Learn what to say when following up on a job application.
By Hallie Crawford
"DO I REALLY NEED TO follow up on a job application?"
Clients ask this all the time. Or they'll issue this sort of statement: "If they want me, they will call me."
This is the wrong approach to take. Once you have submitted your application for a job, unless the hiring manager tells you specifically not to follow up, you can't just leave the application hanging out there and wait.
Because job candidates now get automated emails saying their applications have been received, many people feel like they cannot follow up because their materials have already been acknowledged. But this doesn't mean you should passively check your voicemail or email in case the company eventually requests an interview.
Find a way to follow up. Doing so does not make you look unprofessional. Your priority as an applicant is to demonstrate to the employer what you would be like as an employee if hired, and following up on a job application after a reasonable amount of time shows that you are interested in the position, organized and assertive – just like you would be if you got the job.
Here's how to follow up on a job application:
By LinkedIn message.
Through your network (on LinkedIn or otherwise).
Here's what to say when following up a job application.
Make sure that your tone, whether written or spoken, is polite and professional. Do not demand information about your job application and keep your communication short.
When following up on a job application by email, make sure that your subject line is clear. Something like "Position Name Job Application Follow-Up" lets the hiring manager know right away the purpose of your email. In the body of the message, state the date on which you submitted your job application. Then ask the following three questions:
Was my application received?
Can you please provide the approximate time frame for the recruiting process?
Do you need any additional information?
Finally, include a short statement about how you are still interested in the position and why you would be a good fit.
You can also reach out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Follow the same guidelines as above for writing a LinkedIn message.
Many job seekers do not prepare for phone follow-ups or voicemail messages as well as they should. To make an impressive follow-up call, practice what you want to say out loud. You may even find it helpful to write scripts that you can read word for word in case the hiring manager picks up the call or you get her voicemail machine. Make sure that you have practiced enough so that you sound natural and confident. If you need to leave a message for the hiring manager, remember to state your phone number in your message.
You may also be able to follow up using your network. If you have a connection who works at the organization, you can reach out to him and ask if he has any details about the hiring process. You can also ask if he could give you the contact details of the hiring manager if there was no follow-up information provided on the job application. Otherwise, you can look on the company's website to search for the hiring manager's contact information.
Here's when to follow up on a job application.
Generally speaking, one week after submitting your job application is an appropriate time to follow up.
To keep track of your outstanding applications, create a running list of the positions for which you have applied. In a spreadsheet, digital document or on paper, include the following details:
- The company and job title.
- Hiring manager contact information (name, phone number and email address).
- The date you submitted your application.
- Any notes about the follow-up process.
- Don't underestimate the importance of following up on your job application. This will set you apart from other job seekers and ensure that your resume didn't get lost in someone's inbox. Take the initiative with this important step to try and secure your job interview.
Hallie Crawford (MA, CPCC) is a certified career coach, speaker, author and U.S. News Careers contributor. As a certified coach for over 18 years, Ms. Crawford and her team of coaches and resume/LinkedIn experts specialize in career direction, job search and work performance coaching. Her coaching company, HallieCrawford.com, has helped professionals worldwide identify, secure and succeed in their dream job. Her team of coaches work with people of all ages, and have helped thousands achieve their career goals. Ms. Crawford has authored multiple books helping others advance, improve or change careers including, “Identify Your Ideal Career,” “Flying Solo, Critical Career Transition Tips for Professionals,” “5 Keys to Finding Your Ideal Career” and “Jumpstart Your Job Search”. She is also regularly featured as a career expert in the media, including on CNN, Fox Business News, The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger and Forbes.com. Connect with HallieCrawford.com on LinkedIn or contact them at http://www.halliecrawford.com/contact-us/.