May 312017
This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series 2016-17 Program Chronicles

When we’re looking for our next job, we send out applications, talk to employers over the phone, Internet or on-site, and put our best foot forward. However, lots of other people do that, making for fierce competition for that one job. How can you stand out? By giving a powerful follow-up message to the people you interviewed with.

Karen Giventer continued her series of job searching presentations at the April 2017 meeting, hosted by CA Technologies in Framingham, Mass., on May 17th. After giving a presentation about using different job searching strategies at InterChange 2015, and then presenting tips on securing the offer in InterChange 2016, she focused on using networking and communication skills for this presentation.

Karen Giventer during her presentation on job search followupPaul Duarte

Karen Giventer at the April 2017 meeting

Giventer opened her presentation by explaining that for some, follow-up messages to an interview or networking meeting can be a weak point. However, they can improve their chances of landing the job they want by actively networking with people who might give referrals, and by contacting staffing agencies regularly. The way to follow up properly after the interview is to send an electronic thank-you message, and then do a post-search follow-up for both after an offer is extended or denied. The key is to take the energy and enthusiasm of a job search to its conclusion in this stage, Giventer said.

Giventer also suggested applying this energy in networking, but with a caveat. Job seekers should attend networking meetings related to technology or business, with the underlying goal of connecting with professionals. Job seekers should set a reasonable budget (such as under $60) for attending these events, and have several conversations with new connections. They should listen to the details of the other person’s industry and what their business needs are. After the meeting, job seekers should connect to the person they just met via LinkedIn or some other means and follow up with them so that the job-seeker can help the person fulfill a company’s needs. “Treat it like an interview,” Giventer said.

After the initial conversation with someone who might have a business need in the future, Giventer suggested the following steps:

  1. Research the person’s company.
  2. Email the person that gave out contact information.
  3. Send a résumé.
  4. Connect via LinkedIn, with a personal note.
  5. Attend any events the person refers to, and speak with others.

For staffing agencies, there are some extra steps to take beyond going to the client and interviewing and networking with them. Giventer suggested, after meeting with the client the staffing agency referred the worker to, taking the following steps:

  1. Call the staffing agent and inform them of the interview.
  2. Confirm interest and relevant experience to the position.
  3. Ask what else the staffing agent is working on and see if it’s a good fit.
  4. Ask about next steps in the application process.

Despite this, if job seekers don’t land the job they want, they can still create a follow-up to prepare for the future. They should ask politely why an employer did not offer a position, and offer their availability for future needs, while impressing upon the employer or staffing agent the skills and experience they have. Giventer said to always keep up with follow-ups and record each one. Reach out to any references that helped along the way and keep them in the loop. They can help job seekers find new leads.

About the Author

Photo of Paul Duarte

Paul Duarte

Paul Duarte is President of the New England Chapter.

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