Category Archives: Employer Interviews

Interviews and stories related to businesses that hire interns or work directly with creative interns.

Jun10

How companies review your resume

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If you have done up your resume on resume bond, maybe with some carefully chosen fonts – then you are almost sure to be rejected as a candidate for a job. First impressions count, and companies aren’t looking for superficial impressions but an idea of how qualified you are to fill the position. What surprises many people is finding out how many companies use software to filter the first round of resumes.

Automated resume filters

Most larger companies are using automated resume filter software, and many smaller companies now hire recruitment agencies to use filter software to make the number of applications they review manageable. These filters take a scanned image of your resume, and then score it according to key words and phrases the company sets that describe the qualifications and skills needed for the job.

The importance of using a template

Resume templates are very important when applying for a job today. Make sure everything on your resume is presented in a logical order so that reviewers are able to skim it. Using a resume template keeps your information in order, and easy to read. A great tip if you want your template to stand out from other applicants is to have a look at ResumeShoppe. This site has a selection of cv templates for Word that will surely get you noticed and help you structure your information.

Keywords and key phrases

To beat the filter you have to know the key words and phrases used in your industry to describe the job that is listed. You may excel in being level headed and organized, but if the standard way of describing that in the position is “flow based management” and “conflict resolution,” you need to use their words and not your own. Make sure you do your homework so you know the right words to help you get through the filter to land the interview.

Making sure you understand your industry

Before you race off and grab a resume template that you like the looks of, take the time to do a little investigation into what your industry is looking for in a candidate. There is a pattern to how they want to see information. Some industries want to see your skills first, while others will be more interested in your related experience. Just about all of the companies are going to want to know more about you – but whether it is through an objective/goal statement or an executive summary is going to depend on the position as well.

May06

How Time Tracking Software Increases Productivity of Your Employees

Time tracking software for employees is a concept built on increased productivity, closer monitoring and a more results-driven workforce. If your business can make use of employees’ time tracking software, it will make for sound business sense and an improved return from your freelance staff and home workers’ productivity.

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More and more businesses are making use of home workers and freelancers to drive down costs; and for many small start-ups and even large enterprises, it’s a sound idea and investment. Expecting a freelancer or even a regular employee to battle their way into work each day, through heavy traffic is not a productive idea however.

It is far better to have those employees hit the working day running. But it’s the age old problem of management and supervisory staff members not being able to physically see workload being actively completed that has held the idea of home working back for so many small businesses.

Time tracking software for employees totally changes all that. Software that tracks employees’ time spent on a job or a specific task, helps businesses to micro-manage all the work a freelancer or a home worker spends all day doing.

Time tracking software starts up the moment the home worker switches on their computer, so it can be an excellent motivational tool for the employee to “clock in” and start the working day. But time tracking software for employees does not simply start and stop with the logging in of someone sat at a computer.

A complete picture of the working day is presented and graphs, diagrams and time is simplified to let employers know what its remote employees spend their time actually doing. It can highlight that some employees are spending too much time reading emails and too little on completing the spreadsheets for the end-of-month sales figures; it may also show that an employee is spending too much time on low-productivity websites, such as social media, sports, news, and messaging web pages.

However, many businesses – particularly those in advertising and promotion – need employees to spend time on social media to promote the business and update live feeds to potential customers. This is where time tracking software for employees comes in handy, as it is easily adjustable to switch individual options for a separate employees or departments.

In other words, accounts departments will need to spend a lot of time on live currency update sites, whereas the sales departments should be spending more time on web pages which might attract new clients. Time tracking software for employees can easily be adapted to suit what is best for you and the business.

 

 

Mar03

Company Spotlight: Bulldog Digital Media

Bulldog Digital Media

Bulldog Digital Media’s Gareth Bull, is passionate about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As the Director of Bulldog Digital Media this search marketer is based just outside of London in Essex. With nearly three years within this fast paced industry, Gareth and his company help businesses of all sizes achieve ROI on their digital campaigns.

Bulldog Digital Media is a specialized SEO & Social Marketing company. They focus on supplying simple ROI campaigns to small to large sized companies. Sound like a place you’d like to work? For junior positions, the agency usually gets approached by local students. Gareth always looks at the CV design and copy when considering new talent for the company. In addition, checking references of any candidate can help determine if the skills listed on the resume are at the level required for the project at hand.

