Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, June 27, 2005

Mastering the Follow Up

There are some truths about job hunting that are timeless. The job seeker that stands out is the one who makes the extra effort to establish a relationship with the hiring manager. You can make a good impression by following up by phone or e-mail to thank them and reiterate your interest in the position.

Human resource professionals respect people who ask them if they can stay in touch should any further opportunities arise. If you find a company you'd like to work for, maintaining an open dialogue is a good strategy to employ.

After you interview for a job, there are three possible outcomes:

- You will get an offer
- You won't get an offer
- You'll be called back for more interviewing

Whatever your situation is, it's important to send an immediate, persuasive follow-up thank-you note that resells the benefit of hiring you.

Approach the follow-up from a marketing perspective. It is one more opportunity to demonstrate how you think, and how creative you can be in a written communication. Think of yourself as a sales consultant: You've just learned about the prospects issues and needs (they need to hire someone).

Now you can prepare a thank-you note that says:

- I understand your company and the problems it faces.
- I offer a solution (then tell them what it is).

Your thank-you note should include:

- An acknowledgement of the interviewer's time
- A quick summary of your qualifications
- A snippet on something talked about in your conversation that you learned
- Three different ways you can help the company overcome its problems

You can also use the thank-you note to say something you forgot in the interview or needed to clarify/elaborate on. In general, be brief in terms of the length of your letter. Brevity is your goal.

Make sure you ask how to follow up during the interview. Thank you notes should be sent within 1-2 days of each interview. A well-written note will indicate to potential employers that you are a professional and conscientious person. A hand written note is also another way to stand out. With the amount of electronic mail a recruiter gets, a personalized, hand written piece is sure to be remembered.

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