Stop waiting for the phone call, follow-up in your job search!

When I published “Job seeker, don’t be afraid of the phone” to my network, a connection suggested that she thought etiquette had changed and you shouldn’t call people to follow-up with your application.

I disagree. Skipping the phone call because you are afraid you might offend someone is just wrong.

We moved to a point when you often need an appointment to speak by phone or at least we should ask if this is a good time to talk?

However, assuming that you should never make the phone call to a hiring manager is just not productive thinking.

Crowd sourcing phone call follow-up

Here’s the question I asked in June about phone call follow-up and the answers from career industry experts:

“As a career pro, recruiter, or hiring manager, what are your thoughts on follow-up phone calls from job seekers. Had a question when I posted a recent post entitled Job seeker, don’t be afraid of the phone! from someone who thought that new etiquette suggested never using the phone… I know what I think – what do you think?”

Proactive phone calls

  • I’ve been making these calls for several of my clients and have not faced resistance. People have been pleasant and helpful, especially recruiters. ~ Melanie Szlucha, Red Inc.

Networking phone calls

  • Networking and social media . It all works–just not every time in every medium with every person. Must change it up and try different approaches to see how contacts respond. People respond in different ways–so the approach tactics must be different too. ~ Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes

Always make phone calls

  • I always say call, but someone did a group post a few years ago and I was in the minority. You do have to be mindful of people’s time and give good phone though. More and more people are controlling their communication via text, email, IM and social media. ~ Karalyn Brown, Interview IQ

Change up your strategy

  • I agree with Lisa that the same type of follow-up doesn’t work for all situations. There are some who would perceive a phone call as an intrusion, which would then negatively impact a candidate’s chances. It certainly doesn’t hurt to clarify with HR/the hiring manager in an interview not only the timeline, but the preferred type of follow-up. Another thing to consider is the job seeker’s comfort level with the phone. If s/he has difficulties with it and phone calling isn’t a core part of the job, then choosing a different method of follow-up maybe appropriate. ~ Melissa Cooley, The JobQuest

Targeted phone calls

  • All good advice in this thread (nodding). I’d just add, regardless of the protocol and individual job seekers’ discomfort with the phone call, they should be sure to push their comfort boundaries from time to time. Even if it’s just an occasional targeted call, they will feel empowered that they tried. It will build communication muscle; as well, just one positive reaction to a call may work wonders for their confidence (and job search). ~ Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, CareerTrend

There you have it from my career industry colleagues. Don’t be afraid of the phone but use other options too. Just because you applied online doesn’t mean you should sit home and wait for the call. Be proactive and responsive. You need that excellent resume and networking strategy to reach your goal but you will get the job offer if you persist.

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  1. Karalyn Brown on July 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks so much for including me in this post, Julie. I must admit I do like the idea of always following up with a call, and researching the role via a call as well – if it is possible to speak with the contact that is. Sometimes that’s the big challenge, too.

    • Julie Walraven on July 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Yes, it can be difficult to find the contact but when a client truly gets the networking concept and is using his or her network effectively more things pull together. Thanks both for stopping by and your original comment on Facebook.

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