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May 2010
Job Search Follow-Up: Pest or Persistent?
by Susan Reynolds

I don’t want to be a pest.  I don’t want them to become angry with me.  I’m afraid I’m bothering them. 

So you’ve made a great connection, and have had a great interview.  You’ve spoken with several people in your target company.  They all seem impressed, and you’ve fielded many questions.  You’re sure you’re a top candidate.  They tell you that they’re going to just talk to a few more people.  They commit that they’ll be in touch with you “next week”.  They explain that they’re moving ahead with the hiring process quickly, as they’ve got work to be done.  They assure you that you’re “in the running”.

And then:  Nothing.

No call, no email, no letter.  Ok, so the good news is that you haven’t received the horrible rejection note.  But what to do next to stay in the running? 

Follow up and then follow up more.  I’ve rarely observed a candidate being eliminated because of too much tenacity.  Now, there’s a difference between “determined” and “rude”.  Reach out to your contacts within just a couple days of your first meeting.  Of course, thank them for their time, but how about contributing a couple more thoughts that illustrate your understanding of their business challenges?  So now you still haven’t heard back?

Write, call, email again.  Ask the status of the situation.  Make a couple more observations or suggestions.  Don’t beg.  Don’t threaten.  Don’t lose your sense of humor.  But DO follow up.

Note to employers:  How about sending a note to your candidates informing them of their status?  If they’re rejected, thank them and send them on their way with good wishes.  If you intend to consider them, keep them in the loop!  You might need any of them some day in the future, so it will be rewarding to have treated everyone with respect!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

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