How To Follow Up On A Job Application – The Process Of Finding A New Job

How To Follow Up On A Job Application – The Process Of Finding A New Job

The process of finding a new job can be incredibly stressful. First, you have to decide what kind of work you’re looking for. Then, you find out what companies have openings. At last, you apply. But what’s next? After everything, you still have to sit and wait to hear back from the company itself.

Waiting to hear back about a potential new job can be daunting. You’ll likely feel excited and nervous and maybe even a little anxious. You want to make the best impression you can, but you don’t want to be annoying or limit your chances of getting a call back from the company of your dreams. So, what do you do?

Below, we’ll address your questions and give some insight to the ins and outs of following up on a job application. You’ll learn how to follow up on a job application and what to say when you do. But remember, each situation is unique, and you should always use your best judgment when looking for new employment.

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Should You Follow Up?

If you’ve been waiting to hear back about a specific job for a while, then you’ll likely be tempted to reach out and inquire about your application. But, what should you say? And, is following up even the right move?

Before you reach out to the hiring department of your desired employer, take some time to reflect. Ask yourself these questions to determine if following up is the best choice right now:

  • Do you already know when to expect a response?
  • Does the company accept applicant follow-ups?
  • How long has it been since you submitted your application?
  • Will your follow-up action add value to your application?
  • Have you already followed up with this company?
  • What is your purpose for following up?

In general, following up with a job application can be an excellent career move. However, it’s important to take into consideration your specific circumstances. The questions above will assist you in figuring out why you want to follow up if the company wants you to follow up, and what you want to learn from your inquiry.

Typically, it’s best to wait a week or so before you follow up with a recruiter or hiring manager. However, if the job listing specifies not to e-mail or call about your application, be sure you honor that request. Remember, the people you are reaching out to have full schedules and likely have a limited amount of time to field cold calls.

How to Follow Up on a Job Application

If you decide that reaching out will help your application stand out, your next step is learning how to follow up on a job application. There are three main ways that you can follow up on your application. Each method comes with its own set of pros and cons, and each is an effective way to find out more about the status of your application.

Follow Up in Person

You may be so excited by the potential new employer that you want to literally show up at the business and make a great “first impression.” For some situations, this method may work well. But, for many companies, this kind of surprise visit can be unwanted. In general, if you submitted your application in person, it’s okay to stop by and check on it.

If you choose to follow up in person, be sure to put your best foot forward. Keep in mind that each time your potential employer sees you, they are making mental notes about how you would fit into their company. To present your best self, dress appropriately, be polite, and be ready to interview then and there.

Follow Up by Phone

As the popularity of digital communication increases, following up by phone is becoming increasingly less popular. While job candidates may wish to show off their “cold calling” skills to a potential employer, it’s important to remember that hiring managers already have a full day of work planned.

Unexpected phone calls may be an unwanted interruption in an otherwise busy workday. And, unlike following up in person, this method does not provide applicants with the best means for putting their best foot forward. Unless you know precisely that your potential employer prefers phone communication, it may be best to back burner this idea.

Follow Up by Email

Following up on a job application by email is perhaps the most popular means of reaching out to a potential employer. Email offers applicants the ability to make themselves stand out without interrupting the regular workflow of potential employers. For most job applications, this will be your best option.

When you reach out to a potential employer through email, be sure to make yourself stand out. Don’t merely ask where you stand in the application process, delve into why you’re a perfect fit for the position. Do some research and make sure that your goals align well with the company’s goals.

Also, if you are making a jump from one industry to another, be sure to highlight your relevant experience. While it may be apparent to you how something from your previous work applies to this new pursuit, recruiters may not connect the dots as quickly. Keep your email short, but don’t hesitate to explicitly state why you think you’ll be a great fit.

As a final note, if you don’t know the email address of who you're following up with, consider looking for them (or the company) on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is specifically designed to connect professionals, so it is a great place to highlight your skills and follow up on applications.

What to Say When Following Up

woman talking to 2 men

Regardless of how you choose to follow up on your application, you’ll want to be prepared. Part of that preparation means knowing what to say and how to get the answers you’re looking for. After all, what’s the purpose of following up if you don’t gain any new information or make yourself stand out?

First and foremost, whenever you follow up with a potential employer, be polite. It may seem obvious, but you should be respectful, kind, and friendly with every company representative you interact with. It’s likely that you are not their only applicant, and a friendly demeanor can set you apart from other candidates.

In addition to using your manners, it’s important to sell yourself. Reiterate why you’re interested in the job you applied for as well as why you want to work for that specific company. Additionally, let your skills shine. As we mentioned above, you should explain to your follow up contact why you are the best person for the job.

Last but not least, be sure to thank the recruiter or hiring manager for the opportunity to apply to their company. This step shows that you are grateful for the chance to be considered and eager to join their business. Plus, as we mentioned above, a little bit of kindness goes a long way. Don’t forget that you’re talking to a person, not an entity.

Reasons Why You Should Follow Up

Whether you are dying to get out of your current job, or merely looking to expand your horizons, there are many reasons why you should learn how to follow up on a job application. Each situation is unique, but if you aren’t sure why you should follow up, consider the reasons outlined below.

Following up with a potential employer shows that you are serious about the application that you submitted. It gives the business a sense that you will be a responsible employee dedicated to seeing a task through to the end.

Additionally, by following up on your application, you’re likely to set yourself apart from other potential candidates. Taking this extra step to thank your potential employer and further explain what you have to offer puts a personality to the name on your application.

As a bonus, following up with the hiring manager of the company you’re interested in is an excellent way to network. Even if the company decides to hire a different applicant, you may be able to get useful feedback from the hiring manager you’ve been in contact with. Also, if you decide to apply for another job, later on, you’ll already have a connection in the building.

Perhaps the most obvious reason to follow up is merely to find out where you stand. It can be frustrating to feel like you’re trying your hardest to find employment and not hearing anything back. By reaching out to companies you’ve applied with, you can find out whether or not you’ve cut.

Tips for the Follow Up

Answering For Professional Reasons

While following up on a job application can be a useful tool in the jobseeker's proverbial toolbox, how you implement this skill can make or break your prospects. Below you’ll find a few tips and tricks for highlighting the value you have to offer without making yourself a nuisance.

  • Choose One Follow Up Method
  • Don’t Pester the Hiring Manager
  • Let Your Personality Shine
  • Respect Any Timelines You’ve Already Been Given
  • Keep Your Follow Up Short and Sweet

By following the advice in this article, learning when and how to follow up on a job application should be no problem. You’ll be able to make yourself stand out without seeming annoying. And, you’ll likely increase your chances of getting hired. Just remember to highlight why you’re a great candidate and put your best foot forward.

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