According to Gareth, the skills that are most important for an employee at Bulldog Digital Media include a willingness to learn and an understanding of Social and SEO. Gareth says, “A typical day is varied — from huge website migrations, to setting up a local business in Google to rank locally for their commercial search terms.”

Gareth Bull

Gareth Bull

Career Advice From Gareth Bull

What tips can you offer a recent graduate that is preparing to interview for an entry-level position? 

  • Research the company and the individuals in huge detail.

What piece of advice would you offer a student struggling to obtain interviews?

  • Craft your CV into a thing of beauty.

What skills are in high demand by your company these days?

  • Fast learning individuals.

 

Contributor: Marc Scoleri
Sep16

Popular Job-Seeking Tips That You Should Ignore: The Resume

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There are thousands of articles out there with great tips on how to get a job. These tips are invaluable and they’ve helped many people. Here are a few of those tips, and why as a creative job seeker you should ignore them:

Bad Advice: Don’t use a template

The main argument against using a template is that employers will see right through it. For graphic designers this is good advice because it gives you a chance to show off your skills and make your resume a true reflection of yourself. For non-graphic designers this either makes your resume boring and text heavy or, if you try to use limited design capabilities, an unclear and abstract mess. Both of these scenarios are likely to get your resume thrown out in seconds.

Better Advice: Use a template, but change it enough to make it not look like a template.

It turns out that if you aren’t a graphic designer chances are the people who make resume templates are better than you at designing resumes. You can build off the designs given and cater them to the way you want to present yourself without it looking too cheap.

Bad Advice: You don’t need an “Interests” section

Remember that poster you had in your freshman dorm room? The one of that movie that was universally liked or that inspirational quote that seemed really deep? You hung that poster so strangers would talk to you about how awesome the Boondock Saints are or how Marilyn Monroe was SO ahead of her time. That is basically what an “Interests” section of your resume is: a conversation starter.

Better Advice: Have a short interests section at the end of your resume

An employer is not only looking to hire the right person for the job, they also want to be able to relate to and like that person. That starts with common ground, and an “Interests” section is the best way to find that.

Bad Advice: Don’t be afraid to have more than one page

This tip can be useful in certain situations, like if you have had multiple jobs over a span of around 10 years. Chances are if you’re looking for an internship or entry-level position, this isn’t you. As I briefly touched on in the “Template” section, the look of your resume matters. If you have to sacrifice some information to get it down to a page, so be it. As long as the most important information is kept, it shouldn’t matter.

Better Advice: Keep your resume to one page until you absolutely can’t add another single word

Mess with the margins. Change the font size. Go through every single line and delete any redundant words. Get creative.

Note: Every job is different. What works for one might not work for another. Do some research about the job you want, and tailor your strategy to that job. Don’t base your entire job-seeking strategy on a set of tips, but try something different until you find something that works for you.

May28

Career Spotlight: Michele Weisman of Likeable Media

Michele Weisman

Right before Memorial Weekend started, we had the opportunity to chat with Michele Weisman, PR & Social Media Manager at Likeable Media. Yes, @ottogrl! As you wine down from the weekend festivities, catch our interview recap and what it is like to work at a social media agency.

Creative Interns: What is a typical day for a PR & Social Media manager at a growing social media agency?

Michele Weisman: I’m a team of one and Likeable Media is a fast-paced and fast-growing company. I follow a yearly Marketing Plan with activities each month, but sometimes new tasks may come up. My typical duties include:

  • Creating daily content and monitoring Likeable Media’s communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and various social media networks.
  • Brainstorm and manage content for the company blog. Posts are published daily.
  • Establish and deepen the agency’s relationships with journalists, event programmers and brand marketers.
  • Book guests and help market the podcast, “All the Social Ladies,” hosted by Carrie Kerpen, Likeable Media’s CEO.
  • Founder and moderator of the agency’s weekly Twitter chat, #LikeableChat
  • Working closely with the sales team to help create content, such as eBooks, white papers and webinars to generate leads.

Last week, I launched “Shut Up and Listen,” a social listening e-book (available for download at likeableaudits.com) and I worked with the agency’s Creative and New Business teams to assist with the launch.

