How to find a job: Following up [Part 10]
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Kim: Hey guys, I’m Kim.
Amy: And I’m Amy, and we work at Snagajob. Today we’re going to help you find a job.
Kim: We’re going to take a question from one of our YouTube viewers, today.
@1993c4Corvette asks, “If I apply online, or paper form. How do I follow up on an application?”
Amy: Following up is a critical step that often gets overlooked. But in a competitive job market, you’re probably competing with several other job seekers for the same job and recruiters tell us that following up is a great way to stand out and get noticed.
Kim: We’re going to cover the three most common ways to follow up.
Following up by email
So if you’re going to follow up by email, there are a couple of things to consider. Now email is probably the least scary way to follow up on a job application because you don’t actually have to talk to the hiring manager. But that comes with a couple of drawbacks, like not actually getting to talk to the hiring manager. Remember to review your follow up email before you send it out. The slightest error can cause you to be overlooked. Treat it just like you would a resume or cover letter and even have a friend look over it to edit it just to be extra certain you haven’t made any mistakes. If you don’t have anybody handy who can look over your stuff to make sure you didn’t misspell or have a typo you haven’t noticed, read aloud to yourself to see if you can catch any errors when you read it out loud. This email can and should be short. Don’t go on very long and definitely don’t repeat the same stuff that you put into your application or cover letter. Just tell them that you are checking to see if they received your application and maybe reiterate your top three awesome things about you that would make you a great fit for the position.
Following up over the phone
If you’re going to follow up over the phone, make sure you practice what you say beforehand. You really don’t want don’t want to be caught hanging up as soon as they answer.
Maybe sure you only follow up during non-peak business hours. For restaurants this means between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and for retail this means after 4 p.m. on weekdays. When someone does answer ask for the manager or the name of the manager if you have it. When you have the right person on the phone, introduce yourself and say, “Hi, I’m calling to inquire about the status of my application. It was for the (job title) at (business name).” Even though you’re on the phone, don’t forget to smile. Hiring managers can tell if you’re happy or grumpy. Make sure before you hang up to say something like, “I look forward to hearing from you soon,” so the ball is in their court.
We recently talked to one of our hired Snagajob members, Billy, who said he got hired at Sonic by calling and following up on his application a week later. When he was able to talk to the hiring manager, he offered Billy an interview right there over the phone. And then he got hired on the spot during his interview.
Following up in person
Following up in person is a great way to get notice but if you don’t do it the right way, you can stand out for all the wrong reasons. One of the most important things we can tell you is to dress professionally as you would for an interview when you follow up in person. We actually talked to one of our members, Patrick, on our blog who told us that he used to work for a hotel and when people would come in to drop off an application or to follow up, he had to actually write on their application what they were wearing and how they presented themselves. In addition to looking your best, you also want to make sure to bring copies of your resume. You never know when you’ll be asked to interview. It could be right on the spot and you don’t want to be left unprepared. If just walking in and saying you’re there to follow up feels a little awkward to you, come up with a different excuse, like saying you’re there to drop off you’re references and follow up that way.
Tips for following up from the employer
We talked to a nation-wide retail employer and asked for their tips about following up, and here’s what they had to say:
1. Coming into the store in person makes a better impression.
2. Wait no longer than a week after applying to follow up.
3. Follow up only once. The employer should get back to you one way or the other.
4. It’s ok to follow up again after an interview, if you haven’t heard back. But again, only do this once.
Now, they told up there is a wrong way to follow up: Don’t be a stalker.
Following up can be scary. Trust us, we know. But it’s a great way to set you apart from the competition.
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