Monday, September 11, 2017

For Your Own Sake…

Have you recently or do you plan to apply for a new job? Well when you do, don’t just fire off a resume and then sit around waiting for the call – follow-up. Whenever and however you are able, you should seek out someone who would be responsible for hiring and interviewing for the position you seek. I recognize you likely sent your resume into that black hole that is replying to online job posts, but there should be a source and anytime the company is listed, that’s where you’ll start. If you use a recruiter or an agency ask of the representative when they will follow up with you and/or when you can follow up with them. Now, recognize in the current climate they may react with a bit of surprise, because most people accept sitting around like a dog waiting to be thrown a bone. I am not criticizing, not at all. But the job seeker has been relegated to the shadows and is only supposed to answer when called upon – like it or not that is where most of us find ourselves.
But know this: there is nothing wrong with what I am suggesting. You have every right to follow up in your own self-interest, not least of which because if you feel you are suitable and have an elevated interest in whatever job you’ve applied for, pursue it. 

·        If you applied online for a generically-listed position there isn’t much you can do

·        Best if you can determine the name of the hiring manager;  that is your target

·        If you are being represented by someone, that is with whom you should follow-up 

Granted, some people might react with surprise because most people just don’t do it. If you’re a fraidy-cat (children’s slang for someone who is afraid or phobic) about doing what I suggest, no problem, you don’t have to do anything, I am simply sharing what works for some people and what I do, as a rule. But key to this strategy is that if and when you speak with someone you need to have something substantive to say. Two weeks is when I suggest to follow-up. If you are represented by someone, shorten it to a week. This can also help you to determine the level of urgency to fill the position, an important consideration that I can discuss in another article. 

·        State briefly but concisely why you are following up

·        With a simple opening sentence, introduce yourself or identify yourself to someone to whom you’ve previously spoken, and state the reason for your call (which is to follow up regarding the position title of the posting number).

·        Request the next step or when you might be able to proceed to the next step

·        Ask if they require additional information

·        Thank them for their time 

As with all strategies I suggest, they all have value and they all can work but they do not work every time. Be adaptable and be prepared and adjust as necessary. The worst that can happen is to be told “no”, eh?  But sometimes getting a “no” is better than (hearing) nothing. And then, move on.
If you think this topic has relevance and you would like to be better prepared and improve your chances; to have the information available for quick reference or someone you know will need it - then no question about it, you need my handbook. Think of it as a career survival guide providing useful and effective tips for every step of the job search and interview process, ready when you will need it. It is recently updated and there’s stuff in it you’ll find nowhere else; you can find more information here: Control Your Career