If you’ve found yourself in a job search in 2020, it may take you a bit longer to land your next role. The average job search takes 6 months under normal conditions, and 2020 has been anything but “normal.” If you’ve been sending off tons of applications and struggling to get results, you’re not alone. Following up on submitted applications is an important part of the process, but this can be difficult when you don’t know who to follow-up with. Here are 4 tips to help you make connections at companies and follow-up on your applications:
1. Use LinkedIn to target current employees
LinkedIn is for more than applying to jobs, it’s also a great research tool. Most businesses will have a company page and if you visit it and click on the “People” tab, you’ll get a list of LinkedIn profiles for their employees. Look for people who appear to be in the department that you’re targeting. Send a short, friendly note to let them know you applied to a job with their company and ask a direct question. For example, “Hi Tim, I’ve been a longtime admirer of your company and recently applied to an accounting position. Do you know who I should reach out to for more information about the job? Thanks so much!”
2. Call the company directly
Google the company and give a call out to the main number. Sure, this can be awkward and you may get an automated directory or a receptionist who doesn’t know who you should speak with, but there is always a chance you can find your way to someone’s voicemail in the right department, or even better—an actual live person who can give you more information. Prepare what you’ll say ahead of time in case you find your way to someone with hiring power. Jot down some succinct talking points that include introducing yourself, telling them why you’re calling, and asking them about the status of the job. For example, “Hi Liz, my name is Jason Smith and I’ve recently applied to the Marketing Manager position with your team. I wanted to follow up on my application and introduce myself. I’ve been following your company for a while and really love the direction you are going with your new brand strategy. Are you the right person to speak with to find out more about the role and next steps in your hiring process?”
3. Reach out to them on social media
This is a creative and modern way to get more information, and usually a response. If a company has an active social media presence and is in the business of serving customers, they are usually quick to respond to people on social media (it makes them look good). Pay them a short, but genuine compliment on social media, tell them the job you applied to, and ask for the name of someone you can reach out to about the position. There’s a good chance you’ll get a response and if you don’t have any names or connections at all, then any information you can get will be helpful.
4. Write them a nice Google review
If you’re trying to track down someone at a company with very little online or social media presence, try writing them a complimentary Google review. Google reviews weigh very heavily in marketing strategies and online searches done by potential customers, so someone on their team is going to get a notification when you’ve submitted a review. For smaller companies, it’s more likely that a senior member of their team will see what you wrote and respond to it, but even at big companies you can often start up a dialogue with a marketing or customer service rep who responds to thank you for your review. If someone does respond, try to leverage that conversation and politely ask for more information about who to contact for more information about the position you applied to. You may even get the name or email address of the hiring manager.
Whatever you do, don’t apply to 30 jobs and then sit around and wait for them all to make the next move. Instead, apply to 30 jobs—then choose your top 10 and follow up with them. Keep this strategy on repeat as you progress through your job search.
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