No Response After An Interview? Here’s How To Send A Follow Up Email

Author: Biron Clark

So, you finished your interview, went home excited to hear back, but now what? Maybe it’s been a few days (or more) and you haven’t heard anything.

I’m going to show you exactly how to send a follow up email after your interview if you’ve gotten no response, with examples and templates.

One WARNING first though: Don’t use these follow-up templates to email the company after one day! It takes time for the company to interview people and make decisions. If it’s one day after your interview, you should be sending a “thank you” email instead (I’ll cover that too).

How To Follow Up By Email After An Interview:

Step 1: The Follow-Up Email Subject Line

Follow up email subject lines are important. They decide whether your email gets opened, and how fast.

I’d recommend following up with whoever said they’d been in touch. Or follow up with whoever you’ve been talking to for scheduling, etc.

The best subject line, and the one that’s going to get opened faster than anything else, is to simply reply to the latest email between the two of you.

It’ll look something like this:

“Re: Interview on Thursday at 10 AM”

They’ll open it immediately because it’ll appear as part of the previous conversation. Much better than starting a whole new email for this.

Step 2: The Body Of Your Follow Up Email

I’d keep it simple and straight-forward. Don’t be shy or unclear. Tell them you’re excited to hear back and wanted to check if there’s an update or a decision yet.

Best follow-up email if you already sent a “Thank You” email:

“Hi <NAME>,

I wanted to follow up to see if there have been any updates regarding the <JOB TITLE> position that I had interviewed for on <DATE>. I’m still very interested based on what I heard in the interview and I’m excited to hear about next steps, so any information you can share on your end would be great. Thanks!”

Note: This template above is best if you’ve already sent a “Thank You” email a day after your interview. I’m going to give you one in this article coming up in a minute, so keep reading.

We can’t go back in time though. So if you didn’t send a “Thank You” email after your last interview and a few days have passed, here’s what to send… You just need a follow up email that also thanks them for interviewing you, since this is your first contact with them.

Best follow-up email if you DIDN’T already send a “Thank You” email:

“Hi <NAME>,

Thank you for taking the time to interview me on <DATE>, I enjoyed learning about the <JOB TITLE> position and wanted to follow up to see if any progress has been made in terms of a decision. The role sounds like a great opportunity based on what I’ve learned so far, and I’m looking forward to getting feedback when you have a chance. Thanks!”

For future use, here is a “Thank You” email template I recommend. Send it at lunchtime the day after your interview:

“Hi <NAME>,

I wanted to take a minute to thank you for your time yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation about <SPECIFIC TOPIC>, and the <JOB TITLE> position sounds like an exciting opportunity for me at this point in my career. I’m looking forward to hearing any updates you can share, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.”

“These Emails Seem Too Simple. Should I Add More?”

No. Don’t complicate it. Be up-front and say what you actually want, which I assume is an update on the status.

This email is your best shot at getting that update without seeming pushy, anxious, insecure, desperate, or any of the things that’ll turn a company off.

In all likelihood, the person you emailed will get back to you and apologize and say they’re still working on a decision. Or there’s a chance they have news to share and will update you as soon as they get your email.

Either way, you reminded them you’re waiting for news and still interested, which is important if 4-5 days have passed because companies love to hire people that seem genuinely interested. If you want to know why, or what else a company looks for first, you should check out my complete list of job interview tips. It’ll help you understand the company’s mindset a lot better.

What If The Company Says They Don’t Have Any News Yet?

This is a pretty likely scenario, they respond to your email and say they’re still waiting for something to happen. Sometimes they’ll be specific on what that ‘something’ is but usually not. Either way I’d respond with something to keep the conversation alive and give yourself an opening to follow up again if needed.

Here’s an example of an email reply you could send them:

“Thanks for the update. Do you have a sense of what the timing will look like moving forward? Or when would be an appropriate time for me to check back in? I’m excited about the opportunity, but I know these things take time so I don’t want to follow up too often here.”

What If The Company Still Hasn’t Responded To Any Emails After The Interview?

If you sent your followup email after the interview and didn’t hear back, here’s what I’d do:

First, make sure you’ve waited a one or two days for a response (not counting weekends). Give them some time.

Then send a followup to the same person, replying to the same email you already sent and keeping the subject line.

Email Body:

“Hi <NAME>,

Just wanted to make sure you saw my last email and follow up again to see if you had any updates regarding the <JOB TITLE> position. Please let me know when you get a chance, thanks!”

Be Patient After This…

If you still haven’t heard back at that point, I’d be very patient. There’s a chance someone necessary for the decision is on vacation or the person you emailed is extremely busy. If you get nothing after 48 MORE hours, you can email somebody else in the company.

I might wait even longer though. Really, at this point, you’re not going to gain anything by sending more followups one day sooner. So if in doubt, just wait a bit. I might wait a full week at this point if it were my job search.

However, when you do feel it’s time to take things further and check back in, here’s what to do…

Pick the next logical person and send them an email. If you were emailing an HR person before, try the hiring manager or somebody in the department you interviewed in. Or the other way around – if you’ve been emailing with the hiring manager before the interview and they’ve gone silent, try checking in with HR.

Example Subject Line:

“Any interview updates? I emailed <CONTACT’S NAME> and didn’t hear back”

It’s a bit long, but it’s specific which means it’ll get opened and the person on the other end will know it’s not spam.

The contact’s name is who you’ve been emailing previously – the person who isn’t answering your emails.

The Email Body:

“Hi <NAME>,

I emailed <CONTACT’S NAME> last week and hadn’t heard back so I wanted to send you a brief note. Is there any feedback you can share about my interview or the status of the <JOB TITLE> position? I’m looking forward to hearing any new updates when your team has a chance, thanks!”

Final Tips For Following Up

Make sure to end each interview by asking when you can expect to hear back from them.

It’ll save you some stress and you’ll know whether it’s time to follow up or not. Sometimes it’s normal to wait 1-2 weeks for a response after your interview. Maybe you were the first person they spoke with and they have many interviews scheduled.

UPDATE: 

If you have more interviews coming up and don’t want to leave anything to chance, I’ve created a new guide where you can copy my exact step-by-step method for getting job offers. You can get more details here.

