3 Follow-Up Steps to Land the Job
Do Call Us. We Won’t Call You.
It would be nice if it were a standard practice among companies to follow up to let candidates know that they were not selected. It sure would make the process a whole lot easier and less stressful. Smaller staffing levels account for the lack of manpower to produce the emails and make those “sorry, but you were not selected for an interview” calls. Candidates must take the initiative and follow up, which is precisely what I did when pursuing my college internship with The Late Show with David Letterman.
It was ringing. I swallowed to get the lump out of my throat and became even more nervous when I realized I had no water in front of me. About four rings in, someone answered: “Late Show”. I said “Hi, my name is Sally. I submitted my resume about a week ago for an internship position and I am following up on my status.” She responded “Hang on just a minute.” I waited in shock. My brain went numb and then a lady with a thick accent came on the phone and said “Internship Department”.
After I told her who I was, she said “your name rings a bell, hang on just a minute”. I didn’t even think I would get anyone on the phone let alone be told that my name “rings a bell”. I was on hold for what felt like an eternity. Finally, the lady with the thick accent got back on the phone and said “Your resume is quite good. Can you fly out for an interview sometime in the next 2 weeks?” I swallowed again. Trying not to scream it, I replied “Absolutely. Thank you!” Holy cow this could be the start of my dream career. (Excerpt from my forthcoming book, “You vs. Unemployment”, book one of “The Career Success Games” trilogy.)
Here are 3 steps to take when you apply and have yet to hear back:
- Go back and review the original job posting. If the application deadline has yet to pass, be patient. If an official deadline is not noted, I recommend making the follow up call one work week after submitting your resume.
- If the contact person’s information was not provided in the job posting, you will have to do some research on the company website and perhaps investigate on Google and other social media outlets to track down the decision maker, or at least a human resources representative.
- Once the application deadline has passed, conduct a follow up call to confirm that your resume was received. Try to engage in conversation. Don’t just ask if they received your resume. At the National Association of Resume Writers’ conference that I attended recently in Chicago, Kelly Siewert, HR Consultant, with AMA stated that “Conducting a follow up call shows initiative and that you should speak about the job and your skills rather than just seeing if they received your resume.”
You might try saying:
Hello, my name is (Your Name), I submitted my resume to be considered for your (title of position) and I am following up to ensure that you received it. And perhaps we may have a quick chat about how my skills and experience match what you are looking for.
Be sure that you research the company, review the job description again, and have your resume in front of you so that you can point out why you are the best candidate for the position. The call could evolve into a mini interview, so practice and prepare to impress.
Get used to rarely hearing back a reply aside from the standard “thank you for applying email”. It is important to follow up with every prospective employer that you apply with. It may just result in a scheduled interview and even a job offer.
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