Most of the time, the job search process entails a lot of waiting. Have they received my application? Was the interview a success? How long do you think it will take them to respond?
Even if a company is working quickly to fill a position, it can still take time before you hear back from them. However, how you follow up while you’re waiting can help make you stand out from other applicants. So don’t be shy about following up and expressing your enthusiasm for the role.
Employers want to hire people that want the job. They’re not in the business of trying to pitch a job to someone who is really resistant, so you need to make it really clear in your application that you’re keen for the role, a great fit for the role, and suited to the culture of the organisation – one great job application tip to keep in mind.
You’ve applied… now what?
You submit your application and then check your email every few days to see whether a recruiter wants to schedule an interview.
You do not, however, have to wait. According to experts, you should contact them as soon as possible after submitting your application. Even in a job seeker’s market, your application is unlikely to be seen by a human being right away without a giving the employer or recruiter a nudge.
When you submit a resume, it typically goes into an applicant tracking system…and recruiters do not look at every resume. You need to find someone to refer you in….or find a contact in the company to flag your resume, or do it yourself by giving the recruiter a call or an email about your application.
If the contact information isn’t included on the job posting, you’ll have to do some detective work to figure out who to contact. Check LinkedIn to see if you have any direct or second-degree connections at the company, who you may contact and ask to forward your resume along or connect you directly with the hiring manager.
The easy way to do this is to go to the company’s LinkedIn profile, click the “people” tab, and search for “recruiter” among the company’s list of employees.
You can refine that search even further if you know the business unit you’ve applied to.
Another strategy is to track down the hiring manager. To do this, figure out the title of the person you’d be reporting to, based on the position you’re applying for.
Let’s say it’s marketing director – think of the hierarchy of a company: you will typically report into the vice president, or if you are manager you might report into the director. You can look on the company’s LinkedIn page to see employees and filter down by job title.
If there are still too many possibilities, examine the job posting for extra hints. Look for something unique in the job description that you would be doing that your hiring manager might also know about and put that in as a keyword … to help you narrow it down.
In your contact with the organisation, summarise the key strengths that you would bring to the role.
The interview is over. Do this right away!
Even though job searchers have a lot of power right now, a thank you card is still important.
Every time you do the right thing, you are increasing your chances of getting an offer because so many people don’t do the basics.
It’s alright to send an email, but do so within 12 hours following the interview. And it doesn’t have to be long: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me about XYZ position, I really enjoyed our conversation. Then mention one memorable nugget of something that stood out to you or a follow-up to something you discussed. One factoid that shows you’re not sending a generic note.
And if you interviewed with more than one person, you should send each of them an individual thank you note.
It’s been a few weeks since the interview, and … crickets
You thought the job interview went well, but you haven’t heard anything yet.
It’s fine to ask about the timetable during the interview to prepare you for follow-up: “Can you talk me through the next steps – when can I expect to hear from you?” or “When would it be appropriate for me to follow up?”
If the response is something like two to three weeks, mark your calendar to send a follow up note in two weeks. But if they don’t give any sense of timing, reaching out once a week is a good rule of thumb.
Reiterate your interest in the check-in notes and include a reference to something from the interview that you’ve been thinking about, as well as recent corporate news announcements or CEO comments.
What you are really trying to do is not mess up by being irritating or rude – you are just pinging them with a little bit of value.
If three follow-up notes go unanswered after an interview, it’s usually time stop following up.
When you get a ‘thanks, but no thanks’
Receiving an email that says “thanks for your interest, but we’ve decided to go with someone else” isn’t a great feeling.
However, you can still take advantage of it by responding with something like: I wanted to thank you again for the opportunity, I am glad you found someone who is the right fit. I enjoyed meeting you and would welcome the opportunity to work with you and your team in the future and I’ve also sent you a connection request on LinkedIn.
A lot of people miss the opportunity of sending a final message to the ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ message.
When a preferred applicant drops out or a new position opens up, a positive final impression can help you land the job.