A tricky part of the job seeking process is determining the right amount of contact to have with a recruiter. When should you follow up? And how? Should you follow up at all? No one wants to be a pest, but at the same time, you don’t want to risk being forgotten either. Truly, there is no way to definitively say one way or another any specific way or amount is better than another. It really comes down to the situation and your approach. If you are temping, and the recruiter or firm you are working with encourages you to check in frequently, then, follow their lead.
Outside of the temporary staffing world, the situation can be completely different, and cues much harder to read. My best advice to a candidate is to just ask. If you have interviewed with a company, and it didn’t work out, that doesn’t necessarily mean that door is closed forever. It might mean that this just wasn’t the right fit, at least not right now. Something else could open-up that might be a better fit for in the future.
My recommendation is to stay positive and let the recruiter know that while you are disappointed, you are still very much interested in working for that company and if another position becomes available, to please keep you in mind. Also, ask them if they would mind if you checked in from time to time? If they so that’s fine, then put a reminder on your calendar for 30 days or so out to connect and follow their lead as to the best way to stay in touch. I have found that a quick email is best. I like to think of these exchanges as the same sort of exchange you might have if you ran into the recruiter while you were out somewhere. Be positive and to the point and think of this as a networking opportunity even if it is an email.
Here’s an example of what I might write to a recruiter I had been working with:
‘I hope this email finds you well, as I am sure you are quite busy. Hopefully you are getting a chance to enjoy some of this beautiful weather we have been having. I have been doing my best to get out and make the most of it whenever I can!
You and your team came to mind recently when I read an article about the uptick in employer hiring trends, and I thought you might find it as interesting as I did. I attached a copy for you in case you missed it.
I am continuing to look at various career opportunities and your company is always top of mind. I really enjoyed discussing the company goals and direction with you and your team, I hope we will get the opportunity to work together in the future. If something should become available, I would love to be considered.’
The goal here is to be polite, professional and positive. Let them know you respect their time and that their company is at the top of your list of places you would like to work, as well as where you are in your job search. In my email I referenced an article I found interesting and provided it to the recruiter to read. This shows I am staying on top of current trends and am thinking of how this information might be applicable to a potential employer. Another idea would be to reference a new opening you saw that they had that you were interested in or perhaps some news about the company, an award they won or a deal or big client they landed that was announced in a press release can also be great ice breakers.
The important thing to remember is to be respectful and engage with them as you might if you ran into them in person, I assure you that this will set a positive tone and help to keep the lines of communication open for future opportunities.