Great job on sending out your resumes! Now you can sit back and relax and wait! Well, sure, you can do that and do what everybody else is doing. OR you can follow-up! I know what you’re thinking, well you don’t want to “bug” them; they might not consider you. Seriously? Your task is to find employment and part of your job description is to follow-up. The people getting your resume have a job with multiple tasks and the 20th item on their list of things to do is finding the right person for the right position. So, another task for you is to make that person’s job easier. Following up is a professional endeavour to build relationships, make an impression, and tip the scale in your direction.
A follow-up is a recap of your abilities and experience, and an affirmation of your professionalism. Following up will display your genuine interest in the position, show that you’re organized, and that you value the employer’s time and your relationship with them.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Communicate generically, don’t simply ask if a decision has been made; assert your determination and showcase your value
- Follow-up too often; use your best judgement
- Take too long to follow-up; this may show that you are disorganized or uninterested
The best way to follow-up is by e-mail; this enables the employer to consider
their response and you’re not catching them off-guard.
How do you tip the scale in your favour? Just think: the employer is perhaps receiving 100’s of resumes, and they receive an e-mail from you letting them know that you applied, along with a short summary (three bullets) on why you are the perfect candidate for this position and an attached copy of your resume. He or she does not have to go searching for your resume, it’s all there for them.
If after a week they have not responded, don’t be afraid to send another one. Tenacity is important in this process. I’m not suggesting that you badger your contact with daily emails and phone calls. As a rule of thumb, follow-up twice after your initial message and then focus your energies somewhere else.
Here are some best practices:
- Follow-up within one week of applying online
- Use a system like an Excel spreadsheet to keep records of your conversations
- Persevere in finding a contact name. With today’s technology you will. Don’t use the excuse that you can’t find anyone.
- Whenever you can, keep control of your resume and always send it as an attachment to your e-mail when following-up to assist your contact.
- Always, always, always, communicate that you are a fit for the role you are applying for by focussing on where you can make an impact, add value, and/or solve a challenge.
- In every e-mail and phone call, suggest next steps by asking permission to follow-up if you have not heard from them in a week.
- Be sincere. Be someone others would want to work with.
- Treat others as you would like to be treated.
NEVER leave it to someone else to follow-up for you. No one is more interested in your job search than you are. Create the habit of always following up in the future in all areas of your life; I assure you it will reap benefits. For a copy of my following-up tip sheets and e-mail templates send me an e-mail – I would be very happy to send them to you. Leave me a comment or questions in the box below. Next, we will work on making a list of 10 companies where you would like to work and the strategy for finding a contact, connecting with them, and conducting informational interviewing.
Wishing you joy in your job search!
Guiding you to discover your passions
Inspiring you to make it happen
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