Following up on Job Applications? Here’s the Right Way to Do it

Are you eager to follow up on one of the jobs you have previously applied for and waiting for a response? Make sure you are following up the right way!

You have finally come across a job posting you believe you will be the right fit. After paying very close attention to all the details in the job description, you have now filled out the application. Then the application process will start, where you are now expecting a response.

When you come across a job that you are excited about, it will be difficult for you just to sit back and wait for a response. Do you have a certain amount of rejections from positions you’ve applied for already? What is the average wait time period for a response? Do know if your resume reached the hiring manager? You would want to find answers to all these questions, but the difficulty lies in you finding them without being an annoying pest to the hiring manager or recruiter. So, a question many job seekers want answers to: “Is there a correct methodology when it comes to following up with a hiring manager?”

The short answer is yes. There is a right way to follow up with hiring managers! Here is a step by step guide you can follow which will help you get answers to the questions above. These tips may even help you get your application to the top in their list of applicants. If you have lost sleep wondering how you can stand out from the crowd, use the tips below when following up on your job application.

First Things First

When you consider following up on your job applications, first take a thorough look at the job posting to understand employer expectations. Some job postings have notes that discourage any follow-ups such as, ‘No phone calls for inquiries please.’ If this is the case, you must make sure to follow these notes. This is because you deciding to ignore such a message will not do you any favor. Failing to do so could cause quite the opposite of what you want to happen.

Nonetheless, if the job posting has an email address or a phone number, you can consider that to be an open invitation to make a simple follow-up, by sending an email or calling them directly.

Who is the Correct Person You Should Contact During your Follow up?

During your follow ups will need to contact the company, and it’s important to find the most suitable person to discuss about your job application. At the time of the follow up, make sure you address them by using the right first name. Some companies make it easier by publishing contact information on the actual job advertisement. However, this is a highly unlikely occurrence. Either way, it should not take you a lot of time to find the correct person as there is a higher chance that you will be able to find them on LinkedIn. As the first step, go through the LinkedIn company page and find out the person in charge of recruiting or personnel. If the information is not available, try to find personal contacts on LinkedIn who works or has a second- or third-degree connection to someone in the organization. If there is a such person, reach out to them and ask questions regarding the position. You might even get a someone on the inside to help you out.

If you, however, run out of options to find out the information, just dial up the company reception desk and inquire about it. They will probably have all the information you need for your follow up.

How Much Time Should You Wait for a Response?

There is no definite answer to this question, and most recruiters will have different answers or ideas about this topic. However, if you have not gotten a reply from the company after seven to ten days, then you should certainly follow up. You should give the hiring managers plenty of time to go through all the applications, but not so much that you miss your chance by waiting too long to make the follow up call or email.

If you come across the job listing online, make sure to keep checking constantly. If the posting is still online, then the company probably has not yet moved on with a viable candidate. Once it is no longer available online, that is when you know that they have started to either eliminate the position or have hired someone to fulfill job duties.

What is the Best Method of Communication?

Sending an email follow up is the safest because according to popular research most people’s days are consumed by reading emails. A direct email sent to the hiring manager will help you get noticed without being a disruptor to their day’s activities. There is still a risk that your email may disappear into a spam folder. However, it is a better option when compared to not doing a follow up at all.

Most people would not mind a brief phone call to a follow up on a job application. However, some may find this intrusive as they may not prefer speaking to a person; they do not know. Unless there is a phone number provided on the job listing, an email is always the safer bet.

What about using a greeting card that is attention grabbing? It is risky. A few may surprisingly love it. It stands out and is an uncommon idea. However, it does have a high chance of being seen as gimmicky. The same applies for any gifts you may consider sending the hiring manager.

What Do You Say in the Follow Up Message?

The goal of your job application follow-up must be all about you trying to get your name to the top of the recruiting manager’s list by expressing your interest on their position opening. In the follow up email, make sure you give a brief introduction of who you are along with mentioning that you have submitted an application for the particular job and are interested in it.

This is where you could try to sell yourself a bit. Write a sentence or two to inform them why you would be the best candidate and the correct fit for the job opening. You must sound eager, but not too desperate. What is the difference between the two? Eagerness and enthusiasm will show your level of interest in a job opening, and a hiring manager may consider you as a great fit. Desperation will only show the hiring manager that you need this job ever so badly. This difference is quite easily noticeable as a hiring manager typically reviews hundreds of applications to find the best fit for their open positions.

Even though you want the hiring manager to respond to your follow up and give you details on how far ahead they are in the hiring process, you are in no position to demand information. So, invite them to get in contact with you or call you to set up an interview. Make sure it sounds both relaxed and friendly.

When you reach out to a hiring manager, make sure you follow the proper hiring etiquette. During your follow up by phone call or email, make sure it is to the point, short and sweet. Hiring managers will appreciate it.

Should you Follow up Your Job Application a Second Time?

No. This may sound too brisk, but the truth is you following up on the job application a second time by contacting the hiring manager, might do you no good, only bad. You may be under the impression that persistence may impress the hiring manager, but it won’t. In fact, it will most likely be working against you for being seen as annoying and/or needy.

Ways to Engage Hiring Decision Makers

Go through the social media of the company. Keep interacting with influencers on social media through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter so your name is in front of the key decision makers. You may have to stick to current topics and if the company tweets about a local event, you should send in a reply that pertains to the specific incident. Even though it is not the most appropriate place to mention about you having applied for a job within the company it certainly is a place to build relationships that will help you get you an interview.

Check to see if any of the employees or the company itself has a blog that they actively contribute company events. If they do, go through it and give some reflective feedback on relevant topics. Remember, what you want is to make them see you as an engaged and interesting personality that they would like to meet at a one-on-one level.

Final Thoughts (Bonus Tip)

Filling out many forms, going through your entire work history and playing the waiting game; in other words, the whole process of job hunting can get discouraging fast. Unfortunately for all of us, there is nothing we can do at the moment to make hiring managers look at the applications as soon we send them in and reply immediately. Therefore, keep applying to many jobs you are interested in, but make sure you keep a record of the all the times you send in your applications. Then, when the right time comes around, plan to follow-up, and that will help you get your name to the top of the pile on a stack of candidate resumes.

If you do your follow ups the correct way, it can certainly give a boost to your job application. Bear in mind that you should not sound too pushy or persistent as this will hurt the chances you have to land the job. But if you follow up thoughtfully, the answers you want will come to you with ease along with the added advantage of making a great impression on the hiring manager during the hiring process.

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