Job Seekers, Don't Be Stalkers

Last Updated Oct 21, 2010 11:37 AM EDT

Maybe it's the weather, but mid-October seems to be stalking season. Game Three of the American League Championship Series was interrupted Monday night when a deranged fan of Cameron Diaz ran onto the field to confront Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is reportedly dating Diaz. A stalker from Los Angeles made the news this week when a judge placed a restraining order on the man, ordering him to avoid any contact with model Tyra Banks. (The man apparently believes he is Banks' fiance.) And in Australia police were able to track and identify a cyberstalker on Facebook and serve him with an "intervention order" (similar to a restraining order in the U.S.) via Facebook messages and a video.

The three lovesick (and mentally ill) men were convinced their intended targets were simply ignoring them, and so they escalated their contact efforts â€" a tactic familiar to almost anyone who has applied for a job and felt neglected by the level or lack of response.

The lesson here for job seekers: Don't be a stalker. In "Follow Up Without Being a Pest," TheLadders' Lisa Vaas talks with recruiting professionals about where to draw the line between persistence and harassment.

In addition to a range of correspondence tactics covering everything from phone calls to bouquets, the experts agree that job seekers must think strategically about their follow-up efforts. Your correspondence strategy should include frequency and medium of follow-up as well as the message you want to deliver.

Elene Cafasso, an executive and personal coach at Enerpace Inc., recommends clients wait a week after submitting a resume before they call. If they receive no reply to that call, they can follow up again by phone or e-mail three days later. And then that's it; no more calls, she said.

  • Matthew TheLadders

    Matthew Rothenberg is editor-in-chief for TheLadders, the world's leading online service catering exclusively to the $100K+ job market. In addition to traditional job search services, TheLadders.com also provides a host of specialized career development resources. Previously he worked at Ziff Davis Media, ZDNet, CNET, and Hachette Filipacchi.