To read the original article, click here.


Ask a Boss: How Do I Deal With Useless Informational Interviews?

Author: Alison Green

Dear Boss,

I work in a high-profile field that’s extremely hard to break into. As I’ve become more successful, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and ask if they can have some of my time to ask some questions. I’m usually happy to say yes to these requests, and either answer questions via email or through a short phone call.

However, the past few times I’ve become dismayed with some parts of the conversations, and I’m wondering if I should be giving feedback, especially to the recent grads, on what works and doesn’t work with this kind of networking.

For example, I always ask people to email a list of questions to me in advance. I say it’s so I can prepare, but it’s also because I want to make sure they’ve put some thought into what they want to ask. Unfortunately, all too often the questions are impossibly broad (“How do you break into this field?”) or asking basic information (“What are the biggest companies in the industry?”). It feels like a waste of time for me to answer questions they could easily google.

Second, while I love my work and I’m very enthusiastic about what I do, I try to share some of the negatives of this business. For one, most people starting out don’t make very much money. In fact, many people, myself included, do this work part-time at first while working another job. Obviously, that’s not fun to hear, but I feel like that’s the sort of info people want from this kind of informational interview. However, some of these networkers really push back hard when I tell them this — they mention a friend of a friend who was very successful right away, or they express skepticism that I’m telling the truth. Now, nobody has to believe what I say (and I usually respond by saying, “Well, I hope you’re the exception!”) but it feels rude when someone discounts what I’m telling them right off the bat.

Third, I often find that these networkers put too much emphasis on the idea that I’m going to connect them with other people in the industry and create some kind of shortcut to success. I can sometimes make referrals, but I only do that if I think it’s mutually beneficial — not just because someone asks. Recently I had a networker who barely kept up the pretense of wanting to talk to me, but instead seemed way more interested in me as a conduit to other, more important people. Which is naturally insulting.

Finally, while I’m happy to spend 20 minutes on the phone, I can’t do more. And yet half the time people ask me to look over their work and give detailed feedback — something that can take several hours. One college student just assumed that I was going to do that, and acted as though the phone call was a formality. He was very discouraged when I said no, and I was too, because I thought I was helping him by answering questions and clearly he didn’t really care.

I’ve had a string of these experiences lately and it’s making me want to start saying no to people who ask for my time because it’s too frustrating. But I also wonder if there’s an opportunity here for me to circle back and say something like “I really enjoyed speaking with you, but I have some pointers if you do another one of these informational interviews in the future.”

What do you think?

Yeah, there’s a huge epidemic of bad networking out there.

One thing that’s especially common is people asking for informational calls and meetings when what they really mean is, “I’m hoping you will hire me or connect me to someone who will hire me, but since I don’t want to say that outright, I’m pretending I’m seeking more general advice.” Or sometimes, especially with people right out of school, it means, “I heard I should set up these meetings but I don’t really know what I should ask you” — and even then it still usually comes with a side of, “… and I’m hoping this will somehow lead to a job.”

It’s annoying to be on the receiving end of this because it’s a bait-and-switch: You were asked to set aside time to give advice and insight, and that’s what you agreed to, but the person has a different agenda entirely and in many cases isn’t being particularly thoughtful about your time. Part of the blame for this lies with the career-advice industry, which tends to encourage people to do really aggressive networking, and even outright encourages them to frame these requests as “informational interviews.”

For the record, an actual informational interview is for learning about a field you’re new to or otherwise want an insider’s point of view on. They’re for getting information that’s more nuanced than you can find in other places — things like which companies in the field are the best and worst to work for, what the job is really like day-to-day, what kind of salary progression is typical, what a realistic career path might look like, and so forth. There’s huge value to these kinds of conversations, and it’s a shame that more people don’t do them for real.

The other parts of your experience with bad networkers aren’t uncommon either — the pushback when you’re telling people something they don’t want to hear, and the presumptuousness about how much they can ask you for. Those two things seem to be most common with students and recent grads, and I suspect it’s an effect of them not yet having had a chance to calibrate their norms about how the work world operates. That said, there’s definitely some plain old selfishness in there too, especially when you consider that there are plenty of people in that stage of life who don’t conduct themselves that way.

So, what can you do? First, it’s great that you’re asking people to send you their questions ahead of time. (When I do that, I actually find that about a third of the requesters are never heard from again, presumably because they didn’t want to take the time to do it, despite being okay with asking me for my time.) But if people send back questions that are overly broad or that they could answer for themselves with five minutes of googling, it’s fine to say something like, “You know, these are pretty fundamental things about the field that you’ll be able to easily find online. Because my schedule tends to be so tight, I’m going to suggest you do that first. Once you do, if you have more nuanced questions that you can’t find answers to online, I’d be glad to set up some time to talk.”

And then with people who you do talk to and who end up committing other faux pas, yes, say something about it! After all, they’re asking you for advice on breaking into your field, and this is relevant advice. You could frame it this way: “Can I give you some advice on something you haven’t asked about but that I think will be useful to know? I was glad to talk to you, but you had asked me for an informational interview when I think you were looking more for a foot in the door. It’s generally not a good idea to ask for one when you’re hoping for the other, so I’d recommend just being really up front with people about what you’re hoping for from them.” Or, “You pushed back pretty hard on some of what I told you. I know it’s tough to hear X when you’re hoping for Y, but I’d really go into these conversations with an open mind since you’re asking people for the benefit of their experience and advice.”

With people who ask you for something more than you’re willing to do, like giving feedback on their work or rewriting their résumé, just be direct about it: “I’m happy to answer a few questions about the field, but my schedule is pretty busy and I can’t do more.” Or even, “What you’re asking for would take several hours to do well, so I have to say no to that.” If you’d feel more comfortable adding more of an explanation, you can say, “My schedule is in triage mode right now” (I get a ton of use out of that phrase) — but you don’t need to do that.

And really, these are people who are looking for connections and help finding work — and yet they’re inadvertently turning off their targets! It’s a kindness to let them know.

To read the original article, click here.


How to NOT Sound Rude in an Email

Author: Wenzhu Sun

At Global Cleveland, I spend a good amount of time talking to international job-seekers every day. Most of my job is done through emailing: providing consultations, explaining visa issues, and connecting them to professionals in their field through our Professional Connection Volunteer Program.

