What if, as sometimes happens, you follow up after an interview (or more than one) exactly as the employer suggested -- and you still hear nothing? This is where the line between persistence and peskiness can be especially foggy. Companies often take up to two months to fill senior jobs, so hearing radio silence for a few weeks may simply mean they're still interviewing people.
But for an entry-level job like the ones new grads usually get, "never reach out more than twice if you hear nothing at all after two weeks or so," Finnigan says. Even then, try to have a believable pretext, like a blog post you just wrote that is relevant to the job you applied for: "You cross the line into peskiness if you have no real reason to get back in touch except that you haven't heard anything.
"If you happen to know the interviewer's cell phone number, don't use it to call or text them," Finnigan adds. "It's creepy." Likewise, although twenty-somethings are famously comfortable with social media, he says, "do not attempt to friend interviewers on Facebook." Some job hunters, especially inexperienced ones, see moves like that as merely friendly gestures, but interviewers are more likely to feel as if they're being stalked.
One more thing: If you never do hear a yea or nay from some of the people who've interviewed you, don't take it personally. "You have to accept the reality that many people have a hard time delivering bad news," Finnigan observes -- so they just say nothing. But, says Black, even if you're disappointed (or even angry) with the treatment you get from employers, try not to burn any bridges.
"You have to be professional about this process, because you'll run into some of the same people later on in your career," he says. "You never know which of them will be turn out to be important to you." Good luck.
Talkback:If you've interviewed for a job lately, how did you follow up? If you're a job interviewer or hiring manager, where do you draw the line between enthusiasm and desperation? Leave a comment below.