Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re in the market for a new job, and after conducting all your research, you send out cover letters and resumes to companies. Weeks go by and you wonder why not even one of those companies has not called you for an interview.
If you remember nothing else from this article, please remember these words if you want to succeed in finding a new job: follow up, follow up, and follow up.
Following up job leads shows prospective employers your interest in the company and position — and gives you another chance to sell your qualifications. Some job-seekers fear sounding desperate or annoying when making follow-up inquiries, but as long as you do it right, you will come across as interested, not desperate.
Tips for Following-Up
Here are some useful guidelines to consider before you follow-up with prospective employers.
- Always make time to follow-up all job leads, no matter how busy you are.
- Follow-up in a timely fashion — usually 2 weeks for conventional job-searching, sooner for online applications.
- Create a job leads diary so you have a record of your job-search and follow-up.
- Keep your follow-up brief, to the point, and professional.
- Focus your follow-up around your fit with the position and organization and your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
- If you recently completed training, received an award, or earned some other recognition that would make you an even better candidate for the position, be sure to mention it in your follow-up.
- Continue following-up regularly, but don’t overdo it.
- If you are nervous, consider developing a short script about what you want to say (such as your fit with the job, knowledge of the company, USP).
- Make an outline or some notes of the key points you want to make.
- Keep a copy of your resume nearby in case you need to refer to something on it.
- Make the phone call from a place where you can talk calmly and not have distractions – and avoid following up from your current place of employment.
- Be prepared for a short screening phone interview by practicing answers to common interview questions
- Always address your email to the Human Resource contact or your key contact in the firm.
- Keep your email short and to the point. Simply again state your interest in the job and your key qualifications for it.
- Be sure to spell-check and proofread your e-mail before sending it.
- Remember to check your email regularly.
- Because e-mail is such a one-way communication, and you don’t really know if your e-mail is even being read, consider asking for a phone number so you can then follow-up by phone. And if you get no response, do your research and uncover the phone number yourself.
You may get discouraged if you discover through following up that you are not a final candidate for a position, but isn’t knowing that information sooner rather than later better in terms of moving forward with your job-search? And don’t let a rejection stop you; in fact, if you are told you will not be one of the job-seekers interviewed, consider asking why so that you can improve your chances for other job openings. And if you have a good rapport with the hiring manager, you could also ask about the possibility of an informational interview, possibly turning that person into a valuable networking contact and source of future job leads. You could also say that you would like to be considered for future openings.
Finally, please keep repeating these words at your mantra: follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. It truly is one of the keys to job-search success. See you at the top!!