There’s no bad time to look for a job, but there are seasonal trends that can work in your favor or slow your progress.
Despite robust hiring and low unemployment numbers in the U.S., job seekers still need to prepare for the unique challenges and opportunities each month presents.
If you’re planning to launch or continue a job search in February, here’s what you need to know to maximize your efforts.
3. You absolutely need a follow-up schedule
Without a system to track your follow-ups, you run the risk of letting some leads fall through the cracks while you follow up too frequently with others.
Unfortunately, few things are harder to navigate during a job search than knowing when to send follow-up emails.
Timing depends on your previous relationship with the contacts, their temperament and the level of engagement they’ve already shown. While there are no hard and fast rules, here are some guidelines to help you plan and automate your follow-up schedule.
Close contacts, that is, the people invested in you and eager to help, should be followed up with once a month with a quick update on your job search. This is especially true when things are going well and when you finally land that new job. Don’t wait to reach out only when you need something; make sure you continue to nurture your relationships throughout the search.
Loose connections, new introductions and recruiters you don’t have any open interviews with should be pinged twice, spaced about four to six weeks apart, with a short “thanks for keeping me on the radar” email and a hope that you connect again soon.
If someone promises to make an introduction on your behalf but hasn’t yet, follow up with them after ten to fourteen days.
If you’ve had phone or in-person interviews but the recruiting team gave you no idea as to when to expect a hiring decision, you should inquire on the status of your candidacy approximately seven to ten days after your interviews. If you were told you would receive your next update within a specific time frame that has passed, follow up with the recruiter after three to five days.
Finally, if you were contacted about a potential job but that lead hasn’t moved forward to interviews, reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager after five to seven days the first time you inquire on the status of the role, and then wait another two weeks before following up again, if needed.
In general, you shouldn’t have to follow up more than twice to get a job lead moving to the next step. If you feel the need to ping someone more than that, this particular job lead is probably a dead end. By letting it go and not becoming an annoyance, you are more likely to leave the door open for the person to contact you later when they get serious about hiring.
All in all, February is a great month to gain traction in your job search if you stay focused. Take advantage while you can.
See things 1,2, and the complete Forbes article
Kourtney Whitehead is a career expert and author of Working Whole. You can learn more about her work at Simply Service.