Quite often, I would receive an email that seems really "irritating"--full of requests and no gratitude--it almost made me feel like I'm reading an order from a harsh boss. But later when I call or meet up with these "rude" students, they are actually very nice and polite. Apparently, they never meant to be rude in the emails at all, but somehow failed.

I am familiar with Chinese culture, and have learnt a lot about Indian culture over time. The suggestions and examples below came from my daily interactions with those international job-seekers I work with (80% being Chinese/Indian international students). While I can't speak for other cultures, I did notice that many of the "rude" emails written by people from these two cultures, have something in common that we can all work on.

Email subject matters.

Use a proper subject, make it clear and direct. For example: “Looking to Connect”, “Looking for career opportunities” or “Position 56473 Application Follow-up”.

Bad examples: blank subject line, “A reminder in case there is any opportunity for me”, “job”

Give me a reason to reply.

Once I received an email with the subject "Checking in", and one line in the email body "Hi Wenzhu how are you". While I appreciate the effort the student is making in terms of keeping in touch, this email did not give me a good reason to reply. When people are busy, it's unlikely for them to reply an email just to say "I'm fine, thank you. What about you".  So what would be a good way to follow up? Well, an email with some actual content/new information. Tell the reader what you've been up to in a few sentences, send an interesting article with a good question, or other things that will make the reader want to reply and feel like it's worth his/her time to do so.

Make sure you spell all the names right, especially if you're asking them for a favor of any kind.

Bad example: “Hi Wenzhou (my name is Wenzhu) I'm *** from Kent State University, hope you remember me. I'm sending you my updated resume and Cover letter. Also Introduce me to your connections who look for entry level IT profiles. Thank You”

Now, if the name was just mentioned by someone and you really can't confirm it (Google, LinkedIn, their company's staff page etc), then you can say something like "Hi Elisa (I'm sorry if I spelled your name wrong), I met your colleague Jody at the *** event last night and she gave me your contact information." But, it would be great if you have asked Jody the question before emailing this "Elisa" person.

In addition, never assume the recipient is a male or female! If you can't google out any more details about the recipient, just use "Dear Fist Name, Last Name". There were a few times I got an email starting with "Dear Mr. Wenzhu" or "Hello Sir", and I questioned myself for a second there: does my profile picture on GC staff page really look like a dude? Here's more tips on addressing unknown/external recipients.

Use a professional email address.

You can use your university email, or a gmail account that has your name (Johnsmith@gmail.com for example). HRs are not likely to open an email from Candykitty@gmail.com.

Check your spelling!

Double check, or triple check--make sure that you don't have any misspelling, or grammar mistakes in the email. WORD has spelling-check function, use it. Bad example: I once received an email with 5 misspellings in 2 paragraphs.

Learn about cultural differences.

Pay attention to cultural differences: people from different cultures speak and write differently. For example, a few Indian students told me that “Please do the needful” is a common expression in emails back home, but it is not common here in America.

Be careful with the word “Please”. This is a really polite word in most Asian cultures, but when you say “please do something” here in America, a lot of times it would sound like a command. Bad example: “I sent you my resume, please add it into your database. I also sent you invitation on LinkedIn please accept it so you can be in my network. Also requested to join the group, please accept that too.”

Instead of "please do something", use “I’d appreciate it if you can….” “Thank you so much for….” “Could you…?” It doesn't matter how much this person is able to help you; it's a nice thing to always say thank you and show your appreciation.

Other bits and pieces:

Try not to use abbreviations unless necessary; this is not texting with your friends. Bad example: "Hope u have a good day. Ty."

When you say “attached is my resume”, make sure you have actually attached it. Double check before hitting the “send” button. In fact, it’s a good idea to attach the files first, and then write the email body so you don’t forget about it.

Think about what you want to say and put them into one single email. I’ve had job seeker sending me 3 emails all 1 minute apart, just to add in another one or two sentences to the previous one.

 

  "Too many not-to-dos! What should I do?"

 

My friends, no need to panic!

For many international people, writing an email in English is still a daunting task. Like many of you, the English I learnt was from textbooks--schools back in China taught me how to write academic essays and how to get high scores in English tests, but there was not much training or practicing opportunities on how to exchange emails like a real American professional.

Here's what you CAN do:

One simple thing to do is to Google. Google "Email Etiquette" and you will be able to see tons of articles on that. Do some reading and you will start to get a good sense of how things work here.

Another help you can get is through Global Cleveland. We have a Professional Connection Volunteer program, where our volunteers can work with you on networking, emailing, and job search practice.

Hope some of these tips can help. Questions? Suggestions? Let me know: Wenzhu@globalcleveland.org

 

Photo credit: Nelson Biagio Jr - WordPress.com


"Help Me Find a Job!" Emails to Send to Your Network

Author: Adrian Granzella Larssen

You’ve updated your resume, perfected your LinkedIn profile, and honed in on your target positions. And now, you’re ready to reach out to your network.

Which, let’s be honest, can be sort of daunting. Who do you reach out to? Where do you start? And, um, isn’t it sort of awkward asking people for help?

Here’s the thing: People are actually always willing to help out. But you can make their job easier—and get better results—if you give specifics about what you’re asking for. And that’s the step that most people miss: asking the right people for the right things, in the right way.

So to make sure you get the most bang for your job search buck, we’ve put together a five-step plan—sample emails included—for enlisting the help of your network as you're looking for a job.

Step #1: Draft Your Talking Points

At this point, you’ve (hopefully) updated your resume, but people will find it much easier and quicker to look at a short, bulleted list of where you’ve been and where you want to go (especially if they’re not totally familiar with your field). This should take no more than 10 minutes to pull together, but it will reap serious rewards.

In it, you should include:

  1. A list of your last three position titles, companies you’ve worked for, and responsibilities. Think your resume, but condensed into three bullets.
  2. Your ideal job title and function, as well as other job titles and functions you’d consider.
  3. A list of 4-5 companies you’d love to work for, plus their locations.

