How To Follow-Up When Applying Online

Dear J.T. & Dale: I’ve been looking for work for four months. When I apply online, the dilemma I run into is that they say, “No phone calls, please.” I don’t know how to follow-up. I’ve tried e-mails, but I never receive a response. – Rachel

J.T.: The “no calls” rule isn’t one I’d suggest breaking. I know many HR folks who blacklist people who don’t follow instructions.

DALE: Let’s back up and deal with the real problem: If you’re sitting back and applying to places that get so many applications that they have silly rules about phone calls, then your search is the equivalent of putting notes in bottles and throwing them in the ocean.

J.T.: True, but there is a workaround… “no calls” refers to calling in to the HR department. There is nothing stopping you from using social media to connect with people who already work at the company. Simply say: “I saw that you work at XYZ and that we have similar backgrounds. I’d love to connect and learn more about your work.”

If they accept, you can start a dialogue that could advance your candidacy. Even if the job is filled, you’ve started a professional friendship that might get you to the inside track for future jobs.

DALE: Doing so, you will be solving the real problem, which is how to get out of the long lines at HR’s door and start making connections inside your target employers.

© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale at advice@jtanddale.com or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

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