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What is your job follow-up strategy?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NickMordo, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. NickMordo

    NickMordo Active Member

    I am currently working part-time in the sports department at the local paper, although I have been looking for a full-time gig for quite a while. Anyway, I have tried different strategies for following up on job opportunities -- although obviously nothing has sufficed quite yet.

    What are all of your strategies at following up on jobs, and what did or didn't work? TIA
  2. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I'm not certain what you mean when you say "follow-up," but if you're talking about contacting a hiring editor to try to push your resume to the top of the pile, I'm not sure there's much you can do.

    I've done some hiring in the last few years, and that pile of resumes gets taller with each opening we have. If your resume and clips don't stand out enough for you to make it into that "small stack," then no amount or type of follow-up is going to help you. I've had lots of people email me asking about jobs after they applied, and a few who called. It didn't help any of them. If you're going to do that, you'd better have something to say other than, "I wanted to see where you are in the hiring process."

    So the key is make your resume as strong as it can be. Emphasize your versatility -- especially video/web content, because if you've done any quality work in that area it's going to push you in front of a lot of other people. Write an introductory email/cover letter that's not full of cliches and overzealous language. Half the people I heard from the last time I hired "dreamed" of being sports writers, or something to that effect. Do anything other than that.

    And it always helps if you know someone who works at the place, or previously worked at the place and left on good terms, or if you know someone who knows the editor or someone else there. If someone can vouch for you, that helps you jump up from the middle of the pile.
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I've applied for, and be ignored for enough jobs to know that the follow-up strategy isn't as important as you think it is.

    The most important parts about getting the jobs you apply for are being qualified, and applying as soon as the job is posted.

    I've noticed that when I apply for a job at the beginning, I almost always get a call back, even if I am not as qualified as I should be.

    It's also important to know that if they want you, they will contact you. Most companies are busy so it shouldn't be weird if you don't hear back for two or more weeks. At my current place of business it may take a month, it took them two months to call me back. I think that's why they say it is easier to find a job when you have a job - probably because you can be more patient.

    In the past, I've followed up with places to check the receipt of a resume and pissed them off, I've called them and pissed them off, and I've written e-mails and not pissed them off. I think e-mails are the least intrusive way.

    I also think it really depends on the relationship you have with the hiring manager. If you haven't worked with them before its more difficult.

    I'm in a unique situation now where I'm working with a person who turned me down for a position a year ago. This time they are recruiting me for a similar job. I sent a thank you note to follow up and didn't hear back. They finally called a week later and gave me an update, followed by another update another week later. Here I am a full month after applying and interviewing and we still don't know what's going on. I have other offers on the table so I just e-mailed the HR person and said "Listen, I want to work for your company but I can't let other opportunities pass me by, could you call me and let me know what's up?" Sure enough - I got an e-mail saying "I'm out of town today, but I'll call you tomorrow and we can discuss what the hold up is in detail."

    I never thought I'd have the balls to basically e-mail the HR department of the place I want to work and say "what the F is going on?" but as I said, every job is different. And really, only you know if you should follow up or not.

    Sorry for the long winded response.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Also, I'll contend that unless the listing says to put on a cover letter, the cover letter is bull shit. I've gotten jobs without cover letters, or gotten call backs with an e-mail simply stating what was attached and about a paragraph of background info.

    My brother who is in a completely different field, has gotten both of his full-time jobs without cover letters too.

    P.S. I hate cover letters.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Boy, I have written some ass-kicking cover letters that didn't get me a damned thing.

    But ... I did have a cover letter that called strong attention to particular job experience that got me my first crack at a non-newspaper job. So there you are.
  6. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I think that just helps prove that sometimes cover letters are complete bullshit. But then, so are most things. I've had serious second-round interviews where the interviewer didn't even read the resume.
  7. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    I just landed a job because I was on a friendly basis with the person in charge and let her know I was interested. When I followed up by e-mailing a resume and cover letter to her, she replied that none of it had even been necessary. That was a nice feeling.
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    E-mail the people who started the threads on the Dickinson and Minot openings. Have you applied for those?
  9. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    I interviewed for a gig recently and sent a follow up letter (snail mail) to thank them for their time. Will it help, maybe, maybe not, but it won't hurt.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I wrote an e-mail to a hiring manager and ME telling them about how unprofessional they were. They promised me an answer in a few days. Heard nothing. E-mailed and they said wait a week. Nothing. E-mailed again and they said it's on hold.

    I was fed up by that point and said I wouldn't want to work for the company if they can't be honest with a job candidate during a search. I got a response that said if I was still interested, I should let them know.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Nice to know a responsible driver is behind the wheel of the Iron Lung.
  12. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Gimme a sledgehammer, and a helmet with a swastika, and STAND THE FUCK BACK!!

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