Following up is not optional during job search. It is mandatory! Instead of hoping you’ll hear back, these are things you can do to improve your odds of getting a response.
You’ve applied for dozens if not hundreds of jobs online. You haven’t heard back.
Join the club.
This is probably one of the biggest frustrations of job seekers.
So what can you do?
Adapt Your Resume and Cover Letter
First things first. When you applied for the job, did you take the time to personalize and customize your cover letter and resume?
Can the employer clearly see (without having to think) how your experience relates to the job? If not, this could be why you aren’t hearing anything.
Next time you apply for a job, review the job posting line by line and highlight the wording they’ve used that matches what you’ve done. Now, go back and make sure you’ve used that EXACT wording in your resume.
As for your cover letter, you must show the company you are interested in working for them. Do you know people who like working there? Have you used their product or service? Does the company have a mission that aligns with your values? It’s up to you to explain why you want to work there.
Stop waiting. Take action.
If you are really interested in any of the jobs you applied for, then take the time and effort to follow up with an email or phone call. The only way you’ll know what’s going on with the job is by following up!
A word of caution. Be sure you follow the instructions, for example, if the job posting said “No calls please”, that means you shouldn’t call. Looking for some advice on making these follow-up phone calls? Read Follow-up Tactics.
Find an Insider
Talk to everyone you know and find someone who works for that company. When you find someone who works there, ask them if they know about the job, its status, and who they might recommend you speak to.
Be super nice to them because you will want them to be an advocate for you or at least an informant.
Or you might be able to find names of people to contact on the company website or on LinkedIn. You might even try checking Twitter for company employees.
Timelines Slip…Don’t Give Up
I read an article that suggested that job seekers give up if they haven’t heard back from an employer. I would caution against this, especially if it is a job/company you are really interested in.
Companies do not purposely keep applicants hanging.
There are many valid reasons why you haven’t heard from the company: timeline slips, priorities change or they’ve put the job on hold for some reason.
Don’t give up. Find out from your information (company insider) what’s going on! Then following up isn’t so difficult.
Feel Empowered, Not Victimized
Sure the employer has what you want…a job. But, what can you do to feel empowered? Take action. At least you can say and know that you did EVERYTHING possible. Waiting isn’t taking action. One email isn’t enough. Be pleasantly persistent!
Here is a post I wrote which addresses the fear of many, What will they think (you don’t want to come across as aggressive or desperate, so how much is too much following up?)
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.