Dear J.T. & Dale: Earlier this year, I landed an interview for a great full-time position on the team I interned with while in graduate school. I was told I’d definitely be hearing back, although it might take a couple of months. I followed up immediately with thank you notes, and with an e-mail about a month after that. Fast-forward five months, and still no response. The fact that this was a team of people who know my work really stung. Is there anything I can do to prevent a situation like this in the future? – Emily
J.T.: It’s really true that when you’re in a job search, you are a salesperson. All responsibility to close the deal rests on you. Which means you have to find a way that you can know what’s going on and get a clear “yes” or “no.”
DALE: You can start by not giving up on this group of colleagues. The job simply may never have been filled. Even if it was, that person might not work out, or they may add another new position.
J.T.: Yes, it won’t hurt to ask. More importantly, make a regular effort to touch base with each of these colleagues and show them how professional you are by sending them articles that they would find of interest. We call that “curating content,” and it’s one of the best networking techniques we can use today.
DALE: Further, after interviews, the way to follow up without seeming to be pushy is to ask for permission. “Would it be OK if I called you in a couple of weeks to see how things are coming along?” With every contact, offer to take the initiative for the next contact, always trying to keep some control over the flow of information.
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