Question: “How important is follow-up in my job-search?”
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Follow up is truly vital to your job-search success. All job-seekers please take note: your job is not done once the job interview is over; first, you must send thank you notes to all the folks you interview with, and second, you need to follow-up with the hiring manager and continue showing your interest in the organization.
Employers have had the luxury in the last couple of years to really stretch the length of the hiring process, some to many months beyond the initial interviews. I think we’ll soon be seeing a change, once the employment environment improves for job-seekers. Regardless of whether the job market is strong or weak, follow-up is a key task for job-seekers.
But how does a job-seeker follow-up without sounding desperate or becoming a nuisance?
Call the hiring manager. If the hiring manager is avoiding your calls, it could be a bad sign — but not necessarily. If you cannot reach him because his secretary is screening his calls, consider calling during lunch time or after business hours — where you may be lucky enough to catch him, or at least be able to leave a voicemail message. And since you have his email address, send him an email follow-up.
So how do you not sound desperate? Well, first, don’t act like it. I actually think following-up about once a week is not unreasonable. Calling every day is a warning sign to employers. But, here’s something more important than the frequency — the content of your conversation. Whenever you do call, have a topic of interest to discuss first — perhaps the employer was in the news (about a new product, sales growth, or something else positive) or perhaps you have news (such as completed more training or some accomplishment)… and once you have discussed the news (and shown your continued interest in the organization), you can casually ask about the status of the job opening. And if you do get a job offer from one of the other leads you are pursuing, by all means call the hiring manager and let her know — it could backfire on you, but it might also hasten the hiring process if you are the top candidate for the position.
Read more in these articles published on Quintessential Careers:
This article is part of a series from The Career Doctor’s Cures & Remedies to Quintessentially Perplexing Career and Job-Hunting Ailments. Read more.
See a list of all the most common college, career, and job questions — and Dr. Hansen’s solutions.
Who is the Career Doctor? Learn more, read his current career column, or browse the column archives when you visit the Career Doctor’s homepage.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is a nationally recognized career and job-search expert. He is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
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