The job search process can seem long and often frustrating. But one bright spot is finding a job posting that you’re perfectly qualified for and excited about. So you craft the perfect cover letter and promptly send it off with your resume. Then, you wait for a response. You might wait weeks.
However, you shouldn’t write off the opportunity. Instead, take a proactive approach and follow up with the employer. There are a few ways in which you can go about this.
Follow Any Instructions in the Job Posting
First, you should double-check the job posting to make sure it doesn’t include any specific requests asking candidates not to follow up or to wait two weeks after submitting a resume to reach out. Also, if it’s been a week or two since you submitted your application, review the job posting again in case any information about follow-ups has been updated or edited. Whatever the instructions may be, follow them to the letter. You don’t want to disqualify your candidacy because you disregarded the hiring team’s requests.
Once you’ve confirmed any parameters that hiring managers may have set regarding following up on your resume, plan to wait at least a week, if not two, before contacting anyone.
Leverage Your Network
Spend that time looking for your own professional contacts. If you know anyone who works at the property, he or she could be a good place to start as far as asking for a status update. Also worth considering are your LinkedIn contacts. If you conducted an informational interview with anyone at the company prior to your job interview, you could also get in touch with that person to ask if the position has since been filled and if not, if they might suggest an appropriate contact with whom you can confirm that your resume was received.
Reach Out to the Hiring Manager
The hiring manager’s contact details were not likely included in the job posting. So you’ll have to do some research. Google and LinkedIn are good places to start. First, you’ll want to find out his or her name and then ideally, that person’s work email address. If a direct phone number is available, you could also call the hiring manager. However, emailing is usually recommended over calling because it documents your correspondence –and thus your interest in the position. It also allows the hiring manager to respond at their leisure.
Craft An Appropriate Message
Your follow-up email should be concise and to the point. Start by including the position title in the subject line. The body of your email should open by stating when you submitted your resume and cover letter and the fact that you’d like to confirm that it was received. You can also ask if they would share the next steps in the recruiting process.
The second paragraph should be used to succinctly explain why you’re a great fit for the role. However, you want to do this in no more than two sentences. You don’t want this email to be a long read or you’ll lose the hiring manager’s interest. You also want to briefly point out your most notable qualification for the job in a way that “wows” the hiring manager. In other words, you just want to pique their interest so that they then want to go look at your resume again.
Finally, close your email by thanking the hiring manager for his or her time and consideration and offer to provide any additional information on your professional background that they may need. If you’re planning to relocate to the city where the business is located and have plans to be in that area prior to your move, you can also let the hiring manager when you’ll be in town and that you’d be happy to meet with them during that time. Above all, thanking the hiring manager in this portion of your follow-up is essential.
End the email with your name and below that, include your phone number too.
Script Your Phone Call
If you do choose to call the hiring manager in order to follow up, know that this will very likely be a very brief call and that you might just go straight to voicemail. If the person on the other end does pick up, expect this call to last no more than two minutes. So you’ll need to know exactly what you want to accomplish in those two minutes and what you plan to say to do that. For example, if you want to confirm that your receive was received, introduce yourself, say what position you’ve applied for and when you applied and that you’d like to verify that your CV was received.
Yet, this question is likely to get you a simple yes or no and an abrupt end to the call. Instead, you might take the opportunity to ask what the next steps are in the hiring process. As this is a more open-ended question, you could get you more specific information such as when you can expect to hear back or if all candidates will be contacted, even those who are not being invited to interview.
If you can obtain this information from a call, you’ve done well. Think about this from a hiring manager’s perspective. They probably don’t want to field calls from everyone who’s submitted a resume to open positions at the company. They probably wouldn’t get much work if they did.
However, if the hiring manager seems open to giving you another minute of his or her time, you can reiterate your top qualification for the job. Again though, keep it short and to the point.
And as with an email follow-up, be sure to thank the hiring manager for their time before hanging up.