The waiting game is by far the worst part of looking for a job! You finally find a job posting that looks perfect for you. You spend time tailoring your application and resume. You are excited when you hit the “apply” button and then...nothing. For days and days.
When is it appropriate to follow up? Here are some tips to help you maintain a professional vibe while inquiring after two specific job search situations:
Job Application Status
The best case scenario is that you’ll initially receive an auto response, confirming that your application was received. A lot of companies don’t have this automation, however, so you may not receive a confirmation.
After submission, the ratio for how many jobs you apply for to how many you’ll hear back from is, sadly, low. Many job postings receive hundreds of applications and the HR department or hiring manager is overwhelmed with sorting through the responses. Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer: if all 150 applicants followed up with a phone call, it would be quite annoying. Instead, opt for a simple and quick email to the hiring manager. State that you applied for the job, wanted to make sure it was received, and are excited about the opportunity.
If you don’t hear back after this follow up, assume you did not move on to the interview stage. But don’t worry! Keep applying and don’t get frustrated. It’s all a part of the job search process.
If you receive an interview - congratulations! There are a two things you should do to follow up:
Ask at the end of the interview what your expectations should be regarding hearing the outcome of the interview process. Are they hiring within the week? Will you hear one way or another? Is it OK for you to follow up if you don’t hear anything? Asking at the interview is not only appropriate, it ensures you are respecting their process and communicating in a way they prefer.
Send a thank you note! If you need some pointers on how to do so, read Stand Out While Being Professional: Proper Thank You Notes.
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