By Angela Rose for BioSpace
Hunter S. Thompson, American author and journalist, once said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” The statement is certainly true of the job search, and biotech professionals who understand this spend numerous hours researching promising employers and perfecting their resumes and cover letters in pursuit of interview invitations. Those who are successful, however, often learn that an encouraging face-to-face meeting doesn’t guarantee a job offer. Sometimes securing your next position is only possible if you take the time to follow up.
Whether you’re a research assistant or manager of biostatistics, consider these simple suggestions to ensure you avoid the most frequent post-job interview mistake.
1. Get a clear picture of the timeline.
Before you leave the hiring manager’s office, ask about next steps. You may be required to attend a second interview, complete a test, or undergo additional evaluation before the employer makes a final decision. Additionally, some companies advertise biotech jobs and reach out to candidates long before they intend to hire. If you learn they’re not planning to fill the database programmer position until next month, you can adjust your follow up plan accordingly.
2. Request a business card.
Following up is always easier when you have the hiring manager’s contact information. Request a business card or write down his direct number, email address and business mailing address. Let him know that you will be checking back in with him soon —and state a timeframe for doing so.
3. Send a thank you immediately.
According to one 2011 survey, 86 percent of employers believe candidates who don’t send post-interview thank you notes lack follow through. That is an impression you don’t want to leave, whether you’re a regulatory affairs specialist or a packaging engineer. You may send your thank you by email or snail mail —just make sure you do so as soon as possible. While you’re at it, add a sentence or two reiterating your qualifications or mentioning specific topics of discussion covered in your interview.
4. Keep your word.
Do you remember when you told the hiring manager you’d be following up on that test engineer job? Don’t forget to do so. Whether you stated you’d contact her next week or check back in 10 days, note the task on your calendar. While a call is the most efficient way to facilitate a dialogue about your future, you can always follow up with an email if you find yourself routed to voicemail.
5. Build on your relationship.
A rejection doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship with a potential employer. In fact, staying in touch with the hiring manager should improve your chances of future employment with his company. As soon as you get the bad news, send an email thanking him for his consideration and reiterating your interest in working for his biotech organization. You can also ask him to keep you in mind should additional project scientist positions become available.