CAREER FILES: What to do AFTER you apply for a job

How do you network without the much-derided offer to buy someone a coffee?

Yes, times have changed. Pre-COVID, you would probably ask to meet for a coffee.

Nowadays, I'm having a lot of client meetings online, so I think a phone call – even a video call - doesn't take too much time out of someone’s day but will be enough time for you to get some insights.

And I think using terminology, like I want it to pick your brain or I’m really keen to learn some of your insights. I feel like you're a valuable person in the industry and have a lot of knowledge. I really want to understand X, Y, Z from you

And just be clear about it, not just saying, Hey, can we catch up?

Say: I’d love to ask you a couple of questions, this is why I want to utilize 10 minutes of your time, to understand X, Y, Z. Set the expectation of what you actually want to gain from them right from the start so they can come prepared to the phone call. A coffee can potentially take too much time out of their day or be a little informal.

And when you're sitting down to have a coffee, you have to build the rapport, order the coffee, figure out who’s going to pay. There can be awkward gaps. Whereas a phone call is just like, I'll call you at 10 o'clock to discuss X, Y, Z, thank you again for allowing some time to speak with me.

There’s a theory that men apply for jobs that equally qualified women will avoid because they don’t tick all the boxes. What’s your perspective?

It’s definitely about confidence and just giving it a go. I don't necessarily see more men applying for roles than women because women are afraid they’re not ticking all the boxes. I think it's really dependent on the role and industry.

I think the key is being confident, applying for the jobs, but not necessarily applying for everything – being selective enough to apply properly to the ones you do choose. If you don’t hear back from the business, give them a call.

You spent the time applying for the role, so follow up that application, get some feedback, ask ‘what were the core competencies that you were looking for?’  You’re well within your rights to give them a call to understand what you could have done better, so you can secure a role in the future.

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