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?
As I addressed previously in The Lost Art of the Thank You Note, I strongly believe saying thank you is important. It seems that in the rush to get help and information some young professionals may be forgetting this common courtesy.
If a professional offers you advice, a resume critique or job search assistance, at minimum say thank you. I’m not suggesting you buy them flowers or send chocolates, but I am suggesting you write them a note thanking them for their help and promising to keep them updated on your progress.
While you might view not sending a note as no big deal, the professional person might see it as a slight, which could hurt you in the long run. Besides, don’t you want to be known as that up-and-coming, thoughtful and polite young professional? A thank-you note can help you establish that reputation.
And let’s face it, in the ever-shrinking professional world, your reputation is what you make it and then how you maintain it.
Have you ever noticed that when you are passionate about something, the words all just flow? I’m totally over my writing block and all it took was a Thank You note.
I recently wrote a note to someone I’ve never met and probably never will. The woman will be celebrating 75 years with an organization near and dear to my heart. As a way to bridge the generations, an advisor suggested we write a note thanking this woman for her many years of service. Hands down, it was the easiest note I’ve ever written.
How many thank you notes have you written lately? I write them quite often. I thought (and have been regularly told) this wasn’t normal until I took an informal Twitter poll and discovered the “lost art of the thank you note” might not be lost after all.
TJ Dietderich recently wrote a note to someone for just doing their job and writes them often, just to be nice.
“I think it’s charming!” she said. “And it proves to people that I’m not all digital and soulless e-mailing all the time.”
Most people are savvy to writing a thank you note for a job interview, and Jason Mollica said he wrote one “thanking for an interview at my current job.” He doesn’t just write thank you notes when it might set him apart from other candidates, he writes them when his children receive a gift or a friend goes out of their way.
Jessica Kohler and Amy Z. are a kindred spirits.
“I have nightmare stories about thank you notes,” Jess said.
amy_z also often writes thank you notes for gifts or other kindnesses.
I never would have guessed that the secret to unlock my writer’s block was hiding in a thank you note.