How To Follow Up With An Employer When They Say Not To.

One of the most important steps in the job application process, is following up with the employer after you’ve sent in your application. As I’ve discussed in a recent episode of the Work At Home Minute, there are many job seekers who completely ignore this step. Little do they know that it could be costing them a chance at an interview for a job that could turn out to be the one of their dreams.

I’m sure you’ve come across vacant postings where the employer is very specific that they do not want job seekers contacting them after they’ve applied. Why do hiring managers do this? I guess it saves them on time and effort on having to deal with hundreds of eager job seekers emailing and calling for an update on the position. In most cases the hiring employer just does not have the resources to handle that amount of interest. So how do you know if the position is filled or not?

I’m a huge supporter of following rules, but there are times when we are forced to bend them, especially when it comes to a life changing event like landing a job of your dreams. I recall applying for a lower management position when I fresh out of college and I was so excited at the prospect of getting an interview that the “don’t contact us, we’ll contact those we wish to speak with further” didn’t matter to me. I called the hiring manager, but not as a follow up to my application, as I knew that would discount me from the position. With my most professional voice I said ” I saw you had a job posted in “NAME OF PUBLICATION HERE” and I’m calling today to inquire if it was still available or if you’re still accepting applications.

With the approach I took, I didn’t break their rules by asking if they got my resume, etc. However, by the response I got I was able to tell if the position was indeed filled or if they were still going through the applications they received. This way if the position was filled, I could move on and not wait around hopelessly wondering if I would ever hear back from them.

Are you following up with employers?

The importance of double checking your job application before it’s sent.

I’ve been helping a friend of mine who recently decided that he couldn’t continue at the job he had, find a job he think he would be happy at. He claims that he needs a change in scenery and challenges. It’s been a rough five weeks for him as far as the job search process goes, since he’s having a tough time getting a response from the jobs that he applied for. But this can be blamed on him being very picky in the jobs he applies for. BTW, are you following the career video series ‘The Work from Home Minute” on my Youtube channel? There’s a video I did on this topic there.

His daily routine includes checking several career and job posting websites which caters specifically to the type of job he’s looking for. It’s amazing how we can now zero in with our job search with the abundance of niches specific career sites there are online today. Additionally he subscribed to several RSS feeds that deliver vacant jobs to his rss reader and I suggested that he should set up a Google alert for the type of job he’s looking for. Basically Google will send him updates when the keyword he entered is mentioned online directly to his email.

He finally lucked out a few days ago and not only found a position that seemed perfect for what he was looking, but in a matter of hours he found another job that was very similar to the first. Both jobs were located fairly close to where he live, but as an added bonus they allowed for telecommuting. So he had the option of working from home a few days a week, providing he landed the job. He was even more excited at the “challenge” these two positions seemed to posses.

I helped him to craft an excellent cover letter that zeroed in on all the employer was looking for and tailored his resume for the first position. He sent off his application with his fingers crossed and there was a glow of confidence in him when we discussed his chances at landing this one. The second job he did the same thing and was excited at his prospect of landing either job as he felt he had the skills the employers were looking for. However in his haste to send the second application out, he failed to edit his cover letter with the correct company and contact details, not to mention he didn’t edit the position title he was applying for. Basically the cover letter he sent out applied to the first position and had nothing to do with the second job. As you can tell, I didn’t help with the application of the second position, nor did he get feedback from any one else.

What can we learn from this? Always double check everything before sending out an application to an employer. After that application leaves your email program, is faxed or sent by traditional mail, it’s gone. There’s no stopping it to make edits or changes and it’s the make or break as far as getting considered for an interview. Make it a rule to not only double check things, but have someone else look it over for you as well. It’s always good practice to have an extra set of eyes look for errors etc.

Here’s one more tip as far as emailing out your resume and cover letter to a potential employer. Email a copy to yourself as you would an employer. This will allow you to see exactly what an employer will see when you send out the actual application. Look for formatting issues, check to see if your email goes in the junk folder or inbox and pay attention to the attachments if you included any. Ensure that you can open the attachments without any problems.