Ask A Progeek – With Steve

I’ve got two anonymous questions from our audience this week about job followups and about how to deal with time commitments.  Let’s get to it!



1. When applying for a job through a company’s site and the company does not supply contact information, how does one follow up after the application?

That’s a bit of a tough one. Sometimes this is due to ignorance or by accident – sometimes it’s to keep HR away from an onslaught of applications and requests from, well, people like you. So keeping in mind you can’t always be sure, here’s what you do.

First, ask if you actually need to. If you’re “grenade fishing” the followup may not actually be worth your time.

Second, ask if you should follow up. If the ad in question sounds like they want to keep some separation, don’t break it. You’ll just annoy people.

Third, be pre-emptive and use your friend LinkedIn while applying and see if you have any connections to that company. When you apply make sure to ping any contacts at the company, or contacts that may have contacts with the company. They might give you ideas how to followup, put you in touch with the right people, or move your application along. Do this and you might not need to worry about a follow-up.

Fourth, do your research., Crunchbase, and other sites can let you dig up contact info. In fact, company websites, if you dig through them, may have contact information for HR. A general email address may not be the best, but it’s something.

Fifth, consider blowing their minds with an actual physical followup email to see what’s going on – using the above contact information. It may at least make an impression.

The best method however is to use whatever contacts you have at said company or people you know to get you the information. The personal contact is invaluable – and the least invasive method.

Remember that, sadly, some companies and HR departments just don’t want to speak to you until they’ve processed your information, and you’re one of hundreds of people. When you get a nibble, a contact, when you’re a “face” then it’s easier to follow up because there’s some personal connection – which is why any major goal of yours is to stand out.

This is one place progeeks can stand out by leveraging their knowledge, research, or creativity to get connected or be a “face.” From websites to video resumes, look for a way to make that connection so you have someone talk to you – which gives you someone to follow up with.


2. When applying for a job, how do I tactfully mention I need to maintain ongoing commitments (eg, an internship or an additional part-time job)?

It’s usually a good idea to mention this once you actually get interviewed unless it’s part of the actual application. This is something to talk about once you have an idea of what’s going on and are dealing with someone face-to-face.

When you do mention it remember – solutions first. When it comes up or seems to be an issue, mention it and then already have a solution in mind, and don’t be dramatic about it. It could be as simple as “Oh, I can work weekends, but I still do X every other weekend, but my schedule is so flexible I can work around it” or “I’m ideal for this job but I have an ongoing internship that limits my time. But I’m willing to work the extra hours and my internship benefits you as . . . ”

Mention it if it seems necessary, and have a solution in place. The best solutions actually benefit the interviewer’s organization in the first place.

Got a question for me or the rest of the staff?  Go and ask away!

Steven Savage