“Many job-seekers follow up too little, some persist too much -- and far too few people persevere just right,” said Susan Klaubert, vice president with ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching firm headquartered in Boston.
“Too many people don’t follow up beyond sending one email or letter,” added Laura Poisson, another ClearRock vice president. “They are afraid they will be considered a nuisance when, actually, those who follow up in the right ways are exhibiting leadership and decision-making qualities.”
ClearRock offers this advice on how to effectively follow up after an interview:
1. “One follow-up email or letter after a job interview is insufficient. One email or letter will not get you noticed or remembered. Use different ways to follow up, space them out appropriately, and be brief,” Klaubert said.
2. “The telephone is a greatly underutilized form of communication in our world of texts and emails,” said Poisson. “Plan ahead on not connecting with your interviewer and leaving a voicemail message when you call. However, also plan on the call being answered and prepare a concise script about why you are calling.”
3. “Keep in touch in different ways,” Klaubert said. Keep the employer “apprised of any new courses taken, certificates received, papers published, speeches given or anything else that will provide both an update and another contact with them. Forward a relevant article pertaining to the company/industry as a way to show you are on top of your game.”
4. “Handwrite a note or letter. It’s rare that someone sends you a handwritten communication in a business environment, so handwritten notes and letters will be remembered better,” said Poisson. “Use good-quality stationery, print if your handwriting is illegible -- and keep it short.”
5. “People who have not heard anything after a month or so automatically assume someone else is in the running or has been hired and just give up. Consider this a weeding-out process and discreetly remain in contact,” Klaubert said.
6. “Following up is a chance to showcase your creativity, discretion and how well you would fit into their corporate culture,” Poisson said.
Remember: You are selling yourself, and the best salespeople know the fortune is in the follow-up.
Do what others fail to do!
Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala; contact him at marvin-walberg.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com.