A Job Search Expert Answers Your Job Search Questions: Part 2

Happy Friday everyone! It’s Jaime from The Prepary here again and I’m back to answer some more of your job search questions. Today’s batch will be focused on networking as well as some tough questions about salary and negotiation.

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A Job Search Expert Answers Your Job Search Questions Part 2

Applying  and Networking:

How many times is it appropriate to follow up on a job application?

I believe in following up with an actual person after every job application you submit. The best case scenario is when someone you know works for the company (even in a different department). You should absolutely let them know you applied and hopefully they can highlight your name to the right people within the company. However, even if you don’t know someone directly, there are many other options like friends-of-friends, alums, or recruiting team members.

However, if you’re following up with a stranger, I think once is generally enough. They’re not always going to respond and they don’t necessarily owe a response depending on their recruiting process.

Following up after you’ve interviewed is a different story. In that I absolutely recommend following up a few times if you’re not getting an answer.

How should I reach out to alums and people who might be able to help me get a resume to a real person…not the black hole online.

You hit the nail on the head. In today’s job search we all need to find creative ways to avoid that resume black hole!

I actually just wrote a lengthy post on this exact topic because I believe alums are a great group of people to tap into for networking. The post shares a tutorial on how to use LinkedIn’s awesome alumni search feature and includes a template you can use to reach out. Alums can be leveraged for advice, informational interviews, and/or a referral after you’ve applied for a job.

Should I connect with recruiters and people at the company I want to work at on LinkedIn or is that creepy?

Different people will have different opinions on this, but I don’t recommend actually connecting with strangers on LinkedIn. Many people use this platform to keep track of their actual professional contacts and therefore won’t accept a stranger as a connection.

That being said, I do believe you can and should email or inMail strangers. A message is different than a connection and has a specific ask, which I believe is important when you’re trying to get a job. As mentioned above if you have a dream company but there isn’t a job posted, try to find an alum, contact, or friend-of-friend who might be willing to have a coffee or call with you. Then, when a job opens up you’ll already have a connection ready to go.

Salary and Negotiation:

Can I ask about the salary in the phone interview or the first in-person interview?

Generally recruiters will actually ask you about your salary expectations around the beginning of the interview process. This is generally the timing of the discussion because they want to make sure the company and you are on the same page. Otherwise, they might waste hours of your time (and theirs) considering you for a job that you might not even want to accept.

However, if this is not brought up proactively, I’d suggest bringing it up after your 1st in-person interview once you’ve already gotten to know them. If they ask you to move forward in the process, you can ask for a quick conversation with the recruiter to ask a few questions and then plan to discuss this. Here’s an article that elaborates even more on this topic.

What are your tips for negotiating an offer salary? I’ve read so many articles saying you should negotiate it…but I’m nervous.

Great question and yes you should…under the right circumstances. I think an offer should be negotiated in a few scenarios:

  • You discussed your salary expectation with the recruiter earlier in the process, they didn’t mention that it was unrealistic, and then they offer didn’t meet that expectation
  • You didn’t have prior discussions, but the offer didn’t meet your expectation of what you’d like to earn
  • You’re currently earning more (and not making a big career shift where you may need to take a step back to move forward) and so you’d like a bump in order to make a move
  • The offer is not in line with what the market data is showing. You can learn about market data from glassdoor.com and remember to research similar companies in the same citites to get the most accurate data

If one or more of the above things are true, it’s definitely worth it to negotiate. Remember, this company brought you through the whole interview process and gave you the offer. They want to close the deal and you have more leverage than you think!

Hope these answer are helpful and thanks for reading. See you Monday with answers to the rest of your questions! 

Image from Le Fashion