You read the job listing and followed the directions to apply. You feel confident that this position is a good fit for you. You review everything one more time to make sure you didn’t write anything stupid and it’s time to click send. Once you do, your application sails off past the horizon. What happens to it now? Is there anything you can do to stay on top of your application status without driving a company crazy? Here are a few ideas for following up the right way.
The Two-Week Rule
It’s a generally accepted practice to wait two weeks after you’ve submitted an application before following up. Assuming you haven’t heard from the company, of course. It’s important to recognize that the hiring manager is doing their full-time job along with the hiring process, so it may take them some time to review the resumes they’ve received and set up appointments with their top choices.
Send an Email
The best way to contact a potential employer after you’ve submitted a resume is through email. Phone calls can be obtrusive and take them away from whatever task they’re concentrating on at the time. An email comes into their inbox and they can read, review, and respond when they’re available.
Use the email as a chance to remind them who you are as an applicant and share a little more information about your interest in their company.
Focus on the Subject Line
You should also pay attention to the subject line in your follow-up email. This is their first impression of your correspondence, so make use of it. Forgetting to include one can mean your email goes unread. Using the wrong one may encourage them to trash it rather than open it.
Keep it professional, descriptive, and short. Also, be sure to edit the subject line before you hit send. Sometimes we remember to edit the email but fail to notice a major typo in the subject line.
Don’t approach the email with your frustration about the lack of communication on their part. Simply state you’re following up on the application and interested in learning where the hiring manager might be in the hiring process.
As soon as you cross the line to accusations, you immediately eliminate yourself from the job pool.
Finally, make sure your follow-up email is brief. The hiring manager has a lot on their plate, so a quick reminder can be helpful. But, a long email will only be skimmed, if read at all, and can have the opposite effect of what you want to accomplish.
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