Finding and applying for the right job is only half the battle. You may have spent weeks perfecting the cover letter and finding just the right resume style for your needs and wants. Once the resume and cover letter have been sent, it is time to play the waiting game. You may sit home for hours, days or even weeks before hearing word. Or you may never hear back. So what is the next step in getting a job interview?
The follow up. Many jobseekers are tempted to just sit back and wait for a call, but the best thing to do is follow up yourself. That way, you show the recruiter that you are really interested in the position and have what it takes to get the job done.
So how long do you wait before following up? Most recruiters agree, at least a week. That way they have plenty of time to review your resume, and get things in order. While it may be easy to call the next day, chances are your resume is still sitting in their inbox waiting for review. So give the recruiter at least a week or two before following up. Then feel free to ask when a good time is to meet for a job interview.
When calling to ask for a job interview, keep it simply. Rehearse what you want to say beforehand and make sure that you are free from noise and distraction. Introduce yourself and remind the recruiter about your resume. State the job that you are interested in, and ask when would be a good time to set up a job interview.
If you get a recorded message, you may leave a message or simply call back later. But only leave one or two messages- because the last thing you want to do is irritate the job recruiter.
If you don't feel comfortable following up by phone for a job interview, try sending them a short email. Not only will it give you the opportunity to ask for a job interview, but you can also send along your resume again without seeming too needy.
Here are some tips to landing that job interview in a follow up email.
- Put your full name and the title of the position you've applied for in the subject line.
- Write a professional note that reiterates your qualifications and interest in the job.
- Attached your resume again. (Don't make the recruiter have to dig though old e-mails to look for it.)
- Include your full name in the file name of your resume.
Don't forget to proofread carefully before you hit "Send"!
Last but not least, resist the urge to just resend your resume with no follow-up call or email. This tactic could actually backfire, and end up ruining your chances of landing a job interview.
The recruiter may find another copy of your resume on file and think that you may not even realize that you applied for the same job twice. So just don't do it.
Copyright 2006 by David Green