Many job-seekers meticulously look for opportunities, revise their resume, create custom cover letters, and send out 20 applications only to hear nothing even after a week or two. This situation demonstrates the importance of following up with hiring managers. When you follow up on an application, you show that you are truly interested in the position. Some people fear following up because they think it makes them look desperate. On the contrary, it typically shows motivation and excitement, providing that you do not become a burden to the company by following up in an obnoxious way.
So, how exactly should you follow up? Wait about a week if you’ve submitted a paper application and maybe a few days if you’ve completed an online application. This provides adequate time for hiring personnel to review your application. If you completed an online application, you might want to stand out by sending a hardcopy version of your cover letter and resume through traditional post. Because it can get confusing following up on more than a dozen leads, you should create a document that keeps a record of each job you’ve applied for and tracks when and how you have tried to make contact.
When following up, keep your message brief and to the point. Highlight any recent training or awards that demonstrate you are a good candidate for the position and write a sentence or two about why you are a good fit for the organization. You may also want to ask if the hiring manager needs any additional information. Always send e-mails directly to the hiring manager. You can typically find his or her contact information on the company website or in the job posting, but you can call the company and ask, too. Proofread the e-mail thoroughly before pressing send.
If you do not receive a response via e-mail, or you want to follow up more directly, you can always make a phone call. You may first want to write a short script to follow, especially if you are prone to nervousness. If you don’t write a script, at least create a short list of points you’d like to make. Also, keep a copy of your resume on hand in case you need to answer questions about it. Phone calls are often opportunities for brief, impromptu interviews, so be sure to review common interview questions and be prepared to respond to them.