When you submit an application for a job you really want, you may have an overwhelming urge to follow up and ask, “Did you happen to get a look at the great resume I put a ton of work into?”
But doing that can appear a bit desperate, and we all know that desperation in a job seeker isn’t a good look.
So, what’s the right thing to do here? Sit on your hands and hope you get noticed? It turns out following up after the application can be effective, if you handle it the right way.
First, you’ll want to avoid snail mail because it’s not appropriate for the pace and precision of today’s business. Second, you shouldn’t make multiple phone calls or send more than one email because that will truly make you look desperate.
Now that you know how not to follow up, below are a few tips on how to follow up on a resume submission.
Following up on an application
As the Tom Petty song goes, the waiting is the hardest part, and it’s particularly true after you’ve worked long and hard on a resume for a job you really want. However, following up right away won’t help your cause.
In fact, many employers will explicitly say in their job postings they do not want job seekers to follow up on their submission – at all. If this is the case, then the ball is in their court and there’s nothing you can do but wait.
If an employer doesn’t warn against it, you can follow up after about a week. Some hiring personnel will say they appreciate when someone shows initiative by following up, while others will say it ca be annoying. It’s important to keep both of these possibilities in mind when deciding to follow up.
Write out your follow-up pitch for either an email, or to use as a phone script. Your pitch should mention the job you’re seeking and when you applied. It should also reiterate your interest in the job and ask about anything you can do to help in the process. When worded professionally and kept short, this pitch should impress those who don’t mind being contacted while lightly treading in case the person you’re contacting doesn’t appreciate follow-ups.
If you’re submitting multiple applications within a short period of time, use a calendar or calendar app to keep track of when and how you sent your resume, when you intend to follow up, who you talked to on the follow-up and how the interaction went from there. If you do this, you won’t miss a beat if an employer calls you out of the blue.
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