By Marc Belaiche, CPA, CA & Joseph Thomas
This article offers great advice for the process to follow after applying for a job. Active job seekers spend a great deal of time searching through job boards, recruitment sites and other employment resources in the hopes of finding positions that match their skills, knowledge and experience. It is not uncommon for candidates to apply to just one position that looks perfect, or dozens of positions that come close. This article explores an often overlooked area of the search cycle: what to do after applying for a job.
Maintain a log
When applying to multiple roles at various companies, it’s important to maintain a detailed or journal. This application history will help candidates keep track of positions they’ve applied for, ensuring a position isn’t applied to more than once. Companies may repost an ad on various job boards over a number of weeks, so it’s critical to stay organized.
When applying to a position, it is always advisable to get the name of the hiring manager and address the cover letter and resume to that person. Once the application has been submitted, job seekers should follow-up with a phone call or email – even if the job posting advises against doing so. Following up will reassure candidates that their application and attachments were received successfully. It also demonstrates the candidate’s professionalism and eagerness in pursuing the role.
When listing contact details on cover letters, resumes or applications, ensure that the correct area code and telephone number(s) are provided. If there’s more than one phone number, job seekers should indicate at what times through the day they’ll be available at each. Another important component is to ensure that voicemail is set up on primary contact numbers. Recruiters and hiring managers typically connect with hundreds of candidates. If they are unable to leave a voicemail message, they’ll move on to other candidates and may not call back. As a general rule, job seekers should set up their voicemail in a quiet environment. A clear, concise, professional sounding message is most effective.
The perfect job
Candidates need to remember that even if they’ve applied to that ‘perfect’ job, they mustn’t peg all their hopes on just one application. They should continue applying to other relevant positions within their field of interest, so as not to limit their chance of success.
Job seekers need to be well-prepared by having their resume, references, work portfolio/samples as well as formal business attire ready for an interview – with little notice.
Reach out to references
Maintaining contact with one’s references is important, especially when actively searching for a job. It is advisable to reach out and keep them in the loop on the companies they could expect to hear from. Not many people would appreciate receiving a surprise call about a reference check on someone they haven’t been in touch with for a long time.
Maintain a routine
Job seekers who are actively applying to positions should routinely check their business correspondence – ideally twice a day during business hours to ensure urgent messages are responded to promptly. In the same way, candidates must respond to such messages in a timely manner. Occasionally, recruiters will need to fill a position very quickly, and this may be a candidate’s only chance to reach them in time.
Assertive, not aggressive
When following up with hiring managers or recruiters, it’s in the best interests of candidates to convey enthusiasm about the role(s) for which they have applied. However, when checking the status of an application, going beyond one call or email each week is not advisable. Candidates who are overly aggressive diminish their chances of receiving a favourable response.
Continue to research
After applying for a position, continue to research the company and the role. Keep up-to-date with the latest company news, events, products and services which will aid in your preparation for a potential interview.
The one component that is out of a job seeker’s control is timing ─ in most cases having to wait for a response is inevitable. Following these relatively simple tips after applying for work will help candidates stay organized and maximize their chances of success.
Marc Belaiche is a CPA, CA and is President of TorontoJobs.ca, an Internet recruitment business and recruiting firm located in the Greater Toronto Area in Canada. Marc has been in the recruitment industry since 1995. TorontoJobs.ca allows companies to post their positions online, search a resume database to find candidates, provides outplacement services and full temporary and permanent recruitment services. TorontoJobs.ca also allows candidates to search and apply to positions directly online and get career, interviewing and resume tips all at no charge. Marc is also President of TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca, an organization geared towards business owners (see www.TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca) and has the annual Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference (see www.TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca/conference). You can reach Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out TorontoJobs.ca at www.TorontoJobs.ca.