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FWD: Follow Ups Are Important - Even When There's No Reply


Follow Ups Are Important - Even When There's No Reply
By Carol Lippert Gray
Jul 5 2006

Conventional wisdom says you should always follow up with prospective employers after you've sent them a resume or met them for an interview. But many candidates find such tactics fruitless: Either they receive no response from their actual contact, or find no way to reach a live human being. We asked Dawn Fay, a New York regional vice president of recruiter Robert Half International, how best to proceed.
Q: Should one follow up after sending a resume?
A: Job seekers who follow up with hiring managers after submitting their resume give themselves an advantage over other, less pro-active candidates. Employers value professionals who possess initiative and enthusiasm, and thoughtful communication after submitting a resume highlights these traits in candidates.

If the employer doesn't have an opportunity to reply to a follow-up after you have submitted a resume, don't become discouraged. Many hiring managers receive a high volume of resumes and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to reply to every resume follow-up message.

That said, sending a follow-up message is still a great way for candidates to distinguish themselves by showing motivation and enthusiasm. But don't just ask if the hiring manager received your resume. When following up, make sure to reinforce the value you can bring to the organization.

Q: Should one follow up after having an interview?

A: Absolutely. Send a thank-you not to each person who interviews you. Job-seekers who skip this step may lose out to savvy candidates who extend this simple courtesy.

In your correspondence, emphasize why you are a solid fit for the role and what specific ways you will contribute if hired. Don't just show you want a job; show why you want this job.

Q: How long should one wait to follow up?

A: In regards to follow-up on resumes, 82 percent of executives polled said job seekers should contact hiring managers within two weeks of submitting application materials.

For follow-up after an interview, candidates should contact those with whom they interviewed within 24 hours.

Q: What method is best: phone; snail mail; e-mail; carrier pigeon; singing telegram? That's said only half in jest. Does trying to stand out from the pack help or hurt?

A: Candidates are feeling increasing pressure to distinguish themselves because the employment market is still very competitive. While nontraditional methods can help candidates get noticed, job seekers should remain professional at all times and carefully tailor their approach to the individual company or industry.

When asked about the best way for a job seeker to communicate with a hiring manager after submitting a resume, 38 percent of executives polled during our recent survey said via e-mail. Thirty-three percent said a phone call was the best option; 23 percent preferred a handwritten note.

But the way an employer is contacted after a resume is submitted is not as important as the communication itself. Whether writing an e-mail or speaking on the phone, job- seekers should demonstrate their familiarity with the company and, at the same time, reinforce their interest in the opportunity and why they are the best person for the position.