Application Follow up

How to follow up on your Recent Job Application By Aurora Meyer on Dispatches from the Castle ipad showing job application held by two hands

A recent LinkedIn post from the HAPPO – Help A PR Pro Out group (great group for those interested in or employed in Public Relations) reiterated that not all job applicants are well versed in the skillful follow-up from the application. Most people know to send at minimum a thank you note after an interview, but what about before the interview?

Instead of just waiting after applying, find a way to follow-up. The key to this is knowing who you sent your application to. Find a name, email address and phone number. Email is the best option, but if you only have a phone number that will do.

A good rule of thumb, as indicated in the HAPPO post reply, is to wait a week. That means a full seven days. If the job posting says no phone calls, follow that directive and send an email instead. If it strictly says no follow ups, find another reason to contact the person, such as a recently published article relevant to the position. There is a fine line between assertive and over the top. Don’t be over the top.

This article from US News suggests the easiest way to not be over the top is to find a way to reiterate your interest without being annoying. The example the article shares is, “I submitted my application for your __ position last week, and I just wanted to make sure my materials were received. I also want to reiterate my interest in the position; I think it might be a great match, and I’d love to talk with you about it when you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews.”

Don’t demand an immediate response, the article advises. How do you follow-up on applications?

My Single Piece of Advice to 2010 Graduates (PR or not)

Photo from: Ricomoss
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve made this mistake more than once. A few times, it has worked out well for me. Others have been total disasters.

Don’t accept the first job offer that comes your way, just because it is the first.

Think about that for a minute. Job hunting is scary. It is intimidating and isn’t easy. But trying to fit yourself into a company that doesn’t work for you or a boss with a personality that doesn’t mesh with yours is worse. Unless the position is a perfect fit and will offer you everything you want in a company, culture and in personal relationships with co-workers, it is ok to turn it down.

Yes, your parents might be disappointed and your friends might not understand, but they are not the ones who will have to work there for nine hours (or more!) a day, five (or more!) days per week.

It is perfectly fine to turn down a job you wouldn’t find the work interesting. Of if after the interview you have a gut feeling that it wouldn’t be a good fit. Don’t ignore that. Don’t just say, well it might not be so bad. You have instincts for a reason.

I was on one interview where my possible future boss, stepped on every sentence I had. She was a bit abrasive even in the interview setting. If I had listened to my gut, I would have realized that if she acts this way now, she’ll be even worse if I actually worked for her. And she was.

If I hadn’t just accepted that job off the bat and had waited just a week more, I could have accepted a job in a better environment, with a more collegial staff. I didn’t accept because I had just started a new job. I still kick myself for that.

There are many resources available to you to help decide if an offer is right for you. Just start with Google or your Help a PR Pro Out comrades. In the end, it is your choice. If it doesn’t feel like a choice, consider that a sign that it might be worth waiting for the next opportunity.