I like to be reminded that there is not usually a “right” way of doing things: I get to choose! In this case a very experienced employment counsellor who I respect had advised when approaching recruiters that the best way is to phone them up, tell them you’ll be in town next week, and ask which day would be best for an interview. I can see that shows assertiveness and a pro-active attitude. Then I picked up the Guide to Canadian Recruiters who advise that recruiters are very busy, and that candidates should never insist on an interview.
So how do I prefer to approach it? I like to respect people’s time and not make the assumption that they want an interview, but be pro-active in followup and ensuring that the connection is made. When approaching potential employers, if I get return calls or emails or acknowledgement in some form, that tells me a lot about how the company does business. If I don’t hear back after repeated attempts, I get the message: it’s likely they are not good communicators. And that could mean they are not good employers, or just that there’s a bit of a gap in the corporate culture that needs filling.