Follow Up Job Search

5 Reasons To Follow Up In Your Job Search

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Many job seekers miss the one step that can land them an interview and the job they’re applying for. Sure, they send in their resume or application – they may even send the additional information requested – but many of the unemployed simply fail to follow up with the employers to whom they apply.

Related: How To Follow Up On Your Resume

Why follow up? Here are five good reasons:

1. Consideration

Care to guess how often an online resume or application is not received or mis-routed to the wrong person or department? I didn’t think so! Following up can ensure your resume was received and by the right person so you can be considered for the job you THOUGHT you applied for. If an employer doesn’t have your information, you won’t be considered. It’s that plain and simple!

2. Recognition

Any contact with an employer is a chance to stand out from the rest of the applicants. Following up will allow the employer to place a voice or face with the name. If everything else is equal, the employer will be more likely to call an applicant with whom he or she has interacted in some way than with one he or she has not.

3. Impression

Employers, regardless of industry, are looking for eager, proactive workers who go the extra mile. Follow up is a simple way to show you meet this expectation.

4. Information

Following up by phone or in person may allow you to obtain additional information about the job, employer, or interviewer that may give you an edge in an interview.

5. Interview

If you are able to speak to an employer contact you may be able to ask about when interviews are being scheduled and to ask to schedule an interview while you have him or her on the phone. Again, employers are looking for eager, proactive workers who go the extra mile – be one!

All this seems to make sense, so why don’t more applicants follow up on their resume? Usually it boils down to just one thing: Fear!

It may be fear of rejection. This is often the case; job seekers have to apply for so many jobs to get an interview and finally a job offer, they come to view even non-contact as rejection. Given they are rejected virtually every time they apply for a job, most are not inclined to stick their neck out only to be further rejected. Job search is partially a numbers game: The more you do to work to work toward your goal the better your chances.

Others feel a fear of failure and worry they will not be able to conduct themselves well in a follow up situation. What if they “flub up?” That will surely ruin any chance they might have had to be interviewed and potentially offered a job, they think. Job search is partially a numbers game:  The more you do to work toward your goal the better your chances.

Some job seekers fear that they will look too pushy or bother the employer if they try to follow up. Not so!

If an employer is bothered by follow up calls or visits you will be blocked from doing so. A person following up will find out very quickly they are not able to reach anyone in any positive way that will be helpful. This may feed into those who fear rejection, but shouldn’t bother those fearful of looking pushy! Besides, job search is partially a numbers game: The more you do to work toward your goal the better your chances.

How To Overcome Your Follow Up Fears

Notice a recurring theme? A job seeker has to overcome his or her fears to apply for jobs and to follow up. So, how does a job seeker overcome his or her fears and follow up? Several things will help:

1. Target those employers for which there is special interest and/or opportunity.

2. Research those employer to the best of your ability – include an in person visit if this is possible. This site has comprehensive information about industries and some specifics about employers.

3. Develop a telephone script paying special attention to the goal of your call. Of course, make sure you are well situated and will not be interrupted.

4. Practice both in front of a mirror and with someone whose opinion you respect. Practice until you feel comfortable and sound natural.

5. Just do it. Jump in and start calling the employers on the list – it will get easier and more comfortable with each call. If you want, start with employers or positions that you’re not as interested.

6. If an employer does not respond by phone, try e-mail or in person – again take care to develop a script, practice and review with someone else prior to sending an e-mail or visiting in person.

Much like the application process, follow up will provide success the more often it is done. More follow up equals more interviews/job offer. Not that you shouldn’t be smart about what you apply for or follow up on, but you should actively do both. Remember, as a job seeker you are only looking for the one employer who is offering you the job – not those who aren’t!

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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How To Follow Up After An Interview
The Secret ‘Sauce’ to Any Job Search
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Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

About the author

Mary Sherwood Sevinsky is a career and occupational consultant who is masters-prepared and certified. She is a business owner with nearly 20 years of experience in Corporate Management, Career Assessment & Counseling and in writing Career Articles and Educational Materials. She has worked as a corporate manager experienced in hiring, firing, and managing a staff of professionals with a multi-million dollar budget. Learn more about Mary and her services: www.life-works.info.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Mary is a CAREER AND OCCUPATIONAL CONSULTANT who is masters-prepared and certified. She is a sole-proprietor with nearly 20 years of experience in Management, Career Assessment & Counseling and in writing Career Articles and Educational Materials.

She has worked as a CORPORATE MANAGER experienced in hiring, firing and managing a staff of professionals with a multimillion dollar budget. She enjoys WRITING AND EDITING and has spent many years developing Marketing Materials and Presentations, Writing Proposals and Plans, and Conducting Staff Development Sessions in addition to working as a vocational consultant.  Learn more about her and her services: Www.jobsearchfortherestofus.com

11 comments

  1. The problem is most don’t want you to follow up. They leave no contact information in their posts. If it is local, this might work.

  2. Follow up is critical if buried in resumes.

    When I post a position I ask for a note saying why the person feels they are a fit for a job. Other times I ask for them to call rather than email. When I do either I limit my responses by 80%. Just Resumes do not sell your desire and ability.

  3. Yet another lot of gratuitous “advice” from a recruiter who is “different” to all of those other “insincere” recruiters who only want to sell for a buck. It is also simplistic rubbish that little to do with reality.

    At the risk of sarcasm though, Mary Sherwood, you do sound soooooooooooo sincere! I’m sure you reeeeeaaaaaaaly care.

  4. Nothing excessive though. Be clear about your reason for calling and expect that the Company or Recruiter will still only get back to the Candidates being considered. It is worth doing as, in my opinion, a Candidate willing to take that extra step may be worth considering based on the confidence it takes to reach out.

  5. Many nonprofits are specific in their advertising that they do not want phone calls. How do you suggest following up when it is clear that they don’t want to be contacted?

  6. A big YES! to #3. If you were to be hired, chances are you will have to be following up with others internally and externally in a timely manner. This is a way to show you are on top of that.

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