Executives, while you may be doing well in the departments of submitting resumes, networking, and interviewing, your skills in one of the most important aspects of the job search: “Follow Up” are abominable. Yes, most often completely missing or weak, at best.

I’m Dana Manciagli, author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! and here are some examples of today’s state of the art of executive follow up during the job search:

  • Following a one-on-one networking meeting, when James asked for names of contacts, he did not send a thank you e-mail.That’s called “using”, not networking.
  • Two weeks ago, Erica, a job-seeker, attended an evening network event whereby she exchanged cards with Bob and she committed to sending her credentials and a cover letter outlining what she is looking for. Nothing.
  • After Frank helped Barbara secure an interview, Frank never heard how the interview went. Months later, Frank spoke to his contact at the interviewing company and he learned Barbara was hired. Bad form.
  • Two best practices you need to start doing today and keep doing after you are hired:

    A. Daily Follow Up. Wake up every morning and review who helped you the day before and thank them. Regardless if it was an introduction to another person, a lead for a position posting, or just an idea. Send them a thank you. Then, put a meeting in your calendar for one month from today and three months from today. Give them an update and thank them.

    B. Hired! If someone helped you in a BIG way it is very appropriate to send a plant, flowers, gift certificate, gift basket or something to show a significant level of appreciation. A thank you note and announcement of your new job goes to everyone, regardless if they were directly helpful with that position or not.

    Executives, be gracious, offer help back to them and stay in touch for years ahead to build genuine, two-way relationships. Good luck!