for either party, and is in many ways “putting the cart before the horse”. You may be thinking “well how do I know if I am even interested in that job”? You won’t know that just yet, but will soon enough. We have over 300 openings at any given time and even if you do not fit the bill for the position you applied for, there are likely others that match your skill set perfectly!
- I live in Baltimore, but am willing to drive to Northern VA, why am I not being considered for those openings?
The number one reason people make a job change is because they have too long of a commute. Our clients have been burned by this time and time again and simply cannot risk hiring any one who resides too far from the office or territory. While many say they are comfortable with lots of windshield time, we know that only leads to a frustrated employee who eventually will leave for something closer to home. Again, please understand the restrictions on where some one must reside comes from the clients and not The Porter Group. We must respect their wishes and stay within the specifications they give to us.
- I do not live in the area you cover, but “I’m willing to relocate for the right job”. Can you help me?
The “RIGHT job” is a very subjective description, and it’s difficult to determine what that will be for every person. More importantly, it goes without saying that most sales professionals would relocate for a huge pay raise and their dream job. Putting aside your “ideal/dream job” are you really ready to pick up and move tomorrow? Would you be willing to finance the cost of relocation yourself? Have you considered selling your home in this market? Breaking a lease? Your spouse’s job (if applicable)? Changing schools for your children? The cost of living difference in this area? Our clients have a substantial pool of candidates locally that do not require the additional cost and complication of moving some one to this area. While some people are genuinely ready to pack up and be here tomorrow, most are not. If you are seriously considering moving to this area and have already addressed the above mentioned hurdles, we can certainly begin a search for you here in our local market. We only ask that you take these factors into consideration before beginning a search. This ensures we are not wasting our client’s time and there will be no potential issues regarding your geography should we get to final stages in the interview process.