CI: What made you choose a career path in social media and digital communications?

MW: In 2008, I discovered Likeable Media during my sophomore year at Syracuse University (GO ORANGE!). A Facebook ad that was describing their internship program led me to a Facebook group (at the time, you could only post Facebook ads via a group) called theKbuzz. Likeable Media used to be called theKbuzz before being rebranded in May 2010. Since I already secured my sophomore summer internship, I applied to intern at Likeable Media one year later. I landed the position and at that time I had no idea of social media’s business implications.

After I completed the summer internship, Dave Kerpen asked me to be his executive assistant while I was still a senior at Syracuse. Once I graduated, I was offered the executive assistant position with a full-time offer. Likeable Media and its co-founders, Dave and Carrie Kerpen, have taught me everything I know about social media. I fell in love with the industry and the constant innovation and creativity. It’s amazing how you could be connected with anyone. It’s a fast-paced industry and it is such an exciting time to work in the social media industry.

CI: For news and updates in social media, what are your go-to resources and websites?

MW: I read a lot! I love LinkedIn Pulse. They have a ton of great content on there from LinkedIn influencers, connections and more. I also read Mashable, Ad Age, NY Times, Fast Company, Ragan, Buzzfeed, Inc. and Forbes. I also have different twitter lists to keep up with what my followers are tweeting about. Twitter is the main app I use.

CI: What is your most memorable moment at Likeable?

MW: Back in 2012, we put on a one-day conference called LikeableU. We had 400 attendees and 100+ speakers ranging from Peter Shankman, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Aliza Licht (@DKNY), Jeff Pulver and Frank Eliason. We also had representatives from brands including Red Mango, New York Times, CNN, Chobani, Twitter, Warby Parker, MLB, Cisco, LinkedIn, Hubspot, ESPN, Meetup, GetGlue, StumbleUpon and Eventbrite. I’m very passionate about event planning and really enjoy the process of putting together a big event.

CI: Give us one word to describe the corporate culture at Likeable. 

MW: It may sound cliche but we are likeable. Staying true to its belief that it pays to be likeable, the agency is committed to creating a more likeable world by providing an entrepreneurial environment that is both rewarding and challenging for employees. Recent activities include potluck meals, food drives, forums, retreats, sport recreational teams, field days and professional development trainings. I’m lucky and fortunate to work in an environment that allows me to grow professionally.

CI: What advice would you give students looking to enter your field or even work at your company?

MW: The best advice I can give is to always be nice to people. You never know when you will need someone’s expertise or when you will want someone to introduce you to a particular person. Make sure that when people help you, you can help others as well. Paying it forward is always good. In addition, don’t be afraid to network. We live in a world where everyone is on the Internet, so try to use your social networks effectively!

To connect with Michele Weisman further, follow her on Twitter at @ottogrl.

 

Nov20

Take-off with Ranae Heuer, Managing Director of Big Spaceship

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Today, Creative Interns took off into the world of Big Spaceship – a digital creative agency in Dumbo, Brooklyn. You may know Big Spaceship as the agency that worked with Google to help people find what they love in a new way on the internet or as the agency that worked with Skittles to engage their audiences by giving the rainbow a voice.

Creative Interns had the opportunity to speak with Ranae Heuer, Managing Director of Big Spaceship who is responsible for the day-to-day operations and steering the company’s strategic vision. Ranae shares Big Spaceship’s creative DNA and company structure.

Creative Interns: Big Spaceship defines the digital age as the age of connection. How does the company create strategies based on connected innovation?

Ranae Heuer: A brand is the sum of its interactions and those interactions must provide value because today’s consumers are in control more than ever before. We like to think about things holistically – including helping our clients breaking down their own internal silos – to deliver solutions to problems that not only provide value, but deliver on the brand’s purpose as well.

CI: Creative is embedded in the Big Spaceship DNA. Does the company have different ways of fostering employee creativity?

RH: We don’t have anyone with “creative” in their job title. Everyone here is expected to be creative. With that said, the structure of our company is one way we foster creativity. We assemble a team to work on a client project and that team sits together. Many companies sit together based on department, but we don’t do that. We help to foster creativity and build off each other. Ideas get lost if you can’t talk about them right away.

