This is our next blog in the serious of short Q&A questions on all things related to job search. Several of my clients recently asked me, “How do I follow up effectively after contacting a company and what to do if I don’t hear from the company?”
Well, in this case, I would recommend you assume a three-pronged strategy:
- I suggest you follow up after the first approach within a few days to maximum one week. You don’t want to be too pushy and get in touch immediately after sending your first email. But at the same time, you shouldn’t wait too long so that your target person forgets who you are and deletes the first email for good. Generally, it is a fine balance to strike and the acceptable follow-up time varies between industries and individuals. For instance, one of my clients a few months ago was searching for a position within an investment banking industry and he had to follow up a minimum of three times before finally getting a response congratulating him on his persistence and accepting an invitation for an introductory phone call.
- In some cases, if you have already followed up a few times and didn’t get any response back, it is worth being direct and asking the person if they would prefer that you stop emailing them and whether they are not interested at all. I find this approach disarms people and you would be very likely to receive a response.
- Whatever you do and whichever follow-up frequency you adopt, make sure to be very polite and appreciative of the person’s time even though inside you may be annoyed that they didn’t bother responding for such a long time. Remember, senior and middle managers often get hundreds of emails per day so even if they intended to get back to you fast, something urgent may crop up along the way that pushes you down their list of priorities. So you could even say in your email something along the lines, “I know you are very busy, especially as your department is in the process of running this large campaign at the moment, but I would like to ask…”