Focus on Follow-Up !
You’ve done your resume, completed your cover letter, and sent out your materials. Congratulations! You have completed the first step of applying to an internship or job. The next step is just as crucial as the first, FOLLOW UP!
It’s so important to follow up with every contact and every company. It’s so frustrating to hear that students apply for multiple internships or jobs and don’t follow up. The resumes fall into the big black hole and we never hear about them again. If you aren’t going to follow up, than don’t waste your time applying for anything. It’s all in the follow up !
HOW TO FOCUS ON YOUR FOLLOW-UP
1. Get Organized. I don’t suggest sending resumes randomly or on a whim. Decide that you are going to start applying for jobs or internships and create a new Excel document or list for yourself. The columns should be labeled as follows:
· Name of Company
· Name of Contact
· Email/Phone Number For Contact or Company
· Company Website
2. Send ‘Em Together. To avoid chaos, block out a period of time when you will send all of your materials. Put aside three hours on the weekend and make this your application time. Print out clean copies of your resumes, cover letters, and letters of recommendation and put them into your envelopes or attach them to your emails and send them out. Sending everything out in one day makes it much easier to track your materials for follow up. As soon as your send an application in (via email or snailmail) make sure to log it on your document. Write “Sent” and the date in the column.
3. File All Responses. Many company emails will send you an AutoResponse saying that your materials have been received. File all of these responses into a folder titled, “Internship Follow Up” on your computer/email server. If anyone from the company writes you back to say that they’ve received your materials and will get back to you, file it immediately.
4. Find Your Follow Up Day. Look at the calendar. Your follow up should be done two weeks after sending your initial email. Normally, Mondays are really busy for executives and assistants because of the catch-up from the weekend. I suggest sending follow up emails on Tuesdays. The week is still fresh but the load isn’t as heavy for most. Make sure you block out about an hour on this day to do all of your follow up at the same time.
5. Stick To Your Follow Up Day. When your follow up day arrives it’s time to go through your list and proceed appropriately. If you emailed in your resume, I suggest emailing that same contact and writing something like this:
I wanted to follow up and make sure that you received my summer internship materials that I sent out on ______(write the date). I’m really looking forward to learning more about your company. Please let me know if you need any other information.
If you sent in your application via regular mail, I suggest calling the company or your specific contact at the company to ask if they’ve received your materials. Keep in mind, the more formal internship programs won’t provide you with an email or a phone number so you might have to do some digging. If you write or call once and don’t hear back, I don’t suggest writing again. Make sure to carefully walk the line between assertive and annoying.
6. Document. Make sure to document your follow up so that you know exactly when you reached out to which people. When you are asked how your internship search is going, you should be able to provide a clear and direct response on where exactly you are with each company.
7. Be Polite. Again, there is a thin line between what is aggressive and what is annoying. If someone is not responding well, move on to the next company. If they aren’t having it, they aren’t having it. This is why I suggest students apply to 10 -20 internships per semester. Keep your head high and your manners in place. Good luck !
I asked my friends on Twitter about Follow Up:
ericleebow Follow up is not as important as first contact. Be sincere, don't autofill a company name! Don't degrade yourself, don't be over confident.