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 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: “Willamena 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.

© 2006 – 2010 • Wendy J. Terwelp • Opportunity Knocks™ • All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp,, has helped thousands of clients get hired faster and be rock stars at work since 1989. A recognized expert on networking, both online and off, Wendy has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company, The Business Journal,,, and more as well as numerous radio shows. She has published hundreds of articles on the web and in print and most recently wrote the ultimate networking book, “Rock Your Network®.”

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