Follow-up! Follow-up! Follow-up!

n      Follow-up Letters

You should send a follow-up letter within two weeks of mailing a response to a classified ad.  If you sent the original response via expedited mail or overnight service, then mail your follow up after 7 to 10 days.


The single most helpful thing you can do is put another copy of your resume in front of the employer.  Assume that the target employer is buried under an avalanche of paper, and somewhere in that mess lies your resume.


The keynote should be an offer of help rather than a reminder of the employer?s failure to respond.  For example, ?Because your position seems tailor-made to the qualifications I offer, and because I have not heard from you, I thought you would find it helpful to have another copy of my resume for ready reference.?


Whatever you do, don?t imply that you think the employer is incompetent, inconsiderate or has too much to handle.


n      Follow-up Calls

If your follow-up offer of help produces no response within 10 days of mailing it, you can

either choose to assume your application is a dead letter or you can make a follow-up call.


First, identify the person you need to call, if that name was not provided in the ad.

Do not begin by reminding the employer that s/he has not replied to your two previous

responses to the ad.  Instead, appeal to the employer?s self-interest: ?Hello, Ms. Employer.  This is Susie Q.  When I saw your ad, I thought this is an organization that can really use what I have to offer.  I just completed an extensive training course in massage therapy, and have already begun to build a loyal clientele, which, I believe, would interest you. That?s why I rushed out a response to your ad.  If you?ve had an opportunity to review my resume, I was hoping to learn if we could set up a meeting.?


Avoid offering an excuse for making a follow-up call.  It will make you sound lame.  The

lamest excuse of all being??I was just calling to see if you have received my resume.?


n      Thank-you Letters

The letter of thanks for the job interview is the last chance you are likely to get to make a favorable impression on the person who may hire you.  One survey showed that 59% of interviewers were still undecided about a hiring decision after an interview, and that more than 52% said thank-you letters influenced their decision toward a candidate.


Send a thank-you letter within the next few days, preferably the next 24 hours if possible.  Use this as another opportunity to highlight your best attributes and to give the employer one more look at your name, address and phone number.  Never take for granted the interviewer remembers you and your story.  Fifteen people may have been interviewed after you.


Gratitude is a becoming attribute in your job search.  Employers are as human as the rest of us.  They like to be patted on the back for giving someone an opportunity in their career, and they?re not the only ones.  So do secretaries, receptionists, employment agents, recruiters, friends who have given you leads or permitted you to use them as references.  All who have done you a good turn in your job hunt deserve, at the very least, an expression of thanks.