Article By: Nancy Collamer
Date Published: July 29, 2014
Congrats. You had the job interview. Now, your work is done, right? Wrong.
In today’s hypercompetitive job market, effective follow-up after the interview is a must, and failing to do it well might cause you to lose out to another candidate.
The line between being persistent and being a pain, however, is blurry at best. So to help you sort things out, I sent a query to my colleagues in the careers world — recruiters, career coaches, hiring managers and CEO’s — asking for their best follow-up advice.
I received more than 60 responses on topics ranging from thank you notes to handling rejection. Here’s a summary of their 10 best tips:
The Thank-You Note
On this point, everyone agreed: A thank-you note is a must. Most of the pros recommended you send one via email within 24 hours of the interview. Several suggested a handwritten card as a supplement when a personal or creative touch might be especially valued.
But if you really want to stand out, you need to do more than just say “thanks for your time.” The experts suggested these techniques to make your thank-you note shine:
Reference an article of interest. Include in the note a relevant article, link or book recommendation relating to a topic that was discussed during the interview. It’s a value-add for the interviewer and will reinforce your industry expertise.
To really make an impact, Jene Kapela, a South Florida-based leadership coach, says you should write a blog post on a topic discussed during the interview and then share the link to the post in your thank-you note.
Include supporting documentation that illustrates your ability to do the job. You don’t want to overwhelm the interviewer, but adding one or two carefully-curated examples of your work (non-confidential work samples, press mentions, etc.) can be a smart way to show off your expertise.
“It helps show you are the real deal,” says Tyson J. Spring, head of New Business & Strategy for Elever Professional, an Austin, Texas recruiting firm.
Provide a follow-up response to one of the key interview questions.Ever draw a blank or give a less than stellar response during a job interview? Use your note to modify, correct or amplify one of your responses.
Todd Cherches , CEO of BigBlueGumball, a New York City-based management consulting and coaching firm, offers this example:
When you asked me about my single greatest accomplishment in my last job, I apologize that I drew a blank. However, immediately after leaving, it hit me that I should have mentioned I was voted the top salesperson in my department for 2013, and proudly received a special recognition award at my company’s year-end national convention.
The Waiting Game
Anyone who has recently looked for a job knows that hiring decisions can drag on for months. To make that in-between-time work in your favor…
Follow instructions. If the recruiter or interviewer suggested contacting them by email, don’t call on the phone. And, says Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at the D’Amore McKim School of Busineess at Northeastern University, “If they tell you it will take two weeks, wait the two weeks.”
If you forgot to ask about next steps during the interview, request clarification in your follow-up email. Then follow the instructions you receive.
Don’t be a stalker. While you’re understandably anxious, that doesn’t give you license to pester the employer.
Debra Manente, associate director of Career Services at Post University in Waterbury, Conn., says you should call the recruiter or hiring manager to follow up at their recommended time (leave a message if you don’t reach them). But if you haven’t heard back after two calls, “take it as a sign to move on,” she says.
And speaking of stalking, most of the pros advised holding off on sending LinkedIn invitations to the people who interviewed you until after the hiring process has ended.
Immediately begin prepping for the next round of interviews. You never know when you’ll be asked to come in for a Round 2, so you’ll want to be good to go at a moment’s notice.
Joe Weinlick, vice president of marketing for the online job board network,Beyond.com, recommends that you “dig deep to find interesting pieces of information that most people can’t find on the company’s website. It could be about an award-winning project, a milestone in the company’s history or a recent initiative. If you take this information and casually work it into the conversation in a follow-up interview, it will leave a positive lasting impression and increase your chances of getting the job.”
Call in a favor. Have an influential contact who knows the hiring manager or recruiter you met with? Now might be the time to ask that person to lend a hand.
Maria Goldsholl, chief operating officer of the Mom Corps staffing solutions agency, offers this advice: “Have an impressive reference reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter via LinkedIn to drop a note to praise you. The note could read: ‘Mary, I recently became aware that Josh was interviewing with your company for a position. I wanted to tell you that you would be very lucky to have someone like that on your team. His skills are sharp and he was one of the best employees I have ever had.’
Keep hope — while you keep looking. In today’s crazy job market, you never know when you might hear back about a position you’ve long forgotten about.
As Lisa M. Benson, staffing director at Mary Kraft Staffing & HR Solutions, points out, “Thanks to electronics, hiring managers do really keep resumés at their fingertips for a while when they like them. We hear stories of candidates being hired six months to a year after the initial submission of their resumeé, sometimes with very little contact in the interim!”
Of course, hope alone is not a job search strategy. So keep your search in high gear until you have an offer in hand.
If You Don’t Get the Job
Should you lose out for a position you interviewed for, accept rejection in a professional manner. Sure it hurts to hear “No.” But if you handle the rejection professionally, you might be considered for a future job at the same employer.
Carol Cochran, Director of Human Resources at FlexJobs, shared that in the last six months, she has returned to — and hired — five candidates she originally turned down. “They made a great impression in our first round of conversations and were graceful in their communications after I let them know we had chosen another applicant,” Cochran wrote to me.
Stay in touch. You never know when an employer might have another opening or will hear of an opening and recommend you, so remain in contact after losing out. You might use LinkedIn to send an article or to reach out with a helpful suggestion.
But Bruce Hurwitz, a New York City-based executive recruiter, career counselor and author, says: Don’t overdo it. “Once every few months is a good idea,” he notes.
