For some job openings, employers might receive hundreds of resumes. There are things you can do to stand out among the rest. For example, sending a follow up note to the hiring manager. It’s estimated that two thirds of workers don’t follow-up after submitting their resumes for consideration, which means those who do will stand out.
It’s important to remember that there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to follow up. Follow these do’s and don’ts to consider when following up with the hiring manager.
DO contact the right person
It’s so important to contact the right person in the follow-up process. After all, you’d probably be peeved if people were contacting you for the wrong reasons. While the job description may not include contact information, there are some easy ways to obtain it. Use databases or check out who posted the job on social media. By doing a little detective work, you’ll be able to find the right point of contact.
DON’T call or email if the job description explicitly says not to
It’s vital that you follow all directions, even if they go against follow-up protocol. For instance, if a job description explicitly says no phone calls or emails, this means no phone calls or emails. Although it’s not exactly the best scenario for your candidacy, you have to respect the wants and needs of an organization.
Instead, do little things to “follow-up” such as becoming a fan of the organization on Facebook or mentioning them on Twitter. While you shouldn’t be too obvious, these little gestures can help you to stand out.
DO take schedules into account
Employers are busy people. They may not have time to respond to every email or call back every candidate. Although you did take the time to apply for the position, you have to understand the schedules of the hiring department, especially if the position is highly coveted.
Here’s a tip: Following up after one week is pretty customary, no matter how busy an employer may be. If the job description says anything else — such as following up after two weeks or sending them a message on LinkedIn — be sure to keep these methods in mind, as well.
DON’T follow-up more than twice
While not everyone may agree, it’s okay to follow-up on your follow-up. Emails can always get lost in the shuffle or the employer may have forgotten to respond to you. However, anything more can be seen as annoying and overbearing, especially if it’s the same message twice. Oftentimes, an employer may have “mentally” acknowledged they got a message or voicemail and simply decided to leave it at that. Once you’ve followed up twice, you’ve done your part and should wait for things to unravel organically.
DO cut your losses if there’s radio silence
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes you need to cut your losses. It’s nothing personal — nor should you take it as such — but sometimes someone was just more qualified than you. When this happens, you can either get angry or you can learn from your mistakes.
For example, if you evaluate how your candidacy could have been improved, such as sending in higher quality writing samples or following directions better, you can move forward as a smarter job seeker.
If you’re not landing interviews, take a look at how you’re following up after you send in your application. You’ll likely find a connection between how you contacted an employer and the outcome of your candidacy.