Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Job Follow Up: Being Persistent Vs. Being A Pest

There's a very fine line between being a persistent and being a pest when doing a job follow up.  If you push too hard you risk turning off your contact.  But, not pushing hard enough can cost you.  How do you hit this perfect balance?  Let's do a little compare and contrast to make this clear.

Being Persistent:

  • Sending a polite "thank you" message after you get home from an interview.
  • Inquiring on the status of your job application five to seven days after sending it in.
  • Wait a week to a week and a half before each additional follow-up.
  • Your messages are brief and cordial. 

Being a Pest:

  • Sending a follow-up message almost immediately after you send in your job application.  Anything less then five days is too soon.  Countless applications are sent in everyday, so give the employer time.
  • This applies to the rest of your messages.  Hiring managers love to see persistence in a candidate, but they also don't want their inboxes flooded with messages.
  • The whole point of your follow-up messages is to show that you really want the job.  There's no need to send over an essay.  All you have to do is a send a brief note saying that you are really excited about the opportunity to work at the organization.  You can then politely ask if they have any update on the status of your application.
  • Make sure you aren't coming off as too nosey or desperate in your messages.

If you don't hear back from an employer after two or three follow ups, it's time to close the book on that opportunity.  If you do hear back, pay close attention to the language they use.  Refrain from sending anymore messages if you see statements like "I will contact you when I have an update."  Just thank them for all of their help, and back off.

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