When you absolutely know where you want to work next, but you’re not hired yet, it pays to know how to stay in touch professionally. After all, if you want something, you’ve got to work for it, right?
But what are some good ways to keep that steady drip contact without coming across as a stalker or something? What’s the etiquette in play here?
Whether you are actively in the interview stage at a favorite development company or strategizing a future move to a really great CRE investment firm, you’ll appreciate these tips for keeping in touch. Let’s dive right in.
Keep Your Eye on the Goal
Over the past year or two, people have had an opportunity to stop and reflect on their ideal career path. The commercial real estate (CRE) space is always evolving. But even within that greater evolution, there are numerous career paths that may appeal to some more than others.
Maybe you’ve had a chance to realize what it is you really want to do in CRE, and you’ve even identified a dream company you are branding yourself to work at in the near future. Now what?
How do you get on and stay on their radar? Maybe you’ve already interviewed for the role, but didn’t get the job. Don’t give up! This one may take time and perseverance. Keep your sights on the target, your eyes on the goal. And implement some of these helpful tips and tricks to stay in touch professionally over the long term.
Your professional network is your professional net worth. Let that sink in.
It’s all about who you know. So, leverage networking to get that job with your dream employer.
Discuss your goals with friends and family who might have connections there. Check your alumni networks. Did any of the leadership at your target company go to your alma mater? Perfect that elevator pitch, and put yourself out there. Talk to anyone from that company you can get on the phone with.
If you’ve interviewed or connected with a hiring manager there, invest in that relationship. Follow up a few days after an interview and again ten days out. From there, check in two or three times a year.
Keep your emails or messages brief. Remember to ask about how they are doing, and when possible, discuss their interests. Always use their preferred channels of communication, whether that’s meeting for coffee or messages in LinkedIn. Show interest in their life and deepen the relationship.
Whatever you do, don’t let the conversation turn stale. But of course, give them space. If they stop responding to your communications, wait a few months before trying one last time. Then move on to another contact at that company.
Ask For Interview Feedback
Again, assuming you’ve already interviewed with your dream company, a great way to stay in touch is by asking for interview feedback.
Drop the hiring manager a simple email stating your desire to better understand how the interview went. Acknowledge that they may have chosen someone else, and ask what areas you might improve in your interview skills or past experience.
Keep in mind that, while many companies have the expectation of hiring in a couple weeks or so, the process often takes 60-90 days. That being said, top priority candidates are often hired during the process. If this happens, and you were a close runner up, asking them to re-examine their interview notes for feedback is a great way to subtly remind them that you are a) still in the running, and b) a great candidate.
Keep in Contact with Recruiters
It goes without saying that recruiters are your best friend. If you have something to offer a particular company, staying in touch with their preferred search firm is as good as hanging out in the hiring manager’s lobby (and less creepy). Here are some tips for making a good impression and keeping in the wheelhouse of recruiters on your way to that dream job:
- Talk at networking events, then send a personalized LinkedIn message and connection request.
- Occasionally comment on their LinkedIn posts.
- Send them a quarterly update email to mention something you’ve recently accomplished and remind them of your interest.
Of course, remember to keep it classy at all times. Follow common-sense rules of business etiquette. For example, remember to be considerate of their time and interests. Don’t always ask for favors; sometimes send them an interesting article to read or a holiday card or a congratulatory message about an acquisition they just closed.
In your communications, keep in mind what you can do for the company and those involved in hiring. When meeting in person, always make eye contact and take notes. Speak positively about previous employers and colleagues. Keep a grateful tone in all messages.
The power of asking nicely cannot be overstated!