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How to Follow Up with Employers in a Digital Age

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Want to meet awesome professionals and ambitious young creatives such as yourself? Join us at one of our in-person or virtual events! Learn more at findspark.com/events

One of the first things you learn when starting your  job search is that it’s imperative to follow up with potential employers during every step of the application process.

Send in your application and resume? Follow up. Have an interview? Follow up. Either get or don’t get the job? Follow up. Meet someone at a cool event? Follow up.

If you’re new to the area you’re working in, or are a first time job searcher with only a few professional connections (re: recent college graduate), your main way of applying to jobs is online. However, most online applications don’t list the names of hiring managers or give a direct email address where you can send follow up messages. So, how do you follow up in an online setting?

Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to follow up with employers; since it’s a social media site that’s specifically meant for business, you don’t have to shy away from your intentions of connecting. By sending a short, personalized message to an HR Representative* or someone within the company, you’re much more likely to have your application read, or at least acknowledged. Plus, you may already be “connected” through an existing LinkedIn connection, and you can ask that person to introduce you.

What should I say?
Keep your message short. Remember, you have a limited character count for basic LinkedIn Messages (200) so it’s best to just state your name, when you applied, and mention that you would love to be considered for the job. End the message with “I look forward to hearing from you. Either way, thanks for your time.  Sincerely, [ your name ]”

*Usually there will be at least one human resources representative on there who is used to receiving job inquiry messages and can give you a personal response. Just search the name of the company and “human resources” or just HR; something should come up.

Tweet a Follow Up on Twitter 
Twitter can be extremely effective at getting you noticed; according to FindSpark CEO Emily Miethner, if people are on Twitter, they’re making themselves accessible, so tweet at them. She encourages targeting people who are actually active and have a history of responding. I also recommend using these social media sites in addition to another type of follow up, since the posts will be so short.

What should I tweet?
Here are some examples of different follow up tweets from Emily Miethner:

For following up after meeting a contact:
@PersonYouTalkedTo It was great meeting you at the #EventOrPlaceYouMet tonight. Looking forward to staying in touch #hashtagaboutsomethingyoutalkedabout (like #ILoveNYC if you talked about how much you love living in New York City.)

For following up after submitting an application:
Thrilled to have submitted my application to my dream company, @CompanyName. #ImYourPerfectHire #PassionateaboutThingCompanyDoes

Or

@PersonWhoYouThinkWillSeeYourApp Hi (Name), I Just submitted my application for (job). You can check out my website here, too. (bit.ly link). Thanks for considering.

Always Stay Positive
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned following up even if you don’t get the job. This is important; it shows you that you can accept “failure” with maturity and grace. (I put failure in quotation marks because I imagine that most of the time people aren’t passed over for jobs due to their personality, but because they either didn’t meet the job qualifications or someone else had better qualifications. This is something that can be fixed; you can always re-apply for a job later, it will open again eventually.) When employers view you as a mature, hardworking person, you’re more likely to be contacted in the event that the other person doesn’t take the job, or if there’s a different position open in the company.

What should I say?
When following up after not getting a job, thank the company for the opportunity to apply and let them know that you’d still like to work with them in the future. If you had an interview, it’s not unreasonable to ask why you didn’t get the position as long as you ask nicely (ex: “Would you mind telling me why you offered the position to someone else? Did I meet your qualifications?”) Also mention that you hope they’ll keep your resume on file for future openings.

Do you have any tips for following up online? Let us know in the comments.
Want to meet awesome professionals and ambitious young creatives such as yourself? Join us at one of our in-person or virtual events! Learn more at findspark.com/events
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