Walking The Line Between Being Persistent & Being Annoying

Walking the Line Between Being Persistent and Being Annoying

Perseverance is important in your job search. You have to show 'em how much you want it, and make your passion apparent. But how do you do so without being too aggressive—aka a pain in someone's ass? Here are a handful of tips to help you be persistent without being annoying. 

Sooner is usually better. If you met someone at a networking event and exchanged cards, be sure to email them within 24 hours so you're still fresh in their minds. Had an interview with someone? Send your thank you email before the end of the day. 

Connect with recruiters after they visit your school. If a recruiter has already invested time to come speak at your school, it means they're interested in the talent there. Take advantage of the face time in person, but also connect with them on LinkedIn and over email (if they provide their email) after the event. In my talks with agency recruiters, many are surprised at how few people reach out after a talk—even when they expect it.

Image from  The Atlantic

Image from The Atlantic

Keep your emails short and succinct. Be conscious of the fact that recruiters and agency folk in general not only get a ton of email, but are also extremely busy with other things that have nothing to do with your job search. Increase your chances of having your email actually read by keeping it short and to the point. All you need to cover is 1) who you are, 2) what your ask is, and 3) any next steps. Keep in mind that short and succinct doesn't mean boring—the challenge is to make yourself stand out using only a small amount of words. 

Don't spam the whole team. You may think that emailing a lot of people on a team will increase your chances of getting an interview. But team's talk, and the last thing you want is everyone realizing you blasted the same email to the whole crew. Pick a couple people whom you think you'd really benefit from talking to and focus your outreach on them. 

Image from  Make it Move

Image from Make it Move

Follow up. If you don't get a response to an email, don't be afraid to follow up one week later. Make it super short—you're basically popping your original email to the top of their inbox. There are differing opinions on how many follow-ups are enough, but my personal limit is three emails: 1 initial + 2 follow-ups, all spaced one week apart. If you haven't heard back after three emails, move along.

Add value to keep in touch. Let's say you have a great interview, but find out there's no position available. You want to stay in touch with the agency without coming off annoying. Here's how: give them a reason to look forward to your emails by adding value in each one. Set up Google Alerts for the agency, their clients, their clients' competitors, and their clients' categories (ex. Beauty, Auto, Finance, etc.). Make sharing news and relevant articles the reason to keep in touch, instead of just checking to see if there's a position available. Be sure to include your own quick analysis or POV (in a couple sentences, because you're keeping it short and succinct). Don't just forward a link—use the email as an opportunity to show them how you think. Space out your emails to once a month, and only explicitly ask about a job if you see a new position open, or after it's been a few months.

Image from    Linda van Bruggen  

Image from Linda van Bruggen 

If you don't hear back, don't assume it's because of you. Perseverance is a lot harder when you're discouraged. Next time you don't hear back from someone, don't assume it's because you're not good enough, or weren't worth their time. There are so many reasons why people don't respond (busyness, position filled, email went to spam), and you'll never know 100% why, so why automatically put it on you? Don't delude yourself, but don't bring unnecessary negativity into your job search.

You're awesome,