Ask Esther // 26

Hi Esther,

I graduated in July with a BA honours in media & comm and have done a couple of internships in comms firms and am currently working in a office position (though not in my desired field). So I have been applying for jobs through job search sites, social media (twitter/linked in), recruitment agencies, and cold calling/emailing companies.

When I hear back from recruiters and companies a few of them have shown interest and I have met and spoken on the phone with the HR managers and account managers to talk more about my experiences etc. After the meeting we agree to keep in touch and they would let me know if an opportunity/ role comes up.

I am still applying for other things, but I also don’t know what to do next. How long do I wait, before I follow up with them? Should I even follow up even though they said they would call first? Or is the job market growth for juniors like me just a tad slow at the point? Am I not job searching properly?

Thanks!
On-the-hunt

Dear On-the-hunt,

You appear to be doing everything right. You’ll never hear people saying “this is a really good time for getting a job in the market”, it’s always tough, and getting your first break is hard.

Be prepared to change tactics, refresh your bio, find excuses to follow up.

The art of the follow-through is very delicate and you will be judged. First of all, DO follow up. Don’t wait for the call-back. There’s a lot of competition out there and the squeakier the wheel, the more chance there is of getting oiled.

Secondly, be polite. I cannot stress how important good manners are. As well as spelling and grammar. An eye for detail can separate one candidate from the next. If you get an interview, always send a courteous note thanking them for their time.

Time your follow-ups well. Don’t email your contacts on a Saturday night or at 2.30am on a Wednesday. Show respect and smarts. Emails come through to most people’s smart phones, but it’s better to time it when you know they might be at their computer, not eating breakfast or in the back of a cab. . Find a way to be read and noticed, without falling to the bottom of the pile. The morning of the working week day is good.

Show humour and determination. If there was something said in an interview that required a follow up, do it. Send that YouTube link or the name of that book/film/TVshow you discussed. Show your personality, have a good professional looking headshot on Linked In (which is where they’ll go to remind themselves who you are).

Write to the CEO in such a charming way that they pass the letter onto the department head or the HR Department to follow up for an interview.

It comes down to a combination of initiative, determination, humour, manners and most importantly, luck.

Don’t give up, just keep persisting. Your efforts will be noticed.

Good luck.

You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at wtf@lifeatthebottom.com (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom NULL.com).

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 08/11/2012
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .