Following Up on a Resume or Job Application
In any discussion about the merits and necessity of following up on a resume submission or job application there are too many issues to look at: there is the actual following up, and then there is the “pestering” that tends to drive potential employers crazy.
So, how do you follow up to the right amount without going too far? It is actually a very simple matter. You should start by creating a file folder for each job that you submit an application or resume for, and write the date of first contact clearly on the front of the folder. If you do not receive some sort of communication from the company directly within five business days, feel free to contact them to determine if the application was received. (This is not usually a problem, but it is worth tracking)
After you are sure that the application is in the midst of being processed you must control the urge to contact the company again. This is a tough time because it is the waiting period during which it is determined whether or not to give you an invitation for an interview.
If you have waited for two full weeks without word, go right ahead and re-read the letters or emails that you received when you submitted the application. Do they indicate a specific time period or a general time period? Most will say something like “we will be in touch within the next few days” or a similar statement. If two weeks has passed and no word is received you can call their offices ONCE and ask to double check about the submission.
If you do receive a response asking you for an interview with the recruiter or employer, note that on the folder and indicate the date (and all relevant details) about the appointment. As you prepare for the interview, it is a good idea to spend some time ensuring that your social networking pages are “clean” and that you have a business card to present to the interviewer on the day it occurs.
Once you have an interview it is likely that there will be one of two things said at its conclusion: “we’ll talk in a few days” or “thanks for coming in”. Though one is a sign of hope and the other an indicator that the job may not be yours, you need to always write a personal note of thanks on the day of the interview, or by the next afternoon. You can draft an email, but a handwritten thank you card is a nice way to acknowledge the opportunity and stand out from the crowd.