By Sean Weinberg
We’re all used to the basic job application process (write resumes, search for jobs, hit apply), but there’s one piece of it that I keep seeing candidates miss - and it’s actually the most effective way to get an interview callback.
Following up is the most important thing to do in your job search.
A week after you apply, call or e-mail your potential employer. This is crucial for several reasons:
- It reminds the hiring manager that you exist. It is easy for your application to be lost in a pile of things to do and following up can help it get found.
- It shows initiative. It gives the company a taste for how you are as an employee. Someone who follows through and gets things done. Someone they want to hire.
- It separates you from the pack. A lot of people make the mistake of not following up and this can be the move that clinches the deal.
Some people may worry about being “annoying” or “bothering” the people they want to work for. However, following up is too important to let that concern stop you from following up at all.
Here’s how you follow up effectively and appropriately.
1. Stay polite and be brief. In professional communications, brevity is crucial. For the follow up not to seem like begging, you’ve got be comfortable holding back from giving the potential employer a lengthy job pitch. A simple “Just wanted to confirm you’d received my application” is generally sufficient as a starting sentence.
2. Remind the hiring manager why you would bring value to the company and that you are still interested. Following up is a chance to show them just a little bit more about you. You didn’t want to overwhelm with information on your resume and cover letter, so here’s your chance to slip in a little something extra. A follow up email can be a little bit friendlier and less formal in tone.
3. If you have already been called in for an interview, when you follow up show what you learned from the process. You want to show them “I heard what your needs are and I am the person to fulfill them.” Reinforce why they called you in for the interview in the first place.
4. Nudge a little. You do want to remind the company that you are in an active search. A great trick is to ask for a specific time frame for a meeting, thereby passively nudging them to give you a response. Something like, “I’ll be in the area on Monday afternoon and would love to meet up for coffee if you are available.”
5. Last, but most importantly: THE most effective line to use in your follow up is “Please let me know either way”.
I am going to repeat that: THE most effective line to use in your follow up is “Please let me know either way"
Sure, it’s more polite for the company to let you know either way, but with the amount of applicants and the numbered hours in a day, it’s not as likely that you’re going to get that courtesy call or e-mail unless you specifically ask for it.
Follow up with them to help ensure that they follow up with you.
Have you followed up and gotten the job or do you know someone who has?
Sean Weinberg is the COO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Also the founder of Freedom Resumes, Sean has dedicated his career to helping job seekers write the best possible resumes.