I once had a fellow in one of my job search workshops where we were discussing the importance of follow-up. He had never heard of it before but thought it was a fantastic idea. He mentioned it was too bad he hadn’t known of it earlier when he applied for a dream position. I suggested he still follow-up. He said, “Well, you don’t understand…that was a month ago! The job has been filled.” I said, “You can still follow-up. What have you got to lose?” So he did.
Afterwards, he told me what happened. Apparently the employer had kept his resume on top of the pile on his desk and waited for him to follow-up. He didn’t contact my client, because he said his policy is to never call people for interviews. He only interviews those who take initiative to follow-up and who meet the criteria. And luckily for my client, the person who was hired didn’t work out and they were just about to advertise again. Needless to say my client got his dream job!
This true story is one that is shared now in many job search classes and has been added to curriculum! The reason is this: what you don’t know can hurt you. While not all employers follow or endorse this course of action, you have to know that some do. After research with many employers, I was surprised to hear of others taking similar actions, as well as general feedback that the initiative of follow-up was impressive.
How should one follow-up? I would recommend you follow-up the same way you applied. In other words, if the job ad said, “No phone calls”, then do not phone, but instead do what you did before. If you emailed your resume, email your follow-up; if you applied in person, follow-up in person. If they have freely given out their phone number, without restriction, give them a call. If writing a follow-up letter, be sure to use the same letterhead you’ve used for all your job search documents (cover letter, resume, fax sheet if applicable, reference sheet, etc.) and keep the formatting and font consistent. Verify that they’ve received your application documents. Express your continued interest in the position.
Again, what do you have to lose? You don’t have the job to begin with, so what’s the worse thing that could happen? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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