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Following-Up in Your Job Search

Following-Up in Your Job Search

By the Monster Career Coach

Most job seekers put a great deal of effort into applying for positions and interviewing memorably. But there is another aspect to job hunting that a lot of people neglect: taking time to follow-up properly at each stage of the search.

As an applicant for a position you are being judged for each action that you take (or fail to take). Forgetting to send a Thank You note after each interview, not letting your networking contacts know what stage you’re at in your search, assuming that once you’ve applied to a position listed on you should sit back and wait for employers to call...these are common errors with simple solutions.

Don’t Wait Forever

Take the job application for starters. So you’ve sent in your resume to one or more of the postings on our site. A good beginning. But what if you don’t hear anything although a week has already gone by?

Don’t assume that you haven’t been selected for an interview. Employers operate on their own timeframes, which may be very different than yours. A gentle prod can work in your favour here. Consider calling the employer after five business days of applying, to leave a polite message asking if they’ve received your resume, and reminding them what a terrific fit you’d be for the job.

Thank You’s To Everyone

Often you will be contacted by a screener or scheduler from the employer when they want to bring you in for a face-to-face interview. Get the name and title of that person and e-mail them a quick Thank You note. Same for the day of the interview: make sure to get a business card from everyone you meet with, then within two to three business days send each of these people a short Thank You e-mail. After the more important interviews, you might even mail in a card conveying your appreciation.

And what if another week or two passes by without hearing from the employer you’ve interviewed with? Follow-up with a courteous phone call or e-mail, asking when you might expect to hear from them next. Add a short ‘personal advertisement’ (a few words about why you’re the best candidate and how excited you are by this opportunity).

Update and Give In Return

Aside from applying to the job postings on, you will likely be networking with friends, family and others as part of your search for new employment. The people that help you most – by giving you leads, reviewing your resume, offering to serve as a reference – deserve to be kept informed of your status.

Every few weeks send them a message that lets them know you have followed up on their advice. Provide them with a sense of how your applications and interviews are going.

If you can, try giving something back every so often. Maybe you stumble on article or piece of information that one of your contacts might find useful. Possibly you meet someone new along the way who you’d like to put in touch with one of your references because they share certain interests.

Details Make the Difference

You might not realize how important it can be to follow-up properly at each stage. After all, don’t you have enough on your plate with polishing that resume and honing your interview skills?

To put it into perspective, an employer may be faced, in the end, with two or more “equal” candidates that they must choose from. What if one of them hadn’t bothered to send a Thank You? It could be as subtle as that. It pays to pay attention to details. It demonstrates your professionalism in ways that might just win you that job.

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