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How to Follow Up with Hiring Managers the Right Way

What do you do if you haven’t heard back from a hiring manager after a week? Keep in mind that a nonresponse or a slow response may have nothing to do with you. Before you jump to any conclusions, consider some of these possibilities:

  • The person may be very busy.

  • You may have picked the wrong person to talk to about the opportunity.

  • The person may not check his LinkedIn messages very often.

  • The job position may be very competitive and the person has chosen to not respond.

  • The person’s HR department may forbid her from responding.

There was a hiring manager who was very busy and also very clear in setting expectations with candidates. One time, he told a candidate that he’d get back to her in about five days. But this candidate called the next morning, then e-mailed, then called again the day after that. Her persistence turned into peskiness and showed the hiring manager that she couldn’t take direction.

If you don’t hear back after your first attempt to get a hiring manager’s attention, hold off a week before trying again. When you do try again, it’s better to assume that he’s busy, not that he thinks you’re inadequate.

For example, your second communication may start off with, “It seems like things must be really busy for you right now. I can appreciate that, which is why I’d be even more appreciative of just a few minutes of your time at your convenience to discuss…”

After making three attempts to follow up with the same hiring manager, with at least a week between each attempt, give up and try someone else.

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