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Job Search Follow Up: There’s a Right Way

When I was a recruiter, candidates sometimes called our company a few times a day asking if we found anything yet. Sometimes it was once a day, every day during the week. Interestingly enough, these were for all levels of positions, including high level professional positions (I specialized in placing IT and sales executives).

This extreme follow up is annoying and definitely the wrong way.

In a recent conversation with an executive recruiter the topic of “annoying versus professional and persistent” follow-up techniques came up in the conversation.

What’s the right way? A value-focused phone call that leaves the employer wanting more.

Old way: “Hi, I’m calling to see if you received my resume.” BORING.

Better Way: “Wilamena Herzog it’s Fred Smith. I’m calling to see if you had a chance to take a look at my resume and to mention I am very interested in the sales position. When I researched your company, I saw that you sell the XWY Widget 1000. This is a core area of my expertise. In the past year, I sold more than $1 million worth of this product. I’d like to do the same or better for you. Please give me a call between 2 and 4 p.m. Tuesday and I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.”

Using this strategy, you indicated your value, interest in the position, AND the best time to reach you. This technique also helps avoid playing phone tag.

When following up with recruiters, Laurie Purcell of Key Search recommends contacting recruiters no more than three days after emailing a resume. She recommends waiting no more than one week before following up with employers.

Challenge: Check your list of targeted employers. Have you followed up? If not, make a call or send an email. Be sure to communicate your value, interest, and best time to be reached. Stand out from the crowd.

- Wendy J. Terwelp, Career Coach

Wendy Terwelp, career coach and personal branding strategist, is president of Opportunity Knocks™ (, a career management firm in Wisconsin. To help her executive clients network with out begging, Wendy pioneered the Rock Your Network™ system. If you want to become a rock star in your career, Wendy can help. Check out her blog for more career tips: Are you ready for your next big gig?