It can be nerve-wracking waiting to hear back after you’ve applied for a job. The waiting game is especially tough when you really want the job. Unfortunately, companies that post job listings in the public arena (such as online) often receive hundreds of resumes and may not get back to all applicants right away – if at all.
The good news is that you can be proactive by following up on your application. Of course, knowing when and how to follow up is key – you don’t want to come across as desperate or pushy. The following guide will help you plan your follow-up strategy to improve your chances of getting hired.
Why Follow Up On Your Job Application?
Many job applicants simply submit their applications and then move on to the next one. They’ll just continue searching for job openings and sending in their resume until someone calls them back. Although this strategy can eventually work, it’s not the most efficient way to get a job.
One of the best ways to boost your odds of getting hired is to follow up on your job applications. The following are a couple of reasons why you should take the time to follow up on your application.
It Shows Interest In The Job
When you follow up on your job application, it shows that you’re interested in the position. Doing so can be helpful if the hiring manager hasn’t made a decision yet or is still working their way through a stack of resumes.
By following up and expressing your interest in the job, you can put your name at the top of their minds and increase your odds of being considered for an interview. The hiring manager may even reconsider your resume if they were initially unsure whether you’d be a good fit.
It Allows You To See If The Job Is Still Available
Another reason to follow up on your job application is to find out if the position is still available. If it’s been a couple of weeks since you applied and you haven’t heard anything, the job may have been filled. If it has, you can move on without worrying about hearing back.
But if the position hasn’t been filled, you can inquire about the status of your application and see if there are any updates.
How Do Employers Want You To Follow Up?
When you’re ready to follow up on your job application, you should first read the original job listing carefully. Many employers will state in the listing how they prefer to be contacted by applicants. Read the job listing to determine the following:
- Does the employer state how to contact them?
Many employers will explicitly state how they want to be contacted by applicants. They may do this through an online form on the company website, by email, or by phone. If the employer states a preference, be sure to follow their instructions.
- Does the employer explicitly state not to contact them?
In some cases, employers may express that they do not want to be contacted by applicants. In this case, it’s best to move on and look for other job openings. Contacting the company, despite their explicit instructions not to, will only negatively affect your chances of getting the job if they’re still considering applicants.
- Does the employer give a date range of when you should expect a reply?
Many employers will tell you when you can expect to hear back from them after applying. If they give a date range, wait until the end of that range before following up.
- Does “no answer” mean no?
If you haven’t heard back from a job application yet, don’t worry. The employer may simply be taking their time reviewing applications and has yet to get to yours. This may particularly be true if the position was heavily advertised or if the company is high profile or highly sought after.
In these cases, it may be best to wait a little longer before following up.
Modes Of Communication You Can Use To Follow Up
If the job listing doesn’t give specific instructions, you can reach out to the employer in a few different ways.
The following are two common methods of communication you can use to follow up and what to keep in mind for each:
Email is generally the most effective way to follow up on a job application. It’s a professional method of communication and also allows you to track whether or not the hiring manager has read your email. Keeping a virtual paper trail of any written correspondence you have with potential employers is always a good idea.
The only drawback is that emailing an employer can sometimes be considered intrusive. Additionally, there’s also no guarantee that anyone will respond to your email, forcing you to wonder whether you need to follow up on your follow-up email.
If you have the hiring manager’s contact information, you can try following up with a phone call. Doing so is a good option if you’re worried your email might not be seen or want to make a good impression.
Additionally, by calling the hiring manager, you can get an immediate response to your query. You can also take advantage of the call to re-express your interest and help your name stand out from other applicants.
The drawback of calling over the phone is that it can come across as too pushy. You also risk interrupting the hiring manager if they’re in the middle of something else. Not to mention that it can be difficult to obtain the number of the hiring manager, particularly if you need to go through various secretaries or an automated phone system.
Tips For Following Up By Email
If you plan to follow up on your application by email, then there are a few things to remember to ensure that you follow up in an effective, respectful way. The following are some tips to help you write the perfect follow-up email:
Use The Right Contact Information
When writing your email, be sure to use the correct contact information. If the job listing provides an email address, use that. If not, try to find the email address of the hiring manager online or using other means.
If you use the wrong email address, there’s a chance your email will never be seen, which is why it’s essential to do your research and find the right contact information before sending anything.
When writing your email, be sure to keep it professional. Use a formal tone and avoid any slang or acronyms. You should also avoid using any emojis or other informalities. Remember, you’re trying to make a good impression, so keep things professional.
Keep It Brief
When writing your email, be sure to keep it brief. Hiring managers are busy and don’t have time to read a novel. Your follow-up email is not an opportunity to provide information that you couldn’t fit onto your resume – so do not treat your email as an extension of your application. Instead, get to the point and ensure your email is no longer than a few sentences.
Ask Your Follow-Up Question
Your email should have a specific purpose. In most cases, you’ll be following up to ask a specific question. For example, you could inquire about the status of your application or ask for feedback on your interview. Whatever it is, be sure to include your question in the email so the hiring manager can easily answer it.
Let The Company Know You’re Interested
When following up, you must let the employer know you’re still interested in the position. A simple statement such as, “I am still very interested in the position and would love to hear back from you soon,” is usually sufficient.
