How to Follow Up on a Job Application

How to Follow Up on a Job Application

Applying for jobs is frustrating, to say the least. You take the time to do the job search, understand the position, and fill out the application. And then, you wait. All too often, people wait and assume that an employer is not interested in hiring you. But successfully getting a job takes more than waiting. You need to follow up on your job applications, or you risk being forgotten. Learn how to follow up on your job applications without seeming too pushy.

Why Do You Need to Follow Up?

Job applicants often assume that there's no need to follow up on their applications. After all, won't an employer be eager to contact you if they like what they see? This isn't always the case. It's crucial to keep in mind that managers often receive hundreds of resumes of job listings.

Because there are so many other applicants, employers often miss some applications. They also tend to forget which applications really stand out. Although a hiring manager might like your application, they could forget to contact you.

Sending a follow-up ensures that you don't get forgotten. If an employer missed your resume, your follow-up will bring it to your attention. If they forgot to contact you, the follow-up prompts them to do so.

A follow-up is also a way to stand out from the competition. It makes sure that you stay in the mind of the hiring manager, which improves your chances of getting the job.

How to Follow Up on Your Application

After you submit your application, take matters into your own hands and send a follow-up. Follow these steps to improve your chances of success:

1. Write Down the Recipient's Email

Every time you apply for a new position, take note of the email address of the recipient. Be organized and keep track of the information in a spreadsheet. Once you start applying for multiple jobs, it can be difficult to stay organized. Make sure the email address goes into the spreadsheet as soon as you apply for a job.

2. Research Unknown Recipient Emails

At times, there is no contact email for a job listing. In this case, don't give up. You can follow up, as long as you get more creative and be proactive.

Head to the company's website and look for names of people in your desired department. Even if you only find a name, write it down. If you find an email, your work is done and you can contact them.

If you only have a name, you need to dig a little deeper. Look up the name and the company name together, and see if you can find an email address. Mention that you discovered they may be a person of influence, and explain your situation. Say that you're reaching out to show your interest in the position.

In some cases, there is no email associated with the name. You can remedy this by calling the reception desk of the company. Tell them you're trying to reach someone and ask for their email address. As a last resort, look on social media or LinkedIn for more details.

It’s worth mentioning that you can also make your inquiry over the phone. If you have no email for a contact but you do have a phone number, call them directly. Speak to them or leave a brief voicemail.

3. Wait One Week

It takes time for a hiring manager employer to look over resumes and applications. For that reason, don't be too eager to follow up. Make sure you wait at least one week before checking in to make sure they received your application.

If you wait too long, the employer may have moved on in the hiring process. To prevent this from happening, don't wait longer than about a week to contact them.

When you do send your email, be friendly and warm. Explain that you're excited about the position, and you can show them that you're passionate about the job.

4. Don't Give Up

If you've already sent a follow-up but haven't heard back from them, don't give up. Send a short note to them after another week goes by. Try to keep the note short, limiting it to two paragraphs. In the note, express your interest in the position and ask what the next steps may be.

This note is also a great opportunity to show the company that you’re a person who can solve their problems. If you know of any current issues they’re experiencing, write down a few ways in which you can help. Don't go overboard with three paragraphs, but be detailed enough to convince them of your value. This is a great way to get a hiring manager to notice you.

5. Be Passionate

If you use a standard form for your follow-up note, you don’t do yourself any favors. It’s obvious when someone sends out a generic note, and it shows that you didn’t take much time to reach out. Even if you use a generic template, make it unique for each specific position and company.

For the best results, you should be passionate and positive. A lack of passion and confidence is never a good thing when it comes to the job search. Keep your tone upbeat and the people reading your note will notice.

6. Don’t Let Doubt Creep In

There will be times when an employer doesn’t respond to your application or to your inquiries. While this might make you want to give up on future attempts to follow up on applications, don’t give in to the feeling. You can’t be sure why they didn’t contact you, and it’s probably not a reflection of you.

During the job search, it’s more important than ever to be sure of yourself. Just because one prospective employer failed to respond to your follow-up doesn’t mean that all of them will. As you resume your job search, continue to inquire about your application.

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