Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

What are the rules for following up when you don't have a direct contact?

Dear Ed,
If you apply to a job through the company website or a nondescript email like internship@gmail.com is there any way to follow up? Do I really just have to sit back and hope someone will call?
Despairingly yours,
Tina*

Dear Tina*,
Yes, there is another way to follow up, you just need to be a bit of a detective. If you’re applying for a beauty internship, you can send a polite e-mail (just a few sentences) to the beauty assistant (look up the name in the magazine masthead) and explain that you applied for the fall beauty internship, you’re very excited about the opportunity, and you hope to hear from her soon. The assistants are usually the people who staff who field intern applications, and if they don’t, they will hopefully forward your e-mail to the person on staff who oversees the intern hiring process. You could also send an e-mail to an editorial assistant and ask who would be the best person on staff to contact about internships.

As for how to follow up, e-mail is always a safe bet, especially if the posting clearly says “No phone calls please.”

Remember that you don’t want to follow up too often. Send a note two weeks after you apply for the internship. And then you can follow up once or twice more, but if you don’t hear back after your second or third e-mail, it’s a good sign to move on–to another contact at the magazine (or another internship)!

*Name has been changed

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