The Follow Up
A number of people have contacted me over the last little while about whether or not they should follow up with an employer once they have submitted a resume in response to a job advertisement. In short – Yes!
There are a couple of tips that might help with your follow up and tell the hiring manager you are indeed serious about the job. There are also a couple of things you want to watch out for. Most definitely there is a ‘way’ to follow up.
A lot of job advertisements today state that only those being considered will be contacted for an interview. This is great for those who receive a call but what about those who don’t? In some cases it is difficult to get back to every single applicant; especially when the advertisement results in dozens if not hundreds of applicants. Getting back to candidates is something I strive to improve upon. Well presented and well thought applications do receive a call-back even if it is to say ‘thank you – we will consider you for the next opening’. As I have mentioned before; hiring managers can recognize a targeted application and many will try to call the candidate either way.
If you are serious about a job and feel that you have submitted a ‘competitive’ application then you will want to follow up. Again; this will show you are serious about getting the job and you may just prompt the hiring manager to take a look at your resume again. If you haven’t been successful this will afford you the opportunity to ask why you didn’t get the job. If it’s a field you really want to get into you might want to ask what you are missing and what skill sets you can improve upon or what courses they recommend you take in order to be more successful next time. I know that the ultimate aim of an application is to get a job but not getting one can turn into a useful learning experience. Spending a few minutes on the phone with someone who regularly hires for that type of position is like speaking to a job coach or consultant for free. Take advantage of the time you get.
Give it a little time before following up. You can do this either by phone call or by email. I wouldn’t recommend just showing up. The people you want to see might be occupied or attending to other matters and will not be able to give you the time needed to discuss your particular application. Email works fine and most hiring managers will respond to a question about your application. Waiting at least a week before following up is acceptable. If doing so by email, a simple Dear Sir / Madam; followed by a couple of lines stating who you are and that you are curious about the status of your application is fine.
I received an email recently that went something along the lines of: “Are you people still hiring? I applied a couple of days ago and I didn’t get a phone call.” Perhaps not the best way to approach a company as it might come across as a little unprofessional. How you apply for a job and how you follow up is an indication in the mind of the hiring manager how you might be as an employee.
Always follow up. Think of yourself as a salesperson selling product You! Good salespeople always follow up with prospects once they have submitted a bid or proposal. It shows the potential customer that they want their business. Show you are interested and serious about getting the job. Be sure to allow the company a little time to review your application. Whether or not your application was successful, try to view the entire process as a learning experience and should you get to speak to the hiring manager, be sure to pick their brains clean! You’ll never know what valuable insight you will get.