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Follow-up call shows interest

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Following up with a prospective employer, whether it is after dropping off your résumé and job application or post-interview, is critical to successful job hunting.

Calling employers to check on the status of your application lets them know that you are serious about the opportunity and sets you apart from other candidates.

Regardless of what stage you are at when looking for a job, there are a few key things to keep in mind when calling an employer. If you have sent in a résumé or dropped off an application, verify the information you have for your contact, and ask what the best time is to call.

Think about why you are calling and what you are going to say before you make the call. This will help if you are nervous and will build your confidence. To get the point and avoid rambling, have talking points ready that include what position you are calling about, why you are calling, and how they can best reach you if they have questions.

You want to gain positive attention from a prospective employer, so do not become overly aggressive by calling multiple times and leaving several messages. Avoid calling during busy times of the day, and try to call when you can speak to someone rather than leaving a voicemail.

Keep a log of your applications, contact information and follow-up phone calls. This will help you stay on task when applying for multiple jobs and will help you use your time most effectively.

After submitting an application or résumé, review the job posting for any specific directions for follow-up. Sometimes postings will note if the employer prefers phone calls or emails as follow-up. If you have not heard from the employer for one to two weeks, you can call to confirm that all your information has been received. You can also politely ask if interviews have been scheduled.

After an interview, send thank-you notes to the interviewer and-or interview panel within 24 hours thanking them for the interview and restate your qualifications and experience as related to the job. If you have not heard from the employer or hiring manager within three to five days, you can follow-up with a phone call. They will probably need a few days after the interviews to organize their paperwork.

When calling after the interview, refresh their memory of who you are, what job you interviewed for, and politely ask if the position has been filled. If a candidate has not been selected, you may ask if there is a specific date or timeline in which a decision will be made, and finish the phone call by expressing your gratitude for the interview and reiterate why your interest in the job.

You might call after an interview, and the employer has selected another candidate. If this is the case, thank them for the opportunity and add that you would be interested in any future opportunities with the company. You never know when another job will become available with the company, and you want to leave them with a good impression.

This is a regular column written by the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions. For more information, go to dws.state.nm.us.

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