Taking the Initiative in Following Up

Job Search AdviceAre you eagerly awaiting a phone call or email after submitting a job application or attending an interview? As my mom used to say, “Don’t hold your breath.” You’re better off taking the initiative to follow up and see where you stand. No stalking or harassment, just a friendly message to check on the progress of the application or decision process.

After Applying
Follow up a week after submitting a job application. Send an email to the recruiter who posted the job letting them know you applied (mention the specific job title) and how excited you are about the position. Take this opportunity to tell them briefly why you are a great fit for that opening and their company, citing your skills and experience that match to the job description.

If you don’t know who the point of contact is for that position, use LinkedIn to find HR professionals or employees who work in that area of the company. If they are in your network, message them to let them know of your interest and ask for their advice and insights about working there. If they are not connected to you, invite them to join your network or send them an InMail if you have an upgraded account. Try using Email Hunter or GetEmail.io or similar tool to track down email addresses, so you can contact company recruiters and other employees directly in addition to through LinkedIn.

After Interviewing
Follow up immediately after an interview with a thank you note or email. That should go without saying! During the interview, ask the person the timeline for making their decision. If they tell you they’ll be deciding by next Monday, then give them a call on Tuesday if you haven’t heard from them. Again, it’s just a friendly call to check on the status of their decision. Either they haven’t yet decided (take the opportunity to remind them why you’re the right person and show them your enthusiasm for the job, then tell them you’ll call back in a week), you didn’t get the job (it wasn’t meant to be, and now you can move on to find something better), or you’re hired (hooray).

Stay Organized
Keep a journal of your job search activity to help you stay organized and track follow up actions. Build a list of your networking contacts and company contacts and include notes and next steps to help you keep the ball rolling.

Schedule a block of time daily for your job search activities so that you keep up the momentum. Don’t let rejections slow you down. A job search can be discouraging, but you have to look at rejections as lessons learned and it wasn’t meant to be. Easier said than done, but finding the right job takes multiple no’s and just one yes.

It requires time and energy to follow up on job leads, but the effort of staying on people’s radar will pay off when you land the job you’re working toward. Be proactive in your job search — and follow up!

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