Another way we foster creativity, is through “Hack Day.” We have “hack day” at least twice a year and we have a different theme each time. Our last theme was “Hack Big Spaceship” – recommending changes to make Big Spaceship a better place. Anything to promoting culture to improving workflow, to encouraging communication and innovation. One example is the PANIShhh quiet light one of the teams created. PANIShhh is a physical device that lets the crew know when a client is in-house so the music can be kept at a moderate level… clever isn’t it?

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CI: Being at the company for over five years, what is one major company accolade you remember and won’t ever forget?

RH: We have been recognized among the “Best Places to Work” by Advertising Age three years in a row and Crain’s New York Business two years in a row.

CI: Does Big Spaceship have an internship program? If so, how has your company benefitted from the internship program? How has emerging talent benefitted from the internship program?

RH: Yes, we typically have an intern in each discipline for each quarter. We treat our interns like any other contributing team member. Interns are able to roll up their sleeves and be apart of any client project giving them the opportunity to learn and do things. Currently, we’re working on putting more rigor into the internship program where interns are expected to take on a specific project and at the end present what they have learned.

Our internship program has been beneficial for both the interns and the company because through our internship program, we’ve found some of our best employees.

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CI: What tips can you offer a student, intern or recent graduate looking to enter the creative digital space?

RH:

  • Have a perspective. If you don’t have specific experience, how are you taking on that challenge yourself? Can you illustrate the skills you have that can allow you to work at Big Spaceship or any other digital agency?
  • Research and know the tools of your industry.
  • Attend industry events.
  • Know where you’re interviewing and dress appropriately.

For more information about Big Spaceship, visit bigspaceship.com and connect with the company via Twitter: @bigspaceship!

Aug05

Young Entrepreneurship

Jonnique

JonniQue Dale, recent graduate of St. John’s University and current student of Berkelee College of Music, is a fine example of young entrepreneurship. Jonnique established The Victor E. Group in 2011 to promote self-awareness, self-efficiency and self-improvement through art production, artist management and multimedia endeavors.

Creative Interns: What specifically motivated you to go this direction in your career?

JonniQue Dale: I knew early on I always wanted my own business. I wanted to start applying everything I was learning in college instead of waiting until I graduated. I was also motivated towards this path because of my desire to influence people, especially women of color in underserved areas. My goal is to touch people who are often overlooked and ignored – motivate them to seek better and do better altogether.

CI: What is an average work-week like for you?

JD: An average work-week would entail working on a few projects and meeting with a few artists that I manage (at least once a week). I also go to a lot of networking events in New York City, as well as attending a lot of workshops to self-educate. Currently, my main focus is my website and recruitment for interns and actual staff positions including a graphic designer, assistant editor and videographers.

CI: What books would you recommend for talent in your industry? What online resource do you read on a regular basis to get industry news and knowledge?

JD: I am big on self-help books and there are three that I would definitely recommend: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey; The Secret by Rhonda Byrne; and The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success by Wayne Bretworth. I also read books that relate to my respective field. At present, I am reading Ahmir Questlove Thompson’s Mo’ Meta Blues, a book providing a non-mainstream chronicle of Hip Hop history.  

For online resources, I read Variety, mediabistro.com and Bloomberg media. Eventbrite is also a great resource as well. If used properly, Eventbrite can be a “hammer in your toolbox” for any professional, especially budding entrepreneurs.

 CI: What tips or advice would you give a recent graduate or someone who is switching careers?

JD: Do a great job in networking. Networking is more about quality (than quantity) and being open to meeting new people and doing so in a genuine way. Also, don’t ever stop educating yourself and continue to stay sharp. The more that you know and the more areas you feel confident in, the better. Having an online presence is also very important and it is necessary to know when to self-promote and how to do it tastefully.

 

Jul10

Inspiration from Jessica Styles

Jessica Styles

Some students go through their collegiate experience unaware of what they want to do in life and conventional ways of career advancement aren’t enough. This is where Jessica Styles steps in. Jessica Styles, South Carolina native, created The FAB Network out of a need to foster out-of-the-box thinking for career development.

