Job Search Pest or Persistent: Which Are You?

We all know that persistence is a desirable trait for any job seeker, especially one looking for a job in a tight job market with ever-increasing competition. But there’s a fine line between persistence and pestering when it comes to communicating with potential employers, and many job seekers avoid being persistent in fear they’ll cross that line.

Afraid you’ll come off as annoying in the eyes of a hiring manager? Here are some examples of persistence vs. pestering to ensure you don’t bother a potential employer in your job search:

  • Persistence is following-up on your job application and the status of the position once a week for up to three weeks, preferably by email.
  • Pestering is calling, emailing, or otherwise attempting to communicate with a prospective employer (often with no response) more than three times after you’ve turned in your job application.
  • Persistence is sending a thank you note and email following an interview for a potential job. Showing your appreciation for a hiring manager’s time and reminding them why you’re the best candidate is a great way to stand out from the pack.
  • Pestering is sending a thank you note, follow-up email, several other emails, along with a calling several times inquiring about your application status following an interview. During the interview, you should inquire about the timeline of the opening, but never bother a hiring manager ruthlessly afterwards. They’re likely interviewing other candidates for the position (and perhaps interviewing for several other open positions at the same time) and don’t have time to answer your phone calls and emails until they know more.
  • Persistence is building mutually beneficial relationships with ideal employers and prospective networking connections using social media. These relationships, ideally, are built through interaction and engagement.
  • Pestering is asking an employer (or other career professional) to help you in your job search when you don’t have a personal connection to them. Networking is not about you; it’s about creating meaningful relationships on both sides.

Employers: Do you have any stories to share with current job seekers about candidates who crossed the line from persistence to pestering?


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Cachinko!



About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. She is also the founder & president of Come Recommended, the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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