Submitted a resume? It’s time to follow up!

Post Date: August 30th, 2010

I just had someone ask me about how to effectively follow up after having submitted a resume, and thought  you might also like to see my reply.  So here you are:

It seems that everyone has an opinion on the follow up approach, so I'll share mine.


If you have an inside contact, that's best, then perhaps this employee can do the initial follow up, which would remind  Human Resources/recruiter/hiring manager that  you've been 'internally referred' which makes you a 'safer' candidate. What I mean by safer is that people usually refer people similar to themselves.  So if the employee fits in, is well skilled, etc., the probability is that you will be as well.  In other words it’s safer to bet on you than an unknown candidate.


What to cover in the initial follow up call with the hiring manager?  Confirm that a) they have received your resume, b) express your continued interest (adding some specificity here is always good – to show that it's the specific company and position you're interested, not just because it's a job), and c) learn what their timeframe is for filling the position, perhaps ask next steps and their timing for filling the position.  If you befriend the receptionist/recruiter/gatekeeper, you may be able to get the hiring manager's name and perhaps even direct phone number.  Yes, following up via the phone is much better than via email as they can get a better feel for who you are and you can better read their level of interest from their tone of voice.


Ask permission to touch base with them every week or two to check in, and assure them that it will just be a quick call, as everyone is busy.  Then when you call, they will know that they gave you permission to do so.  Of course be sure to do so (give the quick call – being upbeat, enthusiastic, succinct and professional). 


I'd suggest too, that you don't leave a message, but call until you reach them 'live'.  It may be easiest to reach them directly by calling either before or after normal business hours when they are less likely to be in meetings (such as 5:45 or 6pm or 7:45 or 8am). 


After your quick calls, send them a 'thank you note' expressing appreciation for their time and update.  Again, be specific.  Expressing something new about the position and/or company that interests you, will set you a part and continue to 'sell' you to them.


Another 'opener' for the initial or second follow up call would be to ask *what* questions they have regarding your resume (not 'if' as they can just say no – if it's open ended, they'll be more likely to dig out your resume to see – which then puts it at the top of the pile). 


Using  ‘keywords’ in all communication with the hiring company can subliminally communicate that you already fit their culture, and a ‘safer bet’, increasing the odd of you getting a call.


To your success,

Gwyneth Anne

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Wonder what your corporate career might look like 5, 10, 15 years from now?

Post Date: August 16th, 2010

If you wonder what a corporate career might look like 10 years from now, pick up a copy of The 2020 Workplace for a glimpse of what may come to be.  The book highlights a few valuable insights.  For example, what are the motivating factors for each of 4 generations (babyboomers through those who haven't yet joined the workforce).  What are their expectations?  What skills will you need?  How will you find work and get hired?

The two authors, Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd, do an outstanding job highlighting and summarizing key points in an easy to read manner.  Biggest skillset you will be expected to know inside and out?  Knowledge and use of technology.  What will be most valued by companies?  Besides being smart and capable in your field, having a wide and deep network/community. 

Have you already read the book?  Would love to have you share what you think!

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