Creative Interns: In the well-known novel “The Alchemist”, author Paulo Coehlo talks about following your heart through self-discovery as you find your personal legend. Do you define The Fab Network as your personal legend? 

Jessica Styles: Yes for me it’s not a job and it’s more than just a company. The FAB Network is a movement. There’s a problem in education where self-awareness is lacking. I have a special affinity for people thinking outside of the box and for me The FAB Network helps others to live out their truth and identify what their passion is about. It is career coaching infused with life coaching.

The ultimate goal is to get paid to do what you love and if I can help others do that then I feel like I’ve made a huge difference.

CI: What’s a normal work week like for you?

JS: For years, a work week would be any where from teaching, setting up meetings and going to events. Some days I may be on the computer at 1 or 2 A.M sending out emails. At night, I would create my to-do list for the next day.

I just recently transitioned from Adjunct Professor at LIM College to full-time staff as a Career Advisor, in which I will be teaching career development courses in addition to conducting one-on-one career consultations and managing 200-300 student caseloads (among other responsibilities). With this new title, my days will be a little more structured. Being a career advisor just enhances what I do with The FAB Network. My work week is like an octopus where each thing may function differently, but in the end leads to the same goal.

CI: What is one crazy work experience you remember that taught you an invaluable lesson?

JS: I just moved to New York City to work for MTV and at the time they were doing major layoffs during my first 3 weeks on the job. While I didn’t get laid off, I was freaking out thinking what would I do being in a new place with no job. My supervisor took me into her office and calmed me down. She quickly helped me learn that it is not about the job, it is about you.

I was always in a guerrilla warfare mind set at work. No matter what the job was, even if it was just getting coffee, I was going to do it well however I always remembered what my former boss taught me….I always viewed my job/career as a piece of me, not a piece that defines me.

CI: If you were able to talk to the younger Jessica Styles, what would you say to her?

JS: I’m 29 now and there’s so much I’ve learn since being the 22-year old that just moved to New York City. At 28, I really began to get on the cusp of fine-tuning who Jessica Styles was. Something happened this year where I started looking at myself more closely than I ever have. This year, I started looking at who I am as a person – who do I want to be on a more holistic level. My spirituality became stronger, I looked at my relationships, career and myself more. Everything in my life has to be an asset and must contribute to the person I want to be in all areas of my life.

You have to be willing to walk in darkness, to be able to walk in light. If you can get through those rough moments, you will be greatly rewarded.

CI: What advice would you give a recent graduate entering the career world? 

Set up a lot of informational interviews and talk to a lot of people. You will do yourself a huge service if you start picking people’s brains. When I wanted to switch from MTV to beauty, I interviewed and met with over 100 people. I was able to build relationships and learn at the same time. While I was building relationships and learning, I made myself memorable. Everything you’re doing, builds a brand for you. Those informational interviews had a tremendous impact on my career – knowledge you can’t learn in a classroom or just working a job and doing it well. You have to challenge yourself to not only work hard, but make sure the “right people” take notice of your work and dedication.

Jul09

Career Path Interview: Founder/Creative Director Amy Levin

Interested in fashion? Want to start your own company? Get inspired by this young entrepreneur who took her career in her own hands and has worked hard to get to where she is today.

AmyLevin7Amy Levin is the Founder and Creative Director of CollegeFashionista.com. A Chicago native, she launched the website in 2009 after a semester abroad in London, where the growing importance of street style inspired her to create a community for fashion, photography and self expression amongst the college demographic. Originally serving only Indiana University’s campus, the site quickly spread to other colleges across the globe. Under Amy’s leadership, CollegeFashionista maintains an international presence with 500+ new articles posted a week and regular partners including Rebecca Minkoff, Shopbop and American Eagle Outfitters, to name a few.

A 2013 NYC Fashion Fellow, Levin has served as a seminar leader at Teen Vogue’s Fashion University and a guest lecturer at college campuses across the United States. Amy attended Indiana University and received a Bachelor of Arts in merchandising and business marketing. She is 26 years old and currently resides in New York City.

What specifically motivated you to go this direction in your career?

During my senior year of college, I felt completely disconnected from the fashion industry and wanted a way to feel connected, work on my writing skills and showcase inspirational fashion I was seeing around my campus. I realized there wasn’t a platform that focused specifically on college students and CollegeFashionista was born.

