“Still looking for work and it’s frustrating. I hear many different opinions about following up on your application. One source says it’s not a good thing while another says it might help you get the job because it shows that you’re interested. What advice do you have about follow ups?”
My answer is below, but if you want to join in on the conversation you can jump right in!
Great question, Sheila! Regarding following up, there are actually some pretty simple rules:
If the job posting says not to contact them – don’t. I know it’s tempting, but it will only tell them you either A) don’t follow directions or B) didn’t read the job post.
Now, if it *doesn’t* say not to contact them, absolutely do, but be sure you are considerate: most businesses have busy times – in a restaurant that may be lunch or dinner, for retail that might be Friday night. Don’t call a hiring manager during the busiest part of their day; doing that shows them you either lack an understanding of the business, or you aren’t very thoughtful.
You have 3 options (though thinking outside the box and being creative certainly doesn’t hurt!):
1) Email - send a thoughtful, error-free email to the hiring manager (WARNING: Take another look at your email address before you contact this way).
2) Call – call up the hiring manager and express your enthusiasm for the job, and let that person know you would be delighted to have an interview when it’s convenient. This option isn’t for the faint of heart: rehearse out loud (sounds silly, but it works!) and check the voice mail message you’ve recorded before you call.
3) Visit - Go in and personally shake hands and lock eyes with the hiring manager. But if you aren’t going to come dressed like it’s interview day, equipped with extra information (a cover letter, reference letter, contacts for your professional references, etc.) then pick a different method to follow up.
There will always be applicants who follow up, whether the posting says to or not. The key is to not be one of them when they specify no contact, and to make sure you follow up otherwise. It shows motivation and enthusiasm – two key characteristics every employer is looking for in their next employee!