While we live in the digital age where immediate information is consistently at our fingertips, that isn’t really how the hiring process works. Finesse and patience are required; so too is a balance of assertiveness and respect for your contact’s time.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when following up on applications, job interviews and with decision makers who haven’t yet said what you want to hear: “When can you start?”
1. When it is Time to Say “Thank you”
Follow up within 24 hours and ideally within the business day, especially if the interview was before lunch. Following up the quickly shows a sense of eagerness, displays gratitude and demonstrates a sense of urgency.
2. When the Job Posting Says “Please, No Phone Calls”
The please… no phone calls! Respect the recruiter’s time. HR folks are busy, and application instructions such as this are noted for a reason – and you are judged by how well you follow them.
3. When the Recruiters Says “We’ll Be in Touch”
After the interview, you are likely going to hear some variation of, “We’ll be in touch at the end of the week…”
When this happens, give them two days from the date they committed before feverishly following up (yes, even if they tell you “tomorrow”). Send your thank you note with 24 hours, of course. But everything else needs to wait, or you may come across as a bit desperate.
4. When HR Won’t Say if They’ve Received Your Resume
HR often receives hundreds of submissions for each job positing; they simply don’t have the capacity to respond to each candidate individually. If they’re sincerely interested, the theory goes, they will get back to you (eventually).
If you do follow up, be professional, concise, and tactful. Remind them which position you applied to, and why you’re a good fit for the role and the company.
5. When the Hiring Manager Says Nothing At All
You’ve followed rules 1 through 3 perfectly, and the recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t respond. Now what?
Don’t worry, it’s okay to follow up a second time several days to a week later. Do not mention the previous failure to respond. Instead, this communication as an opportunity to reaffirm your interest in the position and the company, and bring the conversation back around to why you’re a good fit for the role.
6. When You Want the Recruiter to Say How You Can Improve
If you weren’t extended an offer, and the hiring manager seems receptive, do not be afraid to ask for feedback. The worst thing that can happen is the recruiter declines to provide feedback. The best thing is you learn a great deal while being perceived as willing to improve and coachable.
7. When Your Brain Says “It’s Just Not Meant to Be”
In today’s market, reputation is everything. People, including HR and hiring managers, move around from company to company. And while hiring managers won’t always remember the candidates they come in contact with, they most certainly will remember the ones who made a great first impressions. Tell yourself, “Okay, next time.” And stay professional at all times.
Proper follow up is an important element of your job search; how you execute can make or break your chances at snagging an interview, or even an offer. So be smart. And find that balance between respectful and appropriately persistent.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brooklyn Resume Studio!
About the Author: Dana Leavy founded Aspyre Solutions, focusing on small business development and career consulting. Her mission is to support creative and socially-conscious small businesses, through career transition coaching and business consulting for creative professionals and entrepreneurs.
Dana has helped hundreds of professionals in advertising, marketing, design and other industries execute effective career plans to find and DO the work they are passionate about. She has presented seminars on navigating careers, transition and work-life balance to several colleges and universities, and her advice has been featured on MSN Careers, Fox Business News, NewsDay, CareerBuilder.com, GlassDoor and About.com. Follow Dana on Twitter!