What type of activities, appointments and meetings do you have during a typical week?

My workdays are definitely a little hectic — throughout a typical day, I am in and out of the office going to meetings all over Manhattan. If I’m not on the go, I am usually on phone calls with brand partners, checking in with my employees to ensure the business is flowing properly.

Tell us about an unpleasant work experience that resulted in an invaluable career lesson.

When I first launched CollegeFashionista, it would inevitably crash and have hiccups. I remember thinking the entire company is lost. All our editorial features are gone. Clearly this wasn’t the case and I learned how to troubleshoot tech issues and to surround myself with programmers who were savvy and able to get any issues resolved as quickly as possible.Screen Shot 2012-09-08 at 4.30.37 PM

What piece of advice do you wish you followed earlier in your career?

I wish I knew how to manage my time effectively, prioritize, and not to take anything too seriously. I take my job very seriously but I also know that it is important to have fun while doing it and that at the end of the day everything will get done.

What tips can you offer a recent graduate that is preparing to interview for an entry-level position? 

It is very important to do your research of the company before going in for the interview. Know what the company is currently working on and know what you can do to make them stronger. Don’t let the interviewer tell you what you can do for them, you need to take initiative and let the company know that you have something to offer.

Who has inspired you as a mentor during your career and what was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?

I have had a series of incredible mentors who had allowed me to bounce ideas around and have really helped shaped my business. I think it’s important to find people who believe in you and have experience in an aspect of your business in which you may feel weak. I found five different mentors who all have various expertise and have been soundboards to me over the past three years.

If you had an opportunity to broadcast a special “thank you” to anyone via this interview, who would it be and what would you like us to say?

My family. I could not have started CollegeFashionista without them. Being an entrepreneur, there have been so many highs and lows and they have been the unconditional support group through every single aspect. They are truly amazing and I feel lucky for them everyday.

What books would you recommend for talent in your industry?

  • Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
  • By Invitation Only by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
  • Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz and Dori jones
  • Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Jun26

5 Things to Do After a Job Interview

Follow-Up

You just had a great interview, and you think to yourself “this is it” — it’s the end of the process. You go home to hope and wait for the good news. However, it’s not over yet, so don’t just passively wait. Make sure you do the following things after the interview to maximize your chances of being hired.

Get the Interviewer’s Contact Information

At the end of the interview, always remember to obtain the business card of the people who you interviewed with. Make sure you have the cards of everyone you’ve met during the interview and have all their names, titles, emails, and mailing addresses correct.

Ask for Expected Decision-Making Time

It’s also important to ask at the end of the interview about a time when the final hiring decision will be made. Usually the decision takes about 1-2 weeks. However, some might take 3-4 months or even longer. Be sure to receive a clear answer from the company so that you can have more control and flexibility to arrange your future availability.

Send a Thank You Letter

A thank you letter is very important — it shows your interest and passion for the company. Make sure to send the thank you letter within 72 hours after your interview. It doesn’t really matter if it is a handwritten thank you card or a thank you email. Although a personal card is preferable, an email also works if you don’t have much time. Your thank you letter should include your appreciation of the interviewer’s time and interest, a reiteration of your capability for the position, and your desire for a further discussion with them. You should also personalize your thank you letter to every recipient by referencing something memorable or specific. See How to Write a Professional Thank You Letter.

Send a Follow-Up Email

Normally, one or two weeks after the interview is a good period of time to send a follow-up email if you haven’t heard anything. The follow-up email should be short and contain your inquiry of the current application status and whether the position has been filled. Make sure to restate your qualifications and why you think you are the good fit in the company at the end of the email. Learn more about this and other job search tips in Jumpstart Your Creative Career.

Make a Follow-Up Phone Call

If you still haven’t heard back from the company after sending the follow-up email, you might want to consider a phone call. Although many companies try to avoid job inquiry phone calls, it never hurts to give it a try. Maintain a professional phone etiquette, speak clearly about your desire and interest in the position, and ask if they need any further information from you. If no one picks up the phone, leave a voicemail and try to call again on another day. But don’t call more than three times — the hiring manager could get annoyed and it could backfire on you.

Written by Cathy Qiu