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Simple Truths About Following Up to Close the Deal

Simple Truth #6: Get Organized And Keep Track Of Your Progress

Establish good record-keeping procedures to be able to stay on top of multiple opportunities at once and know when you're due to take the next step in each of your follow-up plans.

Presumably you have some sense of the hiring timeline by the end of each interview. Keep careful records of your contacts with prospective employers, including the interviewer's schedule for filling the position. Job seekers have discovered some popular online resources for keeping track of job-search information (some of these are listed in Appendix C). If you prefer a more traditional approach, set up a simple spreadsheet to track all of your job leads, either electronically (for example, in Microsoft's Excel) or on paper (see Appendix B). If you find yourself pursuing more than one target position at a time (and hopefully you will), it's easy to lose track of where you are in the process with each employer. Solid record-keeping habits will make it easier to monitor progress with a number of leads simultaneously.

Once you have initiated a record-keeping system that suits you, be sure to keep on top of what's happening, or not happening, as the case may be. It's too easy to passively drift along, waiting for the next phone call or e-mail from the prospective employer. To continue to distinguish yourself from the crowd of candidates, it's vital to proactively follow up on your interviews. Remember that in today's job market, employers are looking for candidates with a little something extra—motivation, perseverance, composure under pressure, breadth or depth of experience—and your ability to follow up in a professional manner can go a long way toward distinguishing you from the crowd of other candidates.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesJob Search, Job Interview Questions, & Job Interview TipsSimple Truths About Following Up to Close the Deal - Simple Truth #1: Become Part Of The Hiring Process, Simple Truth #2: Timeline And Culture Are Key