After you have created your cover letter and submitted your application, your next step will be to follow up on your application. Some applicants ask if they need to follow up, while others believe that if an employer wants to speak with them, they’ll call. However, when you want to stand head-and-shoulders above the other applicants, it will be time to pick up the phone or write an email and follow up with your prospective employer.
How Are Applications Screened?
In today’s market, most employers use an automated applicant tracking system to weed through the hundreds of applications and resumes they get. In some cases, your resume may not stand out from the rest if you didn’t use the correct keywords or integrate the right phrases from the job listing or the company website.
The automated system could have set your application aside as you did not fit the criteria the employer placed into the system. If you received an automated email saying your application has been received, this does not mean you sit back and wait until the company requests an interview.
Often there’s a reason it can take a little bit of time to hear back from a company since they have many moving parts in place and roles may change quickly. In some instances, the company may choose to delay following up so the company either seems desperate or it appears rude if your application is being rejected.
How Long Should You Wait to Follow Up?
In a recent study done by Robert Half, human resource managers were asked how long a job seeker should wait before following up on their application. None of the hiring managers said the applicant should not follow up, in other words following up is a must. The majority indicated between 1 to 3 weeks is a good amount of time to follow up on your application. So, while there is no fixed rule of the amount of time, there is a general understanding among human resource managers that following up is a must.
How Do You Follow Up on an Application?
Start by using your connections within the company, including the hiring managers contact details and write a follow-up email. Be polite in the body of your message and reiterate that you’re still interested in the position and why you are likely the perfect fit. Your email should be short, to the point and include your contact information. Although you might be tempted to pick up the phone and call, most communication is done digitally, and phone calls often require an appointment. A phone call out of the blue can do more harm than good.
In this early stage, there’s a lot you can do to demonstrate your value and difference from other applicants. Before following up, do your research on the company and be able to speak fluently about how you’re a good fit. Your subject line can be an indication that you are following up with the hiring manager and can say something like “position name, job application follow up.” Ask if the hiring manager needs any additional information and be sure you’re ready for a follow-up phone call. Try practicing what you might say to the hiring manager out loud if they call. You may also find it helpful to use a script.
How Much is Too Much?
However, unless the hiring manager set a deadline and failed to keep it, do not follow up more than twice. Once is expected, twice is acceptable but a third time is just a little creepy. Accept the fact that the company might not be interested in your skills and move on. If you are reduced to calling or emailing every day, it sounds like a red flag to the company and you definitely will not get a callback.
If you’re ready to start your job search and would like help finding just the right fit for your skills, call our professional recruiter at Stellar Staffing Solutions. We are ready to walk you through the application process!