Communicating On-Campus/ How to Follow-up with Companies

Published: Nov 03, 2008

 Job Search       

Posted By Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio

If on-campus companies have told you they will follow-up with you and they have not, here are some specific follow-up tips you can employ:

  1. Check with Career Services and see if they have any information.  Don’t wait too long because sometimes companies aren’t as organized as they need to be and a reminder from Career Services can get them back on track.
  2. You can email/call your company HR contact or the person who interviewed you.  Send them a simple, upbeat email restating your interest, and ask when you can expect to hear back from them.  You may even want to include a recent on-line article about their company.
  3. If you have a time sensitive situation (i.e. an offer from Company B), you need to call (and not email) your main contact at Company A with something like this:  “You are my first choice and I’m very interested in moving forward.  I have an offer from Company B and I need to get back to them in 1 week.  I would much rather accept a position with you.  Am I in line to receive an offer?  And if so, will I hear anything within a week?”  Clarity is king here!
  4. Continue to interview and explore companies.  This is not the time to wait and do nothing until someone gets back to you.  You should have been exploring other companies all along but if you have not, it’s not too late.  Attend company presentations (if these are still being held) and marketing events (these should still be taking place) and meet the reps.  I’ve often taken jobs based on the individuals I’d work with, rather than the company.
  5. If you’ve interviewed and gotten feedback  like:  “you would be perfect, I’m going to ensure you get another interview”, or “you are exactly like I was when I was in school – I know you’ll get called back” and you don’t hear back, you need to follow up with this person specifically.  It can be frustrating because sometimes the person saying these things doesn’t have the final say as to who will be called back or who will receive an offer. Stay positive, even with the person who said you “were perfect” and is now saying “it’s not going to work”, and then keep Career Services in the loop and ask for advice. 

Your best strategy:  have so many companies on your list that nothing will get you down or slow you down. 

Your best attributes:  be knowledgeable about whom to contact and when, be organized about attending events, be proactive, very positive, and tenacious. 



Communicating Off-Campus/ How to Follow-up with Companies That Don’t Follow-up

Posted By Caroline Ceniza-Levine

All good follow-up means that you get the info you need without being a pest.  So Connie’s on-campus tips apply for off-campus as well.  However, with off-campus you don’t have on-campus’ established deadlines and Career Services as an intermediary.  Therefore, rule number 1 of off-campus is to know the process of each and every search that you undertake, so you can create deadlines and keep on track for yourself.

Ask what the timetable is every time you interview for a job.  How many interviews do you anticipate for this opening?  How quickly are you going to make a decision?  When do you need a decision?  When do you want the new hire to start? 

Ask for the key decision-makers so you know with whom to follow up.  Are you the main HR contact on this search?  Can I circle back to you to check on status?  To a non-HR person in the actual department, will you be making this decision or do I need to meet additional people?  Can I circle back to you to check on status? 

Know what you want to hear and protect yourself by continuing with other searches.  Be organized about what other searches are in your pipeline and how far along each of them is.  This way, you can implement Connie’s Tip 3 if needed.  But keep looking as per Connie’s Tip 4 because things happen outside of your control – budgets change, position requirements change, maybe they need someone immediately instead of after May.

Network with the long-term in mind.  Networking is key to any search but especially off-campus because you are making your own opportunities.  Therefore, use each search as the chance to expand your networking relationships, and what is at stake is more than the open job but rather your long-term relationships.  Be polite.  Continue to engage with your contacts about things other than the immediate search – send an article, send a holiday card.  Take the decision well even if it doesn’t go your way.  There are other opportunities, but each relationship is unique.