Example

Work Experience

  • Account Executive, Smith PR: Served as main point of contact for tech clients including Microsoft
  • Account Coordinator, APCO Worldwide: Assisted on high-profile consumer products campaigns
  • PR Assistant, Columbia University: Drafted press releases that resulted in media coverage in the New York Times

Positions Seeking

  • Senior Account Executive
  • Account Supervisor
  • Public Relations Manager

Dream Companies

  • Edelman, San Francisco or Mountain View
  • Ogilvy, San Francisco
  • Ketchum, San Francisco or Silicon Valley
  • Google, San Francisco or Mountain View

Step #2: Send the Mass Email

Your next step is to contact everyone in your network. (Well, everyone except your mentors, former bosses or colleagues who you’re close to, and anyone who works for your dream companies. We’ll get to that next.)

Draft an email sharing that you’re looking for a new gig, and that you’re enlisting their help. Most importantly: Be specific about what you’re asking for—is it job leads or postings? Informational interviews? New contacts? All of the above?

Also include all the details about you: your current position and company, the length of time you’ve been there, and what you’re looking for and where. Even if your friends know this information, this email may be passed around to people who don’t know you well. Finally, include your bulleted talking points at the end of the email, and attach your resume.

Example

Hi friends and colleagues,

I hope all is well!

As many of you know, I have been at my current position as Account Executive for Smith PR for almost 3 years. I have recently decided to look for a new challenge in the public relations field and am reaching out to you to ask for your help with any leads or contacts.

I am looking for a mid-level public relations position in San Francisco, ideally in the tech or consumer products field. I am particularly interested in joining an agency, but would also consider interesting in-house work.

If you know of any job opportunities or leads that you might be able to share with me, please send them my way. Below, I have included a list of my past experience, my target positions, and my list of dream companies. I have also attached my resume for your reference, and feel free to pass it along.

Thanks in advance for your help! I hope you all are doing well and hope to catch up with you individually soon.

Step #3: Send Targeted Emails

The same day (this is important—you don’t want anyone to feel like an afterthought), craft targeted, specific emails to your former bosses, your mentors, people who work at your dream company, or anyone who you think might be able to help you out in a specific way.

You’ll want to personalize each one (there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re getting a form letter with your name slapped up top!). And most importantly, you’ll want to make a specific request—more specific than your mass email—about how each person might be able to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific introductions or job leads at a particular company. You can also ask for informational interviews, general advice on companies and positions, or feedback on your resume.

Example

Hi Susan,

I hope all is well! I saw the photos of the conference you held last month on Facebook—it looked like a fantastic event.

I’m reaching out because I’m currently seeking a new position. As you know, I have been Smith PR for almost three years, but I’m ready for a new challenge in the tech PR world.

I know that you used to do work for Ogilvy, which is on my short list of dream companies. Do you still have any contacts there, and if so, is there someone that might be willing to do an informational interview with me? Any introductions you could make would be greatly appreciated.

In addition, if you know of any job opportunities or leads that you might be able to share with me, please send them my way. I’ve attached my resume for your reference, and feel free to pass it along.

Thanks in advance for your help! Please keep me posted on how things are going and if there’s anything I can do to return the favor.

4. Be Patient

In an ideal world, your inbox would be filled with new job leads two hours later—but remember that this stuff takes time. Even if people can’t help out right away, rest assured that they’re keeping their eyes out and that you’ll be on their radar if any opportunities come their way.

That said, if you haven’t received many responses in a month or so, it can be helpful to send a follow-up email. (A friendly, non-desperate follow-up email. One.)

Example

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the great leads and feedback you’ve sent so far. I just wanted to update you that I’m still searching for that perfect opportunity, so if you have any leads come your way, please pass them along. I hope all is well!

5. Say Thanks

You must, must, must send a personal reply and thank every single person who responds to your email or offers to help you out, whether or not his or her lead or contact is helpful in your job search. Yes, people are happy to help, but they also like to know that their efforts are appreciated.

Plus, remember: After you land this dream job, you may be enlisting their help again a few years down the line.

Photo of woman with laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.

To read the original article, click here.


How I Got 425% More Page Views on LinkedIn—and You Can, Too

Author: Aja Frost

In one week, I increased the number of people looking at my LinkedIn profile by 425%. And that’s pretty exciting—more views means more potential job opportunities, more connections, and more visibility in my industry.

Also exciting? The only thing I did differently in those seven days was start and participate in a few group discussions.

Now that I’ve discovered how beneficial it is to be an active contributor, I’m making it my goal to join group discussions at least once a week. Here’s how to do the same, so you can make your profile views soar.

1. Find the Right Group

If you’re already a member of several groups relevant to your industry, profession, or interests, great. If not, let’s fix that.

Go to the search bar at the top of the page and enter some keywords. If you’re a content strategist, try “content strategy,” “content marketing,” “creative content solutions,” and the like; if you’re into cloud computing, try “cloud computing,” “cloud storage,” “cloud services,” “cloud computing and virtualizations,” and so on. Then, in the left bar, click “Groups” to filter your results. You can also do a “blank search” (press Enter without typing anything) and let LinkedIn show you the groups it considers most relevant to you.

Groups range from the broad (like “ Content Strategy ”) to the ultra-specific (like “Women in Marketing, Chapel Hill, NC ”), and each has its merits, but don’t limit yourself to one size. If you’re just starting out, join one small group (less than 100 members), one medium group (less than 1,000 members), and one large group (anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 members). This strategy lets you be a big fish in a small pond, a medium fish in a medium pond, and a small fish in a big pond.

One characteristic all the groups you join should share? They should all be active. If there hasn’t been any discussion in the group within the last week, pick a different one.


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2. Get the Lay of the Land

Don’t do what I did, which was immediately post a discussion without looking at anything else on the group page. After getting zero responses to my question, I scrolled down to see that someone else had asked the same thing just a couple days prior.

Now, when I join a group, I’ll read through everything posted in the last week (or month, if it’s a less-active group). I note the average conversational style (casual? formal? somewhere in between?), the most successful posts (open-ended questions? discussions about industry news? requests for advice?), and the types of responses (long? short and snappy?).

This process might sound time-consuming, but it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, tops. Plus, not only do I generate ideas for my own posts and comments, I also learn valuable information about my field.

