The Power of Follow-up


First off, I’d like to thank all the readers of the blog. I’ve heard many verbal comments about how they enjoyed reading the articles. I hope the information is helpful with your job search and career goals.

In this article, I’m not going to explain how to do follow-ups. I’ll save it for another posting. I’m actually going to convince you why following up with employers is invaluable and share stories that I’ve heard of the successes of following up.

My favourite and most commonly used story for my workshops is from a past immigrant client who we’ll call John. He was in my job search workshop and learned about post interview follow-up with employers. He had applied for a job and after the interview was informed he was not selected. He decided to call them back and thank them for their time but also to follow-up to get feedback. The employer told him he was great but his English was a bit low and so they selected another candidate. John thanked them for their information and time. That night, he quickly registered for an English class to improve his communication skills. The next day he emailed the copmany to thank them for their advice and how he registered for an English class. Soon after he received a phone call from the employer who were impressed with his immediate action. The employer said they could not give him the position he applied for but they had a more junior position and asked if he would be interested. Of course John took this opportunity and that was his first job in Canada.

In another story, a client, Michelle, received a rejection email after an interview. As always, they thanked her for her time and wished her the best. She was disappointed and was ready to move on. Michelle’s employment counsellor suggested she call the employer to do a follow-up and asked for feedback. Though it took courage and motivation, Michelle decided to make that call. The employer told her they really liked her but they did not have the budget to hire and did not hire anyone. They thanked her for calling back. A few months later, she got a call. Guess what? The client made such a positive impression that the company called her when they had the budget to hire her.

Another client of mine did not succeed in an interview with a large bank in Canada. She told me  she had followed-up and was told by the hiring manager that they really liked her a lot. However, they didn’t select her because she didn’t do any research on the bank and that came across as she wasn’t interested in working for them. So through her follow-up, she realized her failure was lack of company research. As a result, she has made sure she always researches about the company for all her interviews.

I always tell my clients by following up, you have nothing to lose. There is a 50 per cent chance you will get a “no” and 50 per cent  you get a “yes” but if you don’t follow-up, you will have 100 per cent “no”. I think you would agree that a 50 per cent “yes” is a lot better than a 100 per cent “no”. So take the chance and follow-up on your applications or interviews. You never know what you might gain out of it!


About the Author: Jennifer York is the manager of the Job Options BC program in Vancouver, Surrey and Port Coquitlam for ISSofBC. While working as an employment counsellor, she facilitated and coached immigrants, professionals and students in their job search, both in group and individualized sessions. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services. 


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