How do you feel about a job posting that specifically states no phone calls? Does it show blatant disregard if a candidate calls or is that person one step ahead of the rest because he/she is the only one calling?

I feel it's important to follow the guidelines given on a job posting because it shows attention to detail, but I've read blog posts where people argue that you should call anyway.

Ugh, personally I hate it. If I say no calls, I mean no calls. I'm not just testing applicants to see who will take the initiative to call anyway.

But on the other hand, there are employers where calling actually can help move your application forward, and candidates have no way of knowing from the outside which type of employer they're dealing with.

I don't want any phone calls because:

1. Being interrupted by an unnecessary phone call annoys me. I never want job applicants to contact me by phone; I much prefer email, as it allows me to respond when it's convenient, rather than having to stop whatever I'm doing to take a call.

2. I'm organized. I don't need to be reminded of your application because it's not going to slip through the cracks, and I don't need to be asked for a status update because I keep candidates posted about their status.

3. I mean what I say. If I clearly say no calls, I'm going to wonder why you didn't think it applied to you.

But, on the other hand, many employers are unorganized, don't necessarily mean what they say, and are more likely to answer their phone than return an email. (Of course, you could argue that those employers might suck and therefore following instructions is a good way to screen out employers who don't have their act together -- but that's a hard argument to make when you really need a job.)

I've heard from plenty of people who called an employer to follow up on their application and had an interview scheduled on the spot. These employers are reinforcing bad behavior and ruining it for the rest of us, and I wish we could fine them or something, but it doesn't change the fact that it happens.

So I'm hesitant to tell people that they shouldn't do this just because it annoys me. The best I can say is to pay attention to all the signals you're getting about how this employer operates and make your decision accordingly.

What do others think?