You don’t want to overwhelm yourself, so go to your smallest group first and spend some time getting comfortable with the vibe. As you read, jot down any thoughts you have. These will become the jumping-off points for your first posts.

3. Join a Discussion

I like to contribute to a couple of threads before I start a new one. That’s because if LinkedIn groups are like dinner parties; you don’t want to be the obnoxious guest who shows up late and then tries to dominate the conversation.

The discussion you comment on doesn’t have to be active. Say you find one from a couple weeks ago that’s come to a halt, but it’s on a topic you know stone-cold and you’d love to point out something the other members missed. Feel free to revive the discussion! However, I’d simultaneously add to an ongoing discussion to make sure you don’t end up talking to yourself.

When commenting, keep a couple things in mind:

  • Statements like, “I agree with Joe,” aren’t valuable unless you expand on what Joe said, back up his point with your own experience, or in some way add new information.
  • Disagreeing with people is fine, but you should remain super polite at all times. There’s nothing worse than an over-aggressive group member.
  • You can promote your company, your product, or yourself, but only if it feels natural. For example, if a group member asks if anyone has read any ebooks on sales techniques, you can link to yours. If people are just talking about good techniques, don’t jump in with, “Read my ebook!”
  • Relevance is key. If your comments are random, people will ignore you.

4. Start Your Own Discussion

For my first post in “LinkedIn for Journalists,” I asked the group members whether they’d invested in a personal website. This was a great post for a couple of reasons: It invited people to share their expertise, it was broad enough that anyone could contribute, whether they had a personal site or not, and there were multiple sub-topics, like whether you should pay for a site and how you can use one to promote yourself. Try to think of an open-ended question like this pertaining to your own field. (If you need inspiration, go back to the notes you took!)

You can also share articles or sites that the group would find interesting. For example, in “LinkedIn for Journalists,” I could post an article about how most people now use their phones to read the news. Using questions will increase the responses you get, so I’d add, “Has your writing changed to reflect the size of the mobile audience; and if so, how?”

Bonus: LinkedIn allows you to share your discussions on social media, so if you really want to start a healthy conversation, post the link on Twitter and Facebook.

Once you’ve commented on or started a discussion in a group, your job is technically done. Even though my website post got tons of comments, none of them were mine: I just sat back and watched the conversation unfold. However, my next goal is to take on an unofficial moderator role. I’m confident my page views will really take off!

If you try this technique, let me know on Twitter —or even find me on LinkedIn!

Photo of woman clicking mouse courtesy of Shutterstock .

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5 Email Templates to Respond to Recruiters (No Matter Where You Are in Your Search)

Author: Jaclyn Westlake

Getting approached about a job opening can feel super flattering (and it’s a sure sign that you’re doing something right!), but depending on where you are in your career, figuring out how to respond can be a bit of a headache.

You don’t want to come off as rude or dismissive if you aren’t interested, and you definitely don’t want to seem desperate or needy if you are. So yes, finding the right words can be tricky, but these five templates will make responding to recruiters a breeze—regardless of your current status.

1. If You’re 100% Not Job Searching

You love what you’re doing , and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to convince you to consider a new opportunity—at least not for the foreseeable future. But, you don’t want to close the door on what could be a potentially helpful relationship down the line either.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for reaching out! This certainly sounds like an interesting job, and I appreciate your consideration.

I really love the work I’m doing for [Your Company] and am not in the market for a new opportunity at the moment. That said, if I find myself looking to make a change in the future, I’ll be sure to get in touch.

Thanks again! 
[Your Name]

If you happen to know someone who might be interested in this role, you could also add something like, “I may have a colleague who could be a good fit for this role; would you mind if I passed your contact information on to them?” For recruiters, the next best thing to finding the right candidate is finding someone who knows the right candidate .

2. If You’re Open to the Right Opportunity

You’re pretty happy where you are and haven’t given a lot of thought to finding a new job, but this role sounds like it could have some potential. The goal here is to be upfront about your status while also conveying your interest. You’re essentially playing it cool—if this person wants to schedule a quick call , great; if he doesn’t, that’s fine, too.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for getting in touch!

I’m pretty happy in my current role with [Your Company] and am not actively looking to change jobs, but I’d be open to discussing this role, as I never turn down a chance to chat about [compelling trait about the job description, e.g., software development or sales enablement]. Would it be possible for us to connect sometime next week? I should be available for a quick call on [dates and times that’ll work with your schedule].

Moving forward, you can reach me directly here: [your email address and/or phone number].

Looking forward to speaking with you!

Best, 
[Your Name]

3. If You’re Actively Searching But Aren't Interested in This Job

When you’re in the market for a new job, hearing from a recruiter’s really exciting—until you realize that the job she’s approached you about isn’t at all what you’re looking for. But don’t worry too much about the role itself; this is a great opportunity for you to establish a relationship with someone who might be able to help you find the right one. Now’s your chance to tell them what you’re looking for and ask whether they know of anything that lines up with your goals.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for thinking of me for this role! I am currently exploring new opportunities, but would ideally like to find a position that would allow me to [traits of your ideal position here, e.g., work from home, expand on my content development experience, step into the nonprofit space, earn at least $X annually, etc.]. It sounds like this particular role isn’t quite what I’m looking for, but do you happen to know of any other opportunities that may be a better fit? If so, I’d love to connect!

I’ve attached my resume for your review, and can be reached directly at [your email address and/or phone number] moving forward.

Best, 
[Your Name]

4. If You’re Intrigued By This Opportunity

Now we’re talking! You’re open to new opportunities, and this one sounds like it could have some serious potential. You can keep your response pretty straightforward—the goal here is to confirm your interest and get an initial interview on the calendar.

Hi [Name],

This sounds like a really interesting opportunity—thanks for thinking of me!

As you probably saw on my profile, I have [X years] of experience in the [industry or job function, e.g., digital marketing or project management] space, and am particularly interested in opportunities that allow me to [relevant job duty/deliverable, e.g. leverage my creativity in a design-focused role or build new programs from the ground up]. Based on the information you’ve shared, it sounds like the role certainly could be a great fit!

