Knowing when to get in touch with a potential employer is always a tricky question – and even trickier is figuring out how often is too often to be making contact.
You certainly don’t want your potential employer to feel like you’re pestering them, but at the same time you want to make a great impression and show your enthusiasm for the role.
When getting in touch with someone is as easy as pressing send, is it possible to put off a potential employer by being constantly in contact?
The answer, put simply, is quite clearly yes. Somehow, you need to find a balance in appearing keen, and being the most frequently emailed person in someone’s outbox.
In my role, I’m getting in touch with employers on a daily basis and I know the critical times that it’s important the candidate themselves get in touch with an employer. I’ve put together a few quick tips to help you decide whether it’s the right time to be hitting send:
1. Ask yourself why you’re getting in contact: If it is just to say, “have you got any jobs that are suitable for me?” then we would advise you pause and reflect. Have a look back in your outbox to see when you sent your last email and try to be more specific with your query. Have a look at their website and see if there are any roles that you think will suit you, then ask if they had considered you for the role. Remember to reattach your CV: you may be a stand out candidate, but they won’t be able to remember every detail off the top of their head
Also consider what response you got from the employer last time you got in touch – if you got a reply at all. Make your next communication relevant to their response. Check for a timescale – if it is has been around two and you think it’s reasonable to chase for a response again then do so. But remember to draw a line at one follow-up email.
2. Has anything changed since you last got in touch? If you’ve done some additional volunteering, gained a new qualification, completed some training or even had a new job in the interim – send across your updated CV. But make sure any changes are relevant to your career aspirations.
3. If you are waiting for a communication from the hirer: For instance, if you’re waiting for an interview confirmation or offer letter, then keep in contact. It’s best to keep your contact light but regular and make sure you get the tone right – eager and excited is always much better than desperate and frustrated. If your email has not solicited a response, why not pick up the phone? The tone of an email can be easily misconstrued and it is far easier to ask the question “when will I receive the offer in writing?” over the phone, than to ask for it via email. Email is easiest, but not always the best, channel of communication.
4. If you are waiting on feedback from an interview: Make sure you agree at the interview stage when you can next hope to hear from the potential employer and if you don’t hear from them in that time frame, follow up. Again although email is most accessible, a more direct approach is advised. A quick phone call can take only minutes but might be the thing that pushes the decision in your favour.
Controlling the contact you have with perspective employees is important, so make sure it is timely and relevant.
And one final (but really important) piece of advice: never, ever make contact with a potential employee with a BCC email that makes contact with all perspective employees. Make your approach is personal, relevant and tailored to the individual employer you are communicating with. You’ll be surprised at how many people make this faux pas!
I’d love to hear your tips on getting in contact with an employer – have you found a particular technique to be successful? And as always, good luck with your job search!