Follow-up Wins the Interview

You thought you were perfect for the job. So why isn’t your phone ringing?

Let’s say you just sent your resumé off to 25 prospective employers and now you’ve done your part. Now, you just sit back and wait for the phone to ring. But why is nothing happening?

Stop!

The Job Search Industry is Not on Your Side

This is exactly the wrong approach to your successful job search. This is because your phone will probably never ring. The fact that you sent your resumé to some job post actually means very little in the scheme of things. The search industry has designed the search process to cater to their needs and not yours, even if you were a perfect match for a posted job. By falling into this trap, you’ve just aligned yourself with the masses to “take a number and wait”, and play the game on their terms. Meanwhile, another more enterprising candidate slips in the back door by way of a referral or a well-placed phone call and gets an interview and a possible job offer. All this happened while your resumé sat forever lost in the crush of paper and electrons as you were waiting by the phone.

Job Tip:

After you send a resumé or an introductory letter, ALWAYS make a follow up call. Don’t expect these people to call you. You must always plan on initiating the phone call.

Remember, it’s the conversation that gets you the interview.

Why is it necessary to follow up?

Consider this scenario: Yours may be one of over 100 resumés sent in response to a job post. Three days later, you call the manager to follow up. You are most likely the only candidate with the initiative and drive to follow up. With a decent presentation, you could win an interview for later that week. Meanwhile, your resumé might have stayed buried in that huge stack and never discovered.

Once again, it’s the conversation that gets you interviewed and hired. Don’t leave this to chance. Don’t be bashful about initiating these calls.

Who do you call?

Be forewarned: HR doesn’t want you to call. But who cares! You don’t want HR. If you want to get hired, you need to talk with an actual hiring manager. If that’s a midlevel project supervisor or the vice president of engineering, so be it. Find out who this person is before you send your resume anywhere.  You can locate the names of these people through various sources including the company’s website “management team” page, phoning the company receptionist, or subscribing to a corporate research service like Hoovers, Thomasnet or Lead411. All this takes work of course, but it’s this level of work that can separate a job offer from the also-rans.

Summary

In short, your job search is just that – Your Job Search. Take control and drive the process yourself. Don’t play by the “rules” of others, putting your career in the hands of search industry bureaucrats. Put yourself in the driver’s seat and make their phone ring with a follow-up call each and every time you send a resumé or introductory letter.