I’d love to schedule a time for us to discuss how my skills and experience could benefit the team; would it be possible for us to connect sometime this week? I’ve included my availability below:

[dates/times]

You can reach me directly at [your e-mail address and/or phone number]. Looking forward to connecting!

Best, 
[Your Name]

5. If This Is Hands Down Your Dream Job

Be cool. Your dream job just literally fell into your lap. You’ve got this.

Demonstrating enthusiasm for a role’s always a great move (recruiters love working with motivated candidates), but don’t forget that you’ll want to highlight the myriad reasons that you’re absolutely perfect for this job. A response that demonstrates your excitement and emphasizes your transferable skills should all but guarantee that you’ll land an initial interview.

Hi [Name],

Thanks for getting in touch! Based on what you’ve shared about this role, I’d be eager to learn more.

It sounds like you’re looking for an [job title] with [relevant skills/experience] expertise and a talent for developing [insert outcomes, e.g., unique and compelling marketing campaigns across a variety of digital channels]—that’s me!

As someone with [X years of experience] in the industry, I know what it takes to deliver [deliverables based on job description, e.g., flawlessly executed e-mail campaigns from start to finish]. In my current role at [Your Current Company], I [description of relevant experience and tangible results based on job description, i.e., guide the production and execution of 25 unique monthly email campaigns and have grown new lead generation by 50% in just six months].

I’d love to schedule a time for us to discuss how my skills and experience could benefit the [Company Name] team; would it be possible for us to connect sometime this week? I’ve included my availability below:

[dates/times]

You can reach me directly at [your e-mail address and/or phone number]. Looking forward to connecting!

Best, 
[Your Name]

If you happen to have something in common, like a shared connection or alma mater, it wouldn’t hurt to mention that at the end of your message. Try saying something like, “By the way, I noticed you’re a Chico State alum, too. It’s always great to hear from a fellow Wildcat!” or “it looks like you’re also connected with [Name of Mutual Acquaintance]. I used to work with her at [Company Name]!”

Going beyond the basics serves to establish a more personal connection and might just give you an edge.

Finding the right candidates to approach about an open position can be a tough job, and recruiters spend a lot of time trying to track qualified people like you down, so receiving a response—even if it’s a “Thanks, but no thanks!”—is always appreciated. Taking a few minutes to write back will help you to establish what could be an invaluable career ally. And if the role you’ve been approached about is exactly what you’re looking for, even better!

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4 Things Networking Can Help You Do (Besides Get a Job)

Author: Lily Zhang

How many times have you been told how important networking is? Plenty , I’m sure. So, at this point, you know that who you know can be the difference between you getting that new gig or not.

But, if that’s not motivation enough for you to go out and meet new people, here are four more ways networking can help you, beyond just growing your network in preparation for you next big career opportunity.

1. Gather Info on the Industry

Whether you’re changing industries or furthering your knowledge of your current one, networking and conducting informational interviews are a great way to figure out what’s going on in your field of interest.

Ask people you meet or sit down with about their recent challenges and accomplishments or about trends they’re seeing in their work. In particular, if something big has recently happened in your industry, see what your conversation partner thinks of the impact it might have on the field as a whole. You’ll get a much broader perspective if you expand the conversation beyond your own friends and officemates.

2. Learn From the Wins (and Mistakes) of Others

Sometimes it can be difficult to get people talking, even if you’re meeting one-on-one and not at some large awkward networking event. If this is happening to you, try asking the person you’re networking with about his or her successes and failures. Of course, you don’t want to say, “Tell me about a time you failed”—so try asking if, looking back on his career, if there’s anything he would do differently, or if there’s anything she would definitely recommend to people just starting out in the field.

Don’t feel weird asking about personal experiences. There’s plenty to be learned from the achievements and mistakes of others, and people love to talk about themselves.

3. Get Free Career Advice

Another bonus of networking is the chance to get some free career advice. Chatting with more experienced professionals in your industry of interest gives you the chance to ask them what they think of the career moves you’ve been mulling over.

Aside from getting good advice ( here’s how to know if it’s not ), it’s also a great way to show people your admiration. You wouldn’t be asking for advice if you didn’t respect their opinions, right?

4. Bounce Ideas Off People

You can also take the advice seeking a step further and bounce ideas off of people you meet through networking. Maybe you have an ambitious work-related project that you want to pitch to your boss or a presentation you’re thinking about submitting to an upcoming conference. Seeing what other industry professionals have to say can help you refine your argument and think through weak points.

This is also a great way to show off your skills a bit. Sharing some of your ideas gives you an opportunity to talk about your expertise and the issues that you care about. It’s usually easier to talk about your ideas than it is to talk about yourself, so if you feel weird tooting your own horn, this can be a good strategy.

Bottom line: There’s no excuse to not be networking. You stand to benefit from it no matter what stage of your career you’re in. And, if none of these four reasons appeal to you, consider this final perk of networking: helping people. Maybe you won’t directly benefit this time around, but helping someone else out has its own intrinsic value.

Photo courtesy of Nana B Agyei .


How to Hunt Down a Hiring Manager's Email Address

Author: Alexis Grant

We all know it’s better to address a cover letter or pitch email to a specific person rather than just saying “Dear hiring manager.” And not just anyperson, but the right person—the person who could choose you for the job.

But even once you figure out who holds the power to hire for the position you seek, getting your note to land in his or her inbox is often easier said than done. Sure, some hiring managers post their email addresses in obvious places, making it easy to contact them. But others go out of their way to keep their contact information private with the hopes that they won’t hear from unsolicited job seekers (like, er, you).

Ironically, the people who are difficult to get in touch with might actually offer more opportunities: If it’s not easy to find their email addresses, fewer candidates are emailing them—and your email stands a better chance of getting read.

All it takes to get your foot in their inbox is a little sleuthing. (These tips, by the way, work whether you’re a job seeker, a freelancer trying to land clients, a blogger growing your network , or a startup aiming for news coverage.)

Start With Google

Obvious, right? But don’t just type the person’s name into Google. You can start with that, but if it doesn’t land you on his or her website or another digital home with an obvious way of getting in touch, take it a step further.

