Whether you’re a new speech-language pathologist or one attempting to transition into a different setting, keeping up with job applications can prove an overwhelming task. Searching for new roles relevant to your personal career goals entails a number of different things, and sometimes, it pushes you to take the initiative. That’s something The Missing Link guests Bret Stuckenschnieder and Michelle Lytle spoke about on this week’s episode of the podcast.

If you’re not hearing back from positions you’re interested in, it’s okay to promote yourself and go after what you want. Sometimes, that means following up on a job application you haven’t heard back about. But what etiquette should you embrace to ensure you’re leaving a good impression? After all, no candidate wants to be blacklisted or labeled as annoying.

Those concerns are valid, but they shouldn’t prevent SLPs from following up on applications altogether. If you’re waiting to hear back about a position — and especially if you’ve already made contact with someone about it — don’t be afraid to reach out. Just make sure you’re doing it with as much professionalism and care as possible.

Track Down the Right Person

When following up on an open position, locating the correct person to speak with can prove a huge step in the right direction. Calling or emailing the wrong clinician can, at best, be perceived as a mistake that doesn’t warrant addressing. At worst, it will make it look like you haven’t done enough research about the role or who you’d be reporting to. 

If you’re unsure about who to contact, scan the job description for what position you’d typically report to. From there, it’s fine to do research on LinkedIn or even call the company and request to speak to that person directly.

Don’t Overdo It

Hiring SLPs have their own work to take care of on top of sorting through applicants. If you haven’t heard back from one, it’s possible they’re simply busy. Michelle advises to give managers a week or so before following up on an email or phone call. She also recommends only reaching out once or twice. 

Pushing beyond that could make you look desperate, and it could also leave a bad impression. Of course, one could also argue that you wouldn’t want to work at a facility that doesn’t respond to its applicants. In that sense, letting go could prove beneficial for all parties in the long run.

Express Your Interest in a Professional Manner

When you do reach someone responsible for hiring candidates, it’s important to remain professional while expressing your interest and promoting your experience. Although being assertive is a positive quality in a job applicant, you don’t want to come off as too pushy. Instead, you want to highlight your passion and expertise in your desired role, making it clear that you’re the ideal fit. If they have concerns or offer feedback, accept it graciously. 

Even if following up on a position doesn’t work, you’ll get your name on the facility’s radar. Keeping that door open could lead to new opportunities down the line.

Want to learn more about Bret and Michelle and their journey to becoming SLPs? Listen to them and Mattie chat on The Missing Link for SLPs Podcast.

Did you know Mattie provides coaching to SLPs? Learn more here.

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