Some people feel anxious when their emails go unanswered. Anxiety over unanswered emails is especially prominent among job seekers.
At least once a day a client contacts me in a frustrated panic because an email they sent days ago to a colleague, prospective networking contact, online application, recruiter, etc. has not been answered. Each time, I walk them through three tips to follow to increase their chances of getting a response.
1. Wait a full business week before following up
While it may seem like months to you, it seems like a week to the person you sent the email to. If they haven’t responded to you yet, it just means you don’t need an immediate response. That doesn’t mean they’re saying no to your request, they’re just saying “not now.”
2. Never send on a Monday
Even the happiest people feel a little anxious on Mondays. We call it the weekend flu. You might call it the Monday blues. Regardless, it gets people in the mood to say no faster.
So even if it’s been a full work week, if it’s Monday, don’t do anything.
3. Next time send value, not another help request
When you finally follow up, don’t send a “Just wanted to check and see if you got my request” note. It’s like taking a hot poker and shoving it up their back. They know they didn’t respond to you, and they probably don’t feel good about it. They don’t need you to point it out.
Instead, Find an article online that you think they would be interested in and forward it along with a simple note. like this. “I saw this article and thought of you. I hope you like it.” that’s it. You will be respected for your reticence to ask for the obvious. Furthermore, you will be appreciated for offering something of professional value.
As they say, “you have to give to get.” Follow the tips above and I guarantee you will get more responses to your emails. While some may end up saying “no” or never replying, it’s likely that people who didn’t respond at first will finally follow through when you’re patient, polite, and most importantly, focused on helping them too.
Whether you’re waiting for a response to an online application, a job interview, or a networking application, a combination of patience and strategic persistence will serve you well.
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This article was originally published on an earlier date.
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