It’s also a good idea to clarify that you haven’t lost interest and are still eager to hear from them. Doing so will remind the hiring manager of your application and help to keep your name at the top of their mind.
Express Your Gratitude
When following up to an application, be sure to express your gratitude. Doing so shows that you appreciate the opportunity to interview for the job and are thankful for their time. A simple statement such as, “Thank you for your time and consideration,” can work.
This gratitude will help to create a positive impression and, as a result, the hiring manager may be more likely to respond positively to your email.
Tips For Following Up By Phone
When following up on your job application by phone, you should keep a few things in mind to make sure you leave a positive impression. The following are a few tips to help you make the perfect follow-up call:
Stick To The Script
When making your phone call, prepare a script. Having a script will ensure that you stay on track and don’t forget anything important. Your script should include an introduction, your reason for calling, and a conclusion. A script will also help ensure you don’t get nervous and start rambling – or even worse, say something you shouldn’t.
Let Them Lead The Conversation
When speaking with the hiring manager, let them lead the conversation. Don’t try to take control or steer the conversation in any particular direction. Instead, let the hiring manager take the lead. Doing so will help ensure you keep the conversation focused on what’s important.
Be Brief, Professional, And Polite
When speaking with the hiring manager, keep things brief. Remember, they’re probably swamped and don’t have time to chat. So, get to the point and make sure your call is no longer than a few minutes.
Additionally, be sure to remain professional and polite throughout the conversation. Doing so will help you make a good impression and increase the chances of getting a positive response.
Timing Is Key
When following up on your job application, keep in mind the schedule of the hiring manager. You don’t want to call or email too soon, as this could annoy them or make them feel like you’re being pushy. Additionally, you don’t want to try to contact them at a time that is inconvenient for them.
With that in mind, consider the following:
How Long Should You Wait To Follow Up?
When it comes to following up on your job application, timing is everything. You don’t want to call or email too soon, as this could annoy the hiring manager or make you appear desperate. Ideally, you should wait a week before following up.
Doing so will give them enough time to review your application and make a decision. If you don’t hear back from the hiring manager after a week, you can follow up with a phone call or email.
The Worst Times To Contact Hiring Managers
When trying to contact the hiring manager, there are a few times of the day you should avoid. If you’re calling by phone, avoid doing so first thing in the morning when hiring managers are just getting into the office.
Additionally, avoid calling during lunchtime or right before they’re getting ready to leave for the day. These are times when hiring managers are likely to be busy or distracted and may not have time to speak with you.
If you’re sending an email follow-up, avoid doing so on a Monday. Mondays are when hiring managers are likely to be buried under a mountain of emails from the weekend. Additionally, avoid sending follow-up emails late at night or on the weekends. These are times when hiring managers are likely to be out of the office. As a result, your email may get buried in their inbox.
Using Your Connections In The Company
If you have a connection at the company, mention this when following up. Your connection could be a mutual friend, a former colleague, or someone you met at an industry event. Having a connection will give you a foot in the door and increase the chances of getting your application noticed.
Just be sure not to oversell your connection or use it as a way to bypass the application process. If you have a genuine connection in the company, reach out to them and ask them to put in a good word for you with the hiring manager.
Or, if you don’t have the hiring manager’s contact information, then you might be able to ask your connection if they could get the details for you. Be sure to offer to help your connection in return for keeping you posted about the position as a professional courtesy.
What To Avoid Doing When Following Up
Although there are plenty of good reasons to follow up on your application, doing so can negatively affect your chances of getting hired if you don’t do it the right way. The following are a few things you should avoid when following up:
- Don’t disregard what the company says in its listing: If a company says “no phone calls,” that means they don’t want a phone call from you. It’s unprofessional to ignore this request, and it shows that you can’t follow directions.
- Don’t call or email every day: Contacting the company every day is a surefire way to annoy the hiring manager. If you don’t hear back after your first follow-up, give it a week or two before trying again.
- Don’t follow up more than twice: If you don’t hear back after your first follow-up, wait a week or two and then try again. If you don’t hear back after your second follow-up, it’s time to move on. Continuing to follow up will only make you look desperate and likely annoy the hiring manager, impacting your future chances of getting a job with that company.
- Don’t show up in person: This is a major no-no. Showing up unannounced is highly disruptive and may make the hiring manager feel uneasy. Avoid showing up in person as it will most likely destroy any chances of securing a job interview, much less a job offer.
- Don’t be rude: Even if you’re feeling frustrated, it’s important to remain professional. Hiring managers are busy people and likely receive hundreds of applications for each open position. It’s possible that your application got lost in the shuffle, so there’s no need to take it out on the hiring manager.
- Respect boundaries: Once you’ve submitted your application, it’s important to respect the hiring manager’s boundaries. This means avoiding attempts to connect with them on social media or any other platform outside of the job application process.
Don’t Give Up – Keep On Searching For Your Dream Job
Following up is a good way to show that you’re interested in the position and willing to go the extra mile. Still, it’s important to remember that not all follow-ups will result in a positive response. If you don’t hear back or receive an unfavorable response, it’s important to continue your job search. There are plenty of other opportunities out there!
O2 Employment is here to help you find them. We specialize in job placement for various industries. Our knowledgeable team can help you find the right opportunity for your skillset.