Let’s use Joe Schmo who works at Starbucks as an example. Try Googling:

“Joe Schmo email”

“Joe Schmo @gmail.com”

“Joe Schmo @Starbucks.com”

Most of us only use Google’s basic features, but you can also add words and symbols to target your search . If you wanted to limit your search to the Starbucks website, for example, try “Joe Schmo site:http://www.starbucks.com.”

Try Twitter

Does the hiring manager have a Twitter handle ? The best way to find out is via Google—searching for “Joe Schmo Twitter”—rather than using Twitter’s lackluster search tool.

Once you find someone’s profile, check out the link that’s listed feature in the URL field. Occasionally you’ll find a gem here: an About.me page or a personal website that doesn’t rank high in Google. Dig a little on that page, and you might find an email, too.

Still coming up empty-handed? Use your own Twitter account to @reply to the tweep and let him or her know why you want to get in touch . (Be specific and compelling—a random “Can you send me your email?” won’t get you far.) You might also follow the person, so he or she can send you a direct message—people are often more comfortable disclosing their email address via direct message than in their public feed.

Give LinkedIn a Shot

No luck yet? Try Googling “Joe Schmo LinkedIn.”

First, look at the hiring manager’s contact information on his or her profile; as with Twitter, there’s a chance you’ll find a website you haven’t noticed before, and if you follow that trail, you might find an email, too.

If you happen to be a member of a LinkedIn group this hiring manager is also a member of, you might be able to send him or her a message (depending on whether that person accepts messages from group members). This sounds far-fetched, but if you work in the same industry, there’s a chance you’ll have at least one group in common.

If that’s a dead end, consider sending this person an InMail (LinkedIn-speak for a message to someone you’re not connected to). You’ll have to pay to send InMail, either on a one-off basis or as part of an upgrade to LinkedIn’s premium version, but it can be worth it for people who are extra-tough to find.

And of course, look to see whether you and this person share any connections—you might be able to ask that common contact to introduce you . A warm introduction is always better than a cold one.

Find a Colleague

So, you’ve scoured Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn and still can’t find contact information for the person you want to reach. Know what’s second best? An email for one of his or her colleagues.

This is one of my absolute favorite hacks—look at the structure of that colleague’s email and apply it to the name of the person you want to reach. Say you found one of Joe Schmo’s colleagues, Mary King, and her email is mking@starbucks.com. Knowing that, you can easily guess what Joe Schmo’s email might be: jschmo@starbucks.com.

Of course, sometimes your target’s email will deviate from a company’s email structure—Joe Schmo’s a pretty common name, so he might need to include his middle initial, for example. If you suspect that might be the case, find emails for several people at the company, compare them, and take an educated guess.

Then, send your pitch or cover letter to that email with your fingers crossed. If it doesn’t bounce back, you can bet you’ve found a way in.

Still in the dark? Well, sometimes you’ll go through all of these steps and still hit a dead end—but at least you know you did the best you could, right? When you do find an email you’ve been looking for and finally land an interview , it makes all the effort worth it.

What tactics or tools have you used to track down someone’s email address?

Photo of man on computer courtesy of Shutterstock .

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How to Get A Referral to Your Dream Job

Author: Chris Ng

A Jobvite study found that employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate with 67% of employers and recruiters saying that the recruiting process was shorter. But how do you get a referral from someone in a company where you have no 1st-degree connections?

There are two ways you can go about in doing this. One is by cold messaging/emailing people who work at the company, and the other is by finding someone in your network who knows someone else in that company. Essentially, finding a 2nd-degree connection where your mutual colleague is willing to introduce you to the other person.

But before we get into how to ask for a recommendation or a referral, you need to do your due diligence regarding the company and the role you are looking for in your next play.

5 Gripes Referees Have With Referral Seekers:

  1. Cold referral seekers
  2. Not serious about switching roles
  3. Not inquiring about a particular position
  4. Being demanding
  5. Asking what the trick is

1) Cold referral seekers

No one likes getting messages from someone we do not know asking for a favour. It is generally a bad idea to come out of the blue and ask a person for a referral when they have never worked with you professionally. A bad referral would prove detrimental to an employee’s reputation in the company, which is why there is quite a hesitation towards referring someone whose skills you cannot vouch for (also, is it really a referral if you do not even know that person?).

Instead, try to find mutual connections to bridge an introduction towards the referee. Otherwise, show that you are interested with specific examples rather than buzz words and rote messages.

2) Not serious about switching roles

Asking someone to take time out of their day to help you get a job at their company is a big ask. Even for a colleague, you have worked with in the past, this is a cumbersome process at most companies. If you end up making it to the funnel make sure to update your referee on your status and if you found out any deal breakers that would deter you from joining their company. Keep in mind, especially for millennials, where you work can be your identity so be sure to do so tactfully.

Changing jobs is an important life event, being transparent with your contact would serve you both better as it clears the air if either party wants to move forward with the process.

3) Not inquiring about a particular position

Most companies have all the available positions online. While a number of companies do not have their job listings fully baked into LinkedIn or have positions that are not advertised yet, it is still a good idea to identify positions that are you are interested in by browsing through their online listings. At the very least it shows that you did your homework and are serious about looking for a new role.

A great way to start a conversation with a referee is to link them job postings from their company you have seen beforehand to have a common understanding of what role you are looking for.

4) Being demanding

Sometimes there are no roles available at the moment, and while it is perfectly ok to ask someone to keep you in mind if they hear anything, it is generally bad practice to harass someone to keep checking and asking if there is something available. Remember, the employee you are trying to get a referral out of is essentially the start of your interview process.

It is always a good idea to send a thank you note to your referral after the whole process even if you did not get the job.

5) Asking what the trick is

I could not count the number of times I have been asked this question personally: “What is the trick to landing a job at [company]?”. No there is no trick, no keyword, and no secret phrase that would instantly get you hired anywhere. While it is generally harmless to ask about the interview process such as how many rounds, what type of questions, and timelines - it is frowned upon to suggest that the reason why someone got hired is that they knew a trick.

A better question to ask referees about the company is the company’s mission and vision, culture deck, technologies used, and projects they are working on (that have already been launched).

Role Play #1: Cold Referral Email Template

(Good for 3rd-degree connections!)

