The Help Files: How to Follow Up without Being All “Stalkery”

flashlight-night-skyYou’ve poured your soul into your resume and it’s a masterpiece. You’ve written that remnant of the Eisenhower administration–the cover letter–to perfection. You’ve whisked the dust off your best interview clothes and slayed the hiring manager with your brilliance. And then…nothing. A great gaping maw of silence. Suddenly you’ve become the economics teacher  in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” waiting to hear something from the people who hold your fate in their hands.

“Bueller?  Bueller? Bueller?”

Uh, now what?

Unfortunately, it’s now time to pull up your follow-up pants and start checking in with those prospective employers. Yes, it is somewhat like begging, and you must walk a fine line between reminding someone of your presence and stalking them.

The job search process encompasses equal parts art and craft, and the follow-up is where the art comes in. When and how should you follow up? Follow-ups are tricky things. Follow up too soon, and you might be interpreted as desperate when you’re simply over-eager. Follow up too late and you might be interpreted as lazy, provided the hiring manager even bothers to read it if the position has been filled. So, how should you handle follow-ups?

These experts have some answers to those burning questions–suggestions on how to avoid falling into the job-seeking abyss.

How To Master The Fine Art Of The Follow-Up

If you’re like me, you wonder how to follow up after submitting a resume and after being interviewed for a job. And by follow up, I mean (professionally) pester someone. You endured the 20 lashes of the job application process, you’re positive that you’re the best candidate for the position, but now you have to wait AGES for someone to take their feet off their desk and realize that you (yes you!) are the candidate who they’ve been dreaming about and hoping for. But how can you prod them gently to refresh yourself in their memory? Claire Zulkey at has the answers for you.

How to Follow Up After Submitting a Resume

You found a company that you think is great. You love the position described in the ad. You open your resume, carefully target it, and send it off to your Dream Job Company. Then you wait. And you wait. And then you want to start pulling your hair out. Before you yank out any clumps of hair, read what Alison Doyle has to say about the professional and courteous follow-up. She has tips for following up by letter, email, and phone. She also offers suggestions for what to say, so you won’t have to fumble for words.

The Need For A Follow-Up

Follow-up? What follow-up? After all, your product sells itself, right? No so fast, according to Andrew Gadzecki at While this piece discusses following up from a sales and networking perspective, it still applies to job hunting. How? Because the product that you’re selling is you and your skills. You need to go above and beyond what the hiring manager is looking for in order to stand out from the other applicants.

8 Dos And Don’ts Of Networking Follow Up

I can hear you now, “Networking follow-up? I thought this was about jobs.” Networking IS about jobs. You never know when a contact will know about a job you might be interested in. It’s good to stay in touch with your contacts. A contact may find out about a job opening at their company, or one of their client’s companies, before it’s posted. To find out how networking follow-ups work, head over to

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, circle me on Google+, or email me at I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Category: The Help FIles

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