Otherwise, you might be seen as a pest, and that’s no way to stand out among job candidates as one of the best.
Article By: Ritika Trikha
Date Published: April 27, 2014
“Recruiting is an out of sight-out of mind business,” says Bill Holland, PhD and author of Cracking the New Job Market.
A recruiter’s typical day consists of a whirlwind of emails, phone calls and LinkedIn profiles. We all know that recruiters’ end-game is to keep their clients happy…but, as a star candidate, there are proactive steps you can take to make them work for you! After all, their goal is to fill jobs with the best possible match—it’s your job to show them that you’re their guy or gal!
“I can tell you with certainty that we work exponentially harder on behalf of those candidate partners who create synergy and value our work,” says Tyson J. Spring, senior consultant of business development at Elever Professional, a recruiting company.
We spoke with Spring and a few other recruiting experts for advice on how to make recruiters work hard for superstar candidates. Have you tried any of these methods to get the most out of a recruiter?
1. Be Generous: Offer Candidates from Your Network
Helping should be a two-way street. “This may sound self-serving, coming from a
recruiter, but keep in mind that our networks are what make us great,” Spring says.
So, one way you can be on top of a recruiter’s call list is to be a great resource of other candidates. If you’re generous with your network, you can stay on top of the recruiter’s mind.
“As they call, make sure they know of new developments in your career when and only when there is something to report. Continue to cultivate relationships with them and from time to time, call them to chat. They will work for you because they know you work for them,” Holland says.
2. Cater to the Recruiter’s Process
“Some may want you to check-in with them frequently, while others don’t need you to do so,” says Judi Wunderlich of WunderLand Group LLC.
It’s better to be straightforward with your recruiter rather than trial and error methods of communication. Traditionally, most recruiters are always on the phones. Some might prefer that because it’s a faster way to communicate—others might prefer email.
Whatever you do—make sure you keep the recruiter in the loop! “The recruiter can only advocate on a candidate’s behalf if they know what is happening and, if necessary, have their side of the story so that they can offer explanations to address any concerns the employer may have,” says Bruce Hurwitz, PhD and executive recruiter at Hurwitz Strategic Staffing. Ltd.
3. Send a ‘Thank You’ Note Post Interview
A lot of times, people forgo the ‘thank you’ note after an interview with a recruiter—since it’s traditionally for the hiring manager.
However, that’s precisely why sending a ‘thank you’ note to your recruiter is a great way to standout. Try this after your next phone interview with a recruiter!
Greg Patrick, president of G2K Solutions would agree and advises you to: “Treat them as you would a hiring manger by showing follow-up, personality and persuasiveness.”
4. Make Sure Your Expectations Match your Experience
“First and foremost, make sure your expectations are aligned with experience,” Spring says. “If you’re expecting your recruiter to find you the position of your dreams as a VP of Marketing, but your experience today barely stretches you into a Sr. Manager, you’re not going to have very many recruiters tripping over themselves to work hard on your behalf.”
5. Be 100% Honest
If you lie about your skillset, you’re not only hurting your own credibility but also your recruiter’s reputation.
“When a candidate tries to slip a secret through the cracks, a good recruiter will not miss the discrepancy, and will not be inclined to put their reputation on the line,” Spring says. “Be honest about career mishaps and a recruiter will advise you on how to best address the issue with a potential employer.”
Related Article: Interviewers Share their Top Phone Interview Pet Peeves
6. Establish a Relationship Before You Need a Job
Lauren McGoodwin, previously a recpuzzruiter for Hulu, offers some stellar tips on getting in with a recruiter at a specific company. Here’s what she had to say, paraphrased:
Step 1. Send a professional email to schedule the meeting—work around their schedule.
Step 2: Send a confirmation for your meeting the day before.
Step 3. During the meeting, establish a professional yet personal connection.
What do you do outside of work? What college did you go to, etc.? Find things you have in common with the recruiter.
The final step: Follow up with the recruiter with a direct email with a short explanation on WHY you are a good fit and what you can offer the role with your resume attached. Be patient and respectful.
Article By: Ysolt Usigan
Date Published: August 2011
For Jeremy Spring, vice president and senior search consultant for executive search firm Elever Professional, extreme religious or political expressions, including bigotry (even if it’s in jest), are red flags. Add to the list, unsavory or tactless humor. “These may seem obvious, but the Facebook environment lends to its users a false sense of privacy and a seemingly self-constructed ecosphere where true and embellished expression are acceptable,” Spring says. “On many occasions our consultants have had to re-consider the legitimacy of a candidate after finding the above issues on a Facebook page.”
Article By: Debra Donston-Miller
Date Published: August 15, 2011
Increasingly, recruiters represent the bridge between you and placement with a company. Build that bridge, and you may find yourself presented with opportunities you never even considered. Burn that bridge, and … Well, we all know what happens when we burn bridges.Tweet Share
Article By: Brian Moore
Date Published: September 26, 2010
In a job interview, it’s bad enough when a candidate tosses an f-bomb or cries like a 7-year-old watching the end of “Marley & Me.” But employment pros say such behavior is nothing compared to the real Hindenburg meltdowns they’ve seen.
Article By: Sunny Shakula
Date Published: September 28, 2010
Recent college graduates should not be frightened away from salary negotiations – even if the economy is sub-par. You think you know your stuff, and want your first entry-level job salary to match your strong skill set? Then brush up on your poker face, beef up your bullets and punch up your CEUs because you can negotiate the salary you deserve.