Welcome to the final step in the Job Search Series. Today we’ll look at something that a lot of people tend to forget: the follow-up. Just as we learned in Step 5 – The cover letter you need to distinguish yourself in some way. The follow up is one of the ways that you can stand out from the crowd.
After you’ve had your interview or sent your resume to someone in your network you need to take the time to follow up with them. Make sure they don’t have any questions and if they do get them straightened out. If it was an interview simply send your interviewer a quick thank you note via email. Most people don’t do this and the person receiving this will appreciate it.
Personally I’ve sent thank you notes by email and left voice mails after pretty much every interview I’ve had for at least the last 5 years. What this has done for me is it has kept the dialogue open longer giving me additional chances to impress the decision maker. But the biggest thing a thank you note or call says is that you’re really serious about the job. Skills can be trained but attitude and interest are very hard to implement after you start a job.
From a hiring manager’s perspective the people who I interviewed that left me a follow up note really showed a lot of interest in the position. They stood out more than people with good skills that simply wanted a paycheck. I’ve hired a few of these people and I have to say that the enthusiasm from these individuals is far higher than from people who didn’t follow up.
Another reason to follow up with companies that you’ve interviewed with, and in general, is that sometimes there are changes in the company. There maybe a temporary delay on hiring a position. You don’t know the details but following up if you haven’t heard back from the company reminds them about you and shows that you’re still interested. If the answer ends up being they’ve filled the position you now have an opportunity to ask why you weren’t selected (but be tactful – learn from the experience) and to develop a potential contact for your network.
Following up with people is incredibly important not only in searching for a job but also in your day-to-day life. I’ve seen its benefits over and over again as I’m sure most readers have. Remember to follow up with the people who are considering you for a job. In my opinion: you should send a quick thank you note at a bare minimum.
Thanks for following along with the Job Search Series; I hope it’s been beneficial for those of you out there looking for work. If you have any comments or feedback please pass it along, these have been based off of my experiences and I’d be interested in hearing what you’ve encountered.