Sarah wrote me with the following situation: A Human Resources recruiter interviewed me and stated that I was a good candidate for a Sales and Marketing position. I did everything I could think of: congratulatory notes to CEO’s on winning awards and comments on the company’s Facebook pages.
One night, I took a written note and a resume into one of the offices that was holding an open house. I met a woman, Sharon, and she told me she was the VP and I introduced myself as a potential future candidate. Sharon said she would schedule a time to meet me. So I contacted the recruiter, asking for an informational meeting with Sharon. Yesterday, the day before the interview was scheduled, the recruiter called and cancelled. She would not reschedule. She advised me that I need to wait until a job opening occurs and then apply again on the company’s website.
The recruiter indicated that I pushed too hard. Do you think they have tossed me as a “stalker”? Please advise what action you think I should take.
Although most job seekers don’t follow up enough, too much and you risk moving from being a “pest” to being a “Job Stalker.” Be aware of these two basic truths:
- Recruiters are – and should be – proud of the work they do and they are the owners of the hiring process. Rightfully, it upsets them when you go around them without informing them of your networking activities and results immediately.
- Recruiters, hiring managers, interviewers, and anybody else you contact at the new company are watching your job search behaviors. Will you fit in to our culture? Will you be an annoying co-worker? For a sales or marketing job, will you be a pest to our clients? Are you politically savvy and know how to navigate around companies?
Here are some tips to avoid being a “Job Stalker:”
- Space out your follow up; my rule of thumb is 7 working days after contact of any kind. Yes, I know that seems like eternity, but it respects the other person’s busy schedule. Remember, hiring you is NOT their top priority…it’s yours.
- Be brief. Don’t write long letters or send long lists of links the recruiter or hiring manager should check out.
- Put your follow up schedule for each job prospect in your calendar. Make a 30-minute appointment with yourself to, “Follow up with the Company XYZ position,” and put the last e-mail exchange – the entire thread – in the body of your reminder invitation.
- When sending a follow up, don’t assume the recipient has any of the prior communication at hand. Include it in your e-mail for reference.
- If you have a phone call with someone, ask him or her the communication method they prefer for follow up. Show respect for their time and use their preferred method – telephone, phone, e-mail, etc.