To contact or not to contact...?!

Hi all,

I just started sending out my resume/pdf portfolio sample to consultancies that advertised openings on Coroflot, misc. job boards, and their company websites. In my p. sample, I shared a link to my personal website (it contains almost all the same work, just presented differently) and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that many of the places I applied to spent the time to view my online work. Yet, its been almost two weeks since I shared my stuff with some of these companies, and I haven’t heard from any of them.

My question is, what’s the proper protocol now? They were obviously motivated to copy&paste my url by something in my initial submission, but they didn’t contact me further afterwards. Is it normal that a company shows some interest in you, but they wait to contact until several weeks have passed? Or is it more likely that they weren’t impressed by my online links, and threw my application out the window?

Should I do a follow-up call in case they were interested? I hate to be pesky - I know that (especially in this economy) human resources / hiring managers have very little time and even less patience with applicant phone calls. :confused:

Can anyone give an estimate regarding the time length between a job application and contact for an interview?

Sorry for my high amount of questions… it’s my first time going through the job search in America, but any feedback will be highly appreciated!

Anyone, anyone?

There’s so much good advice in this forum I was hoping that at least someone would have a response!

Doesn’t hurt to do a follow-up call or an email. You may not get much out of it, but maybe at least sleep a little better knowing you tried. after a week or two is OK I think.

I’ve had this happen many times. It can be insanely frustrating and personally I get a bad vibe from companies that don’t have the decency to follow-up, esp. if it has gone to multiple interviews…

Depending on the position though, and if it’s going through HR, they may just have a policy of not getting back to people they aren’t interested in if there are a lot of applicants.


Thanks Rku… for the response. It really is frustrating, and more so when it’s near impossible to contact the HR dept for some companies!

There are only so many jobsearch-related things to do in front of your computer while hunting, and it can become mundane pretty quickly. It’s easy to get sidetracked and hope/overthink/stress/etc. about applications already sent out instead of applying to new postings. You want consolation or feedback about what went wrong, or what’s just not right.

I guess that’s why I resorted to posting here - I’ve surfed a lot of the discussions under this topic and its pretty much the same… what to do next and what’s worked for other people? It would be really beneficial to have a resource to discover more information about the design recruiting process from the hiree’s standpoint!

Like R said, depends on the company. Some smaller agencies/consultancies are really quick at responding, others are so unprofessional they just drop all communications after inviting you for a 2nd round interview… and it will reflect poorly on them (design community is so small). I’m in contact with some larger tech companies at the moment, and at different stages, they are faster than others… for example when the recruiter is trying to get me approved for on-site interviews, they have to wait on the design team to all look at my portfolio and give an OK.

My rule regarding follow-ups is: no phone calls (bugs most companies to hell), but email is okay after 1 week. After 3 business days it’s very likely that the email has floated down to the bottom of the list and will never be read.

Of course, the way you phrase your email is very important: HR people can tell what is a generic BCC email and what is not. I recently discovered my friend has been using “hello” as his subject title… that’s a definite no-go for a recruiter browsing through 500 emails from prospects.

Yes, keep in contact. Persistence will be rewarded eventually. Be active in your conversation, send new work, keep them updated… Good luck!

I think contacting them is ok. It shows you actually want a job with them and are not just applying for 100 and don’t care where you work.

My girlfriend experienced the whole people not getting back to you thing and believe me, we know how frustrating it can be. You can put in hours or days into an application, take time off your current job, buy a new shirt/pair of shoes, drive to the other side of town 2 or 3 times and then when they decide not to hire you, they just give you the silent treatment.

It really is pathetic when we all know how long it takes to cut and paste someone’s name into an email. Sometimes you’ll receive nothing, sometimes you will get a letter 3 months later. The important thing is to stay composed and polite. You never know if that employer you applied to had someone start and then leave for some reason, which makes them go to the next person on their list and that might be you. If you called them a bunch of chumps, you probably won’t get it.

My girlfriend is now working in events. She applied for about 7 jobs and was ignored, got maybe 2 first interviews and one 2nd interview. For the interview for the job she has now (in events), her current boss (owner of the company) called her two days after she emailed the application and asked her to meet him for an interview at an event his company was doing. He offered her the job there and then and she even negotiated a higher salary.

I think often it’s a matter of personalities not gelling. If you have a really good interview, and go home feeling like you just kicked the winning goal at the superbowl, you will probably get a nice phone-call in the next few days.

I think a phone call is appropriate after 1 or 2 weeks. Email is too easily ignored by HR or a Hiring Manager, and you don’t know whether it was read. Even if you leave a voice mail you can be confident that someone listened to it.

Note to to HR and Hiring Managers: Don’t be a jerk. When someone sends you a portfolio, at least send a confirmation of receipt. Candidates need to know that their work was received and is being treated with respect and confidence, not just mailed into the abyss -

Speaking from experience of recently applying all over, I can say that you can only do so much. What helped me was a ‘fire and forget’ approach in the sense of doing what you can (i.e. a polite follow-up phone call) and then continuing on with applying to other jobs. When I did not receive call backs/emails, I made sure that I got feedback to find out if somehow my approach/portfolio was off.

Seek out local pros through IDSA. Get feedback on your portfolio and revamp your efforts. I also approached recruiters and they did the work for me while I continued with my search. Be active in your local design community, too. All this effort somehow, someway connects somewhere down the line for those that stick with it. It’s funny how timing works out- when I finally got hired, the emails started coming back to me asking for my availability for interviews.

If I can leave you with one thought- it is to stay positive! It goes a long way when they can feel that energy from simply talking to you.