How to be a persistent job seeker without being annoying

The Arkansas Travelers are expecting nearly 200 applications for their Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations opening. Setting yourself apart from such a large crowd can seem impossible. With a solid follow-up strategy, though, you can make yourself stand out.

The key is polite persistence.

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Very few people get jobs without following up their applications, but the squeaky wheel really does get the grease. The trick is being persistent without being annoying, but where do you draw the line?

When I first started STAA, I asked employers from several different industries how often they would accept hearing from applicants before it started becoming a bother. The consensus was that touching base every 3 to 4 days was effective. They admitted that, yes, it could sometimes get annoying, but they appreciated the aggressiveness and demonstrated interest.

Based upon my own experience in hiring talent, I suggest following up once a week for immediate openings. That is polite persistence. However, there’s an underlying element to demonstrating your tenacity, an element that will keep you from being boring:

The trick to polite persistence is creativity.

Employers are inundated with job applications. Give them a brief moment of pleasure while simultaneously setting yourself apart by presenting them with something they aren’t seeing all the time. It’s just like being on the air – entertain your audience by giving them something they can’t get anywhere else. Don’t be boring.

I save my best ideas for STAA members, however, here are some guidelines for to kick start your creativity:

  • You must present a demo, resume and cover letter. How can you do so creatively?
  • Tailor your creativity to fit the position. If you are applying for a baseball job, do something with bat or ball.
  • Props are great attention grabbers. I have had job applicants send me clocks, books, framed pictures, and even lunch. Years later, I still remember who sent me each thing.
  • Research the employer. Send something that is unique to them. If they like golf, send a sleeve of balls with your name and number printed on them.
  • Sports-themed greeting cards can be cool.
  • Share fun facts about yourself. Dare to be slightly less formal.

Implement these suggestions – be politely persistent — and watch employers start to pay more attention to you.

What are some creative ways that you’ve followed up on a job application? Share them in the comments.