The end of the school year was approaching when my friends and I were looking for a summer job. We were still in high school and painfully inexperienced. One friend lived close to a golf course and had always desperately wanted to work there. Year after year she would apply without success; however, that particular year she was determined to get it. She handed in her resume and after a week made a follow-up call. Disappointed that she didn’t get a response, she called back week after week until one day she got a phone call. The golf course offered her an interview. She landed the job and was able to maintain work at the golf course for following summers.
In the competitive world of business, getting noticed isn’t always easy. However, it can be achieved with a few simple phone calls and/or emails.
I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t want to sound annoying”. Yes, that’s true, but as long as you’re not following up on a daily basis there is nothing wrong with calling or shooting a quick email to essentially say “Hey, remember me?” Not only are you following up as a reminder but you are also demonstrating some very important attributes. A follow-up call can show an employer that you are a confident, determined individual, and that you truly want the job.
Not sure where to start? Here are some quick tips on how to undertake a follow-up:
1. Understand that they are busy. The best time to follow up is a week after, no sooner.
2. If you keep getting a voice mail or no reply to your emails, try contacting them on a different day of the week and time; you might just be getting them at a bad time.
3. After two to three unsuccessful attempts, it’s best to move on and stop contacting the organization.
4. Bypass HR (Human Resources) and personally reach out. When calling or following up through email, make sure you get the hiring manager’s contact information (you can often research this information). This way you will already have that personal interaction with the supervisor and your message will be conveyed appropriately.
5. Always be polite. Don’t get upset or agitated if they’ve taken some time before responding; instead, thank them for taking the time to respond to your email or answering your phone call.
To get noticed, you don’t need to be phenomenal. A simple follow-up call will bring attention to your resume. A little goes a long way and your efforts may be rewarded.
Adele St-Pierre is a recent graduate of Canadore College’s Marketing Communications Program. She is pursuing her passion and continuing her education at Ryerson University in the Graphic Communications Management Program.