I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who is an HR Director at a large company. I like to keep in touch with her to get the other side of the story about how candidates are coming across in their job searches and some of the latest tactics that work for her, and those that don't.
She was telling me about an out of work friend who, after submitting her resume, was calling the hiring manager daily to inquire about the status. "After about three days of seeing the same number come up on caller ID I'm sure that hiring manager won't be calling her back, regardless of how qualified she is. Who wants to hire a stalker?" my friend commented. And sadly, it's true. Just like that guy or gal who calls you incessantly after having a great date, or a salesperson you briefly talked to in a store. You might have been interested in them, or working with them at the time, but too much, is still, too much.
So what should you do? Send your resume, and if you have the contact info (and the ad does not specifically say "Do not call."), you can place a brief, friendly follow-up call the following week to touch base and let them know you're a real person who didn't just hit the Submit key on Monster.com. You can even say one or two unique aspects about your experience that specifically relate to the position leave your name and contact info, and then that's it. If you're a fit-they'll call you back. If you're not-then they won't.
However, if you have made it to the interview stage, you have earned a little more leeway. First, you should NEVER, EVER leave an interview without asking-"What are the next steps?" or "What is your timeline for filling this position?" You can even ask "I'd love to follow-up with you, what works better for you, a call or an email, say, next week? I don't want to turn into a stalker. " (insert casual laugh here) There you have it-you just got their timing, showed you were interested, and saved yourself a stress-ridden week of worrying about the position.
After you've made that initial post-interview follow-up call, don't revert to your former stalker ways and leave a voicemail every day, but it is OK to check in with them, either by phone or email every week and a half to two weeks. You can simply remind them of your interest in the position, or better yet, include a link to a relevant article about something happening in the industry is completely appropriate.
- Melanie Szlucha