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Career Counselor
The Art of Following up With Hiring Managers

September 2006 A recent survey confirmed that accountants looking for an edge in the job search process should follow up with prospective employers after submitting a resume. Eighty-two percent of executives polled by Robert Half International said candidates should contact hiring managers within two weeks of submitting application materials; only 5 percent of respondents said applicants should not reach out to employers.

To find out how you can effectively follow up on your resume, read on. 

Why should I follow up with a hiring manager? Employers value initiative and enthusiasm, and thoughtful post-resume communication underscores these traits. This extra step can give you a significant advantage over less-proactive candidates.

How should I follow up? In the survey, 38 percent of executives surveyed said they preferred email, while 33 percent favored a phone call. Keep in mind, though, that your communication method is less important than the message itself. When contacting a potential employer, demonstrate your knowledge of the company while reinforcing your qualifications and interest in the position.

What should I say or write? Since hiring managers are typically busy people, you'll need to deliver your message succinctly. Prepare a 30-second "elevator pitch" before actually sending the email or making the call. In your correspondence, highlight how you can contribute to the organization's success.

What should I not say when contacting hiring managers? Don't bring up how much you'd like to be paid or how much vacation you expect. Reinforce your potential value to the organization and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

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ACCOUNTEMPS is a specialized temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps provides support throughout an accounting department. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., Accountemps and has more than 270 offices in North America, Europe and Australia. Accountemps' Career Counselor column, a SmartPros staple for over four years, is refreshed twice a month.

2006 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

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