5 Rules of Employment Follow-Up
3/14/2014 3:01:34 PM
April 3, 2014
By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, once said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” While a few weeks to a few months between resume submission and interview invitation is to be expected—especially in today’s biopharma hiring environment with dozens of job seekers for most available positions—there are still steps you can take to make a favorable impression while playing the waiting game. Put down the TV remote and consider these five rules of employment follow-up.
1. Take the proactive approach.
Everyone knows that mail can be lost, applicant-tracking systems can fail, and SPAM filters can waylay emails. While most hiring managers find incessant communications from job candidates annoying, few will mind an attempt at contact to confirm the receipt of your application, C.V., or resume. A brief call or email to the company’s human resource department or the hiring manager will show that you’re proactive and dedicated—admirable traits whether you’re applying for a research scientist or lab services technician position.
2. Gather process information.
The hiring process at biotech and pharmaceutical companies varies. Larger establishments are more likely to use applicant-tracking software and it may take more time for your resume to work its way into human hands as a result. Some biopharma companies have entire departments devoted to recruiting, screening, and hiring staff; they may get to your resume more quickly. Others may rely on managers who still have other duties in conjunction with hiring for their department. When you confirm the receipt of your resume, take a moment to enquire about the process. Knowing how long you can expect to wait for an interview or rejection will make the situation easier.
3. Monitor the situation.
If a particular job posting isn’t generating the type or quantity of candidates an employer expects, the hiring manager may make changes to the description. Bookmark the biopharma job advertisement and check it for changes once or twice a week. If you find alterations, use them as an opportunity to connect with the company again. For example, you may notice that the list of requirements for a biostatistician job now includes “oncology experience preferred.” If you’ve worked in oncology, contact the hiring manager and let him or her know that you are still a perfect match for the job.
4. Focus on the positive.
Searching for a new job can be frustrating, especially if you’ve sent out numerous resumes and have yet to receive any response. While it’s natural to feel a bit defeated, the quickest way to destroy your chance of obtaining new employment is to allow negativity to seep into your communications. Whether you’re leaving a voicemail or sending an email, keep your tone polite and your message positive. This rule applies to communication with anyone in the company, not just the hiring manager.
5. Practice tenacity.
If you’ve applied for a research chemist / biochemist, developer, or QA document management position and have yet to receive an interview request or rejection letter, you might assume the biopharma company has selected another professional for the job. However, don’t give up until you know that for certain. Workloads ebb and flow; the hiring manager may have become too busy to reach out to candidates. Budgetary constraints can also cause temporary postponement of staffing increases. Whatever the reason for the holdup, polite yet tenacious follow-up will improve your chances of landing an interview once the hiring process is back on track.
About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.
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