Following Up: Being Persistent or Being a Pest

by Jaimie Hall-Bruzenak, retired Workamper Viewpoint Editor

You’ve found several Workamping positions you’re interested in and sent in your application or resume. Now what? Should you wait for a call or call the employer?

The most effective job-seekers use follow-up as a tool to get the job they want. They use several contacts over time to find out about a job and to establish a relationship with the employer. They keep in contact without becoming a pest.

Tips on Following Up

First, I recommend following up by telephone if possible rather than by e-mail or letter. The telephone is more personal plus you can get a feel for the employer and often get more information.

Use each contact to remind the employer that you want this job and to sell yourself. Expressing interest in the job and working there is very powerful. The fact that you want the job and see yourself as a match will go a long ways in convincing the employer you are the best choice.

Each time you make contact find out when the next step will be taken. You can then ask, “How about if I touch base with you then?” or “If I haven’t heard from you in __ days/weeks, would it be all right to call you?”

Keep conversations short and positive. Don’t call more frequently than the employer indicates unless something changes. Always ask if this is a good time to call. If not schedule another time to call back. Follow the employer’s lead when having a conversation and be sensitive to signals it is time to end the call.

Most important, if you say you will call at a certain time or date, be sure to do so. Whether you follow through or not tells the employer about your reliability.

When to Follow Up

These situations are appropriate for follow-up:

  • to verify your resume or application was received
  • to find out the employer’s timeline for hiring
  • if your contact information or availability changes
  • to thank the employer for an interview
  • to periodically check on status or progress
  • when you have another job offer

1. After your application materials have been sent and the employer has had time to review them, give the employer a call to make sure they were received. Besides confirming that you’ll be considered, it shows the employer that you are a serious applicant and interested in the job. Take the opportunity to briefly mention your qualifications.

2. In this initial conversation, you’ll have a chance to feel out the employer. You’ll be able to sense whether you can ask more questions or if you should keep the conversation short and business-like. Most employers will take time to tell you more about the job and answer questions. At the very least you can ask about his time line for hiring. “When do you expect to be interviewing and be making your hiring decision?” is a very legitimate question. You can also confirm how the employer can contact you again.

3. If something changes such as your contact information or availability, call and update your information. You’ll have another chance to sell yourself and the employer will appreciate your being up front.

4. Once you are interviewed you should send a thank you note. Mail or e-mail is appropriate for this.

5. If the employer has indicated he will contact you by a certain date with a decision or an interview and that date has passed, call and make sure he still has your contact information and that the position is still open. Find out a new date to touch base with him if you are still being considered.

6. If you do receive another job offer and do not have a decision from your preferred employer, by all means give him a call. Explain that you have a job offer, but would much rather work here. Does he expect to make a hiring decision soon? The employer may share the reason for the delay. Then you can decide whether to accept employer #1, turn down the offer, or possibly stall #1 for a few days.

Payoff

Having several contacts over time will help you get the job you want. An employer cannot help but notice someone who is so interested in the job and follows up when promised. Taking a few minutes to “touch base” puts a voice and personality with your application. You become a known applicant rather than one in the stack.

In addition, several contacts will help you evaluate whether or not this is someone you would like to work for. You’ll have a chance to find out more about the operation. If you are hired, your working relationship will be better as a result.

Be proactive. Increase your chances of getting the job you want. Keeping in touch with an employer throughout the hiring process shows that you are a professional and serious about what you do.

Professional Workampers utilize the Awesome Applicants Resume tool at Workamper.com – available to Diamond and Platinum members. Join or upgrade today at Workamper.com

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