To: [Employee]

From: [Referral]

Subject: [Employee] <> [Referral]: Looking for a role at [Employee’s Company]

Hi [Employee]!

Sorry to bother you with this random email, [explain why they are a good fit to cold email].

[Why Referral is interested in working at Employee’s company]

[Why Referral is a good fit to work at Employee’s company]

Would a call at [proposed time] work for you? You can reach me at [Referral’s Number].

Thanks,

[Referral]

[LinkedIn Profile URL]

[Email]

[Phone Number]

 

Role Play #2: Cold Referral Asking Message

(The right way to ease in a request to that colleague you haven’t talked to in years!)

[You]: Hey [Referee]! How have you been? How has [Referee’s Company] been treating you?

[Referee]: Hey [You]! I’ve been good how about you? Work has been great - love it here!

===

[You]: So I have recently been looking for new opportunities and thought [Referee’s Company] would be a good fit because [List Reasons Why]. I am particularly interested in these roles: [URLs to Jobs]

[Referee]: Sounds great! Our referral process is [Explanation of How-To of the Referral Process].

===

[You]: Thanks! I just did all the steps :) Will update you as I move along the pipeline!

[Referee]: No problem!

Role Play #3: Introducing A Referral Email

(How a 2nd-degree connection can help you get to that hiring manager!)

To: [Employee], [Referral]

From: [Introducer]

Subject: [Employee] <> [Referral]: Introduction

Hey [Employee],

[Something about the referral and why they would be a good fit]

Hey [Referral],

[Something about the employee and why you would like to work there]

You both do your thing!

Best,

[Introducer]

===

To: [Employee]

BCC: [Introducer]

From: [Referral]

Subject: RE: [Employee] <> [Referral]: Introduction

Thanks [Introducer], moving to BCC!

Hi [Employee]!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me!

[Why Referral is interested in working at Employee’s company]

Would a call at [proposed time] work for you? You can reach me at [Referral’s Number].

Thanks,

[Referral]

Referrals are key to any organisation’s growth. Do not underestimate the importance of your connections in the search for your next role. I even got my first full-time position through an employee referral!

Please comment below if you have any other best practices on asking for a referral from someone inside and outside your network!

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Employee Referrals Remain Top Source for Hires

Employee Referrals Remain Top Source for Hires

Indeed delivered 72 percent of interviews and 65 percent of external source of hires in 2016.

 

Author: Roy Maurer

percent of all hires overall in 2016 and 45 percent of internal hires, recently released data show.

Job search engine Indeed again ran away with the external source-of-hire crown (65 percent), producing twice as many hires as all other top branded external sources combined, according to the annual Sources of Hire report released by Chicago-based talent management software company SilkRoad.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Introduction to HR Technology]

The study analyzed data from more than 14 million applications, 655,000 interviews and 329,000 hires, aggregated from more than 1,000 participating companies and collected through SilkRoad's applicant tracking data.

"Employee referrals have proven success," said Amber Hyatt, SHRM-SCP, vice president of product marketing for SilkRoad. "Employee referrals have excellent conversion rates from interview to hire, as well as typically longer tenure with the organization. Recruiting teams are very aware of the benefits of leveraging employee referral programs to cost-effectively recruit, speed the time to hire and secure top talent to fill hard-to-fill positions."

Even though studies consistently show that employee referrals improve quality-of-hire and retention rates while lowering hiring costs, they are still underutilized.

"I find most organizations spend the least amount of money marketing and automating their referral program than any other single source they have," said Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, president of HRU Technical Resources, an IT and engineering staffing firm headquartered in Lansing, Mich. "Yet, it's their No. 1 source and their No. 1 quality-of-hire source."

After referrals, internal moves (21 percent) and recruiter-sourced hires (19 percent) make up most of the remainder of internal sources of hire.

Indeed Rules External Source of Hire

Indeed strengthened its position as the top external source-of-hire resource for employers, climbing from 58 percent of external hires and 52 percent of external interviews in 2015 to nearly two-thirds of all external hires and almost three-fourths (72 percent) of all external interviews last year. When internal and external hires were combined, Indeed nearly overtook referrals at just under 30 percent.

But while Indeed does have bragging rights in both hires and interviews, another interpretation of the data signals a misallocation of resources, according to Sackett. "Indeed does drive a ton of traffic and for many companies that's organic traffic, so you can't beat that," he said. But he cautioned that "If you're interviewing a ton from a source because you get great traffic, but you don't make many hires, it's a greater waste of time than those sources where you get a high interview-to-hire ratio."

He sees a similar problem with LinkedIn, which along with CareerBuilder was found to generate the most jobs and interviews after Indeed, though at much lower percentages.

"When I ask most companies to give me their No.1 spend, LinkedIn is almost always their largest single purchase when it comes to the source of hire, even though it's No. 7 overall," Sackett said, referring to the SilkRoad data. "If your single biggest spend is on LinkedIn, yet it's not your single biggest source of hire, you're being taken," he added.

Hiring from Outside vs. from Within

In general, external sources—whether online job boards, recruiting agencies, campus events, job fairs or walk-ins—produce the majority of interviews (62 percent), compared to internal sources such as careers sites, in-house recruiters and employee referrals (38 percent). Yet, it takes four times as many applications from external sources to get to the interview stage and twice as many interviews for a job offer. Internal sources ultimately produced 52 percent of hires in 2016, compared to 48 percent from external sources, according to the report.

"We expected to see a better conversion rate for internal sources as they produce a more well-informed applicant," Hyatt said. "Top internal sources like recruiter-sourced efforts, current employees, employee referrals and even applicants that have researched the organization on the careers site are more well-versed on the organizational culture. These applicants have more proactive insight into whether or not they are a right fit for the organization."

Hyatt added that the need for diversity of thought and additional skill sets outside the current team's makeup will continue to be an advantage for external candidates.

Job Seekers Are Online

The study found that online sources such as careers sites, job search engines, job boards and social media sites produce substantially greater recruitment results than offline sources like recruiting agencies, campus events and job fairs. Online sources produced 86 percent of interviews and 72 percent of hires in 2016.

"These findings only further cement that we live in a digital age and applicants are consumers that want an online experience that is convenient to their schedule, easy to use and provides real-time communication," Hyatt said.

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