Why You Need to Follow Up on Jobs
When you’re back on the job hunt, following up is a great way to get a leg-up on the competition.
The only problem is that a lot of people still don’t believe us when we say this. That’s why today we are going to give you real-world examples of when this HAS worked.
First off, let’s hear from a job seeker who responded to a posting he saw for a job:
“I saw an advertisement for a job that looked interesting. There was a phone number to call, which I did and a man answered. When I explained I was interested in the job, he said he was busy, but would call me back in 10 minutes. So I hung up and waited, 5, 10, 15 minutes, then picked up the phone and called back. I explained I was still interested in the job and he invited me to interview. At the interview he said, ‘We get lots of calls, tell them we will call them back, then we don’t. 85% of job seekers never call back, but those that do, are the kind of employees that are right for us.’”
Following Up on an Interview:
A few years back, I was applying to work with a website out of Barcelona, Spain. The hiring manager was in Barcelona, while my direct supervisor who I also interviewed with worked in Chicago. After speaking with both of them, I followed up with both of them almost regularly.
One thing that became adamantly clear was a bit of a communication issue between the supervisor and the hiring manager. The hiring manager seemed like he was about ready to hire me, while the supervisor told me that there were still several other candidates that he was interviewing first.
After speaking with the hiring manager, I was ready to put in my two-weeks notice right away at my current job. However, I knew not to because I followed up with the supervisor. I did end up getting the job, but I didn’t start until almost two months later, which means I would’ve went a full month without a paycheck.
Following Up on Resumes Sent:
A few years back, a friend of mine was talking to me about the issues he was having with finding a job. He was doing what most of us do: apply to all of the jobs we see posted on LinkedIn and Indeed. However, he just wasn’t getting any feedback.
I told him to reach out to some of the companies that he was the most excited about to see if they received his resume. After doing so, he learned that in most cases the company’s applicant tracking system filtered out his resume because it lacked the proper keywords that the company was looking for with the position. However, after a person got the chance to look at his resume, they saw that he was qualified for the job!
By the end of the day, he had an interview lined up with the company, and he eventually got the job.
Following Up on Leads
In college, I was encouraged by an editor from a local newspaper to speak with another editor from the newspaper about possibly writing for her. I sent her an email along with a copy of my resume and some articles I wrote.
After a week from not hearing back, I decided to call the editor directly. When I got on the phone with her, she seemed confused because she thought she had replied to my email, but it turns out that the email never sent. Over the phone, she told me that she wanted me to come in and meet with her to discuss writing for the newspaper.
This meeting turned into a correspondenship, which turned into me writing for several other sections of the newspaper, which turned into me getting writing jobs for some of my friends and finally into me becoming an editor myself.
None of this would have been possible if I had not followed up on my lead.
So What’s the Point?
Look, if you don’t hear from someone within a few hours of contacting them, there is a good chance that they are just busy or they haven’t seen your message yet. However, if it has been a few days, you really need to consider reaching out to them to see if they saw your message.
By doing so, you are showing them initiative, and that you are serious about this opportunity. You can miss out on some of the best opportunities of your life by simply not following up, so get to it!