How to follow up on a Job Application

How to follow up on a Job Application

So the hard part is over, you’ve created and crafted the C.V that best represents you, you’ve filled in all your strengths and weakenesses and completed that rigorous online job application. Now what? You wait, right? Well that doesn’t have to be it. Instead you could follow up on that job interview. KennedyPearce explains how:

Following up on your job application will not only help your job seeking peace of mind (you’ll know for sure that they received your email) but will also improve your chances of making a good impression with the recruiter or hiring manager who decides whether you get through the interviewer stage. Elizabeth Sidel, Director of Recruiting at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network said:
“After submitting a resume, the candidate should follow-up (unless otherwise advised not to) with a phone call or email; it shows enthusiasm and ambition, and could differentiate the candidate.”

What To Do:

When following up wth your job application you have two options – the phone call or the email. You should only use one of those options and not multiply, after all you don’t want to pester your recruiter.

Terri A. Deems, a career coach, trainer and the co-author of “Make Job Loss Work for You,” said there are two goals for the follow-up:

  1. To get your name across to the decision maker again, so they’ll be looking specifically at, or for, your resume/application
  2. To gather information for yourself about the status of your application

The Phone Call:

telephoneDeems’ top choice for follow-up is a phone call placed three to five days after the employer is likely to have received your application materials. You’ll get an answer instantaneously and also the recruiter will have heard your voice and will associate you with your application, leaving them with a more personable impression.

We recommend calling early in the morning pre 9am. Also make sure you prepare for the call so you know exactly what you are going to say. You don’t want to be stumbling over your speech and creating an awkward phone conversation. To open the call, Deems suggests using a friendly, casual tone. Here’s an example:

“Hi, Jerry, my name is Terri Deems, and I recently submitted my resume for your xyz opening. I’m calling to make sure you received this, and if you’ve got just a minute or two I had a couple of questions for you …”
The Email
emailEmail is a good way of following up. The benefits is that you know won’t be imposing on the recruiter’s time, they can reply to your email when they are ready. It can also be less nerve wrecking sending an email than it is to pick up the phone and put in a call. However, you do run the risk of your email being sent to the ‘junk’ folder, or the recruiter (for whatever reason) not responding to you.
KennedyPearce recommend you keep the tone of your email the same as your voice, so as to help get your personality across. Don’t sound stuffy and stiff, keep the tone professional yet casual, double check there are no errors in your email and always address your email to the hiring manager’s name.


Ideas Of What To Include in Your Follow Up:

  • Keep your follow-up brief, to the point, and professional.
  • Focus your follow-up around your fit with the position and organization and your USP. You might also ask the hiring manager if he/she needs any further information not included in your original application.
  • If you recently completed training, received an award, or earned some other recognition that would make you an even better candidate for the position, be sure to mention it in your follow-up.
  • Keep a copy of your resume nearby in case you need to refer to something on it.
  • End the conversation thanking the hiring manager for his/her time and asking about the hiring timetable/next steps. If you are extremely confident, you could ask when you might expect an interview.
  • Also if calling, be prepared for a short screening phone interview by practicing answers to common interview questions.
So what have you got to lose? Next time you’re fretting about a job application why not follow it up instead? Remember, even with a negative the outcome not to take it too personally. Chris Dittus, owner of August Communications Consulting said: “It is certainly appropriate to send an email or letter a week or two following the submission of your resume, if you have not yet heard anything from the company. However, if you receive no response after submitting your resume AND following up with an email or phone call later, I wouldn’t invest additional energy in that particular opportunity.”

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