If you have been applying for jobs for a while without success, it may be a good idea to seek feedback from the employers at places you have applied to. The feedback that you get from these employers can be a vital piece that you are missing that is keeping you from getting the job you want. Everyone has a “brand” that we send out to employers when we apply for positions. If you are not getting call backs when you apply, or are getting interviews but not getting job offers, you need to find out what impression you are leaving with employers and what message you are putting out. Employers are busy so you won’t get feedback from all of them, but it’s worth a try. You should also think of consulting a professional career coach, who can help you to see and improve areas of improvement. They can also take a look at your personal brand to get a good idea of what employers may think about you. Here are a few tips for asking employers for feedback.
1. Make Your Request Short & Direct
As stated above employers are very busy and they don’t have time to give feedback to every applicant that applies for a job with their company. With this being said make your request short and direct. Don’t send a long drawn out story about why you really wanted the job or rehash why you feel you are qualified for the position. If you applied for a position but were never called for an interview, ask specific questions related to your application. If you ask open ended questions that will require a long response chances are you won’t get a response. This is an easier request if you actually interviewed with the person you are requesting feedback from. For example you could say “Hello XXX, hope you are having a wonderful day. My name is XXX and I interviewed with you about two weeks ago for the XXX position. I received a notification that the company chose another candidate. I wanted to thank you for the opportunity of meeting with me to discuss the position. I am continuing my search for positions in my field, and it would really help me if you could provide me with some feedback related to my interview with you. Can you give me one positive impression I left as well as one thing you think I could improve on, so I can give my best interview in the future. Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon”.
If you have not interviewed with the company this message will be constructed a little different. First you will have to do some research and find out who is in charge of screening all the applications and resumes for the organization. You can search on LinkedIn or the company website for people in the HR department, supervisors over the department you applied for, or recruiters. Once you find out who is responsible for screening and reviewing the applications, you can send them an email directly. Again the message should be short and to the point. For example you could say “Hello XXX, my name is XXX. I am writing you to get some feedback on my recent application with XXX Company. I am working to find employment in the field of XXX without success. If you can give me one thing I should improve on when applying to jobs in the future I would really appreciate it. Hope to hear from you soon”.
2. Flattery Goes A Long Way
One way to increase your chances of getting feedback is to add some flattery to your email. This requires that you do some research on the person that you are requesting feedback from. Most people are on LinkedIn, or they may have a short description posted on the company’s website about the person. If you can find something in common between yourself and the person highlight that in the beginning of your email. You may have a similar connection on LinkedIn, or admire some professional accomplishments they have achieved. This is a good way to spark dialogue with a person that you may not know very well.
3. Don’t Pester Them: Always Maintain Professionalism
Only ask for feedback once. Some employers will not respond to you no matter how well constructed your email is. They are busy and may not have the time to respond to hundreds or maybe thousands of people who apply for open positions. If you don’t get a response then you should move on.
Remember to make your request for feedback short and to the point. Do some research on the person you are contacting and try to find similarities. If you admire some of their professional accomplishments mention it in your email. Only ask for feedback once. If they don’t respond then move on with your job search. If you cannot get the feedback from the employer connect with a professional career coach, they will be able to help you figure out things that you may be doing wrong and get you on the right track. The career coach may even be able to contact the employer on your behalf to ask for feedback. For more assistance in this area contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.