Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Best Way To Follow Up

Steve Kobs, a human resources manager at Hanley-Wood Custom Publishing, a Minneapolis-based marketing communications firm, offers this advice: "If you'd like to follow up with a company after submitting your resume, one week later is a reasonable time to do it," he says.

And the best way to follow up?

"I prefer e-mail," says Kobs. "If you call me on the phone and ask if we've made a hiring decision, you put me in an awkward position if I have to tell you bad news … or if I've forgotten who you are. Candidates who follow up by e-mail show respect for my time, which I appreciate," he says.

Andrea Hoover, CEO of JobLynx Online, offers additional ways to set yourself apart when applying for jobs online.

First, when submitting resumes online, be sure to use a professional-looking e-mail address, not the one at work or a cutesy one like

Her follow-up methods, which are more aggressive than what an HR professional might suggest, include the following:

  • The day after you submit your resume to a company, e-mail them a quick note asking if they received and were able to read your resume, or if they require a different format for their database

  • The day after that, print and send a stationery version of your resume by U.S. Mail to the hiring authority, along with a copy to any other company contacts, for review and filing for future opportunities

  • One week after your initial contact, send an e-mail to the hiring authority inquiring if you can supply any further information not included in your original resume

  • Finally, around 10 days after your online application, send another e-mail asking for the phone number of the hiring authority, since you are considering several other offers. Attach your resume to this e-mail so they won't need to hunt for it. And ask for a convenient time to contact them for a brief phone interview

Whatever method you use, your goal in following up aggressively is to sell your abilities and experience. Push for the face-to-face interview as soon as possible. And get that job!

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