The writing, editing, and proofreading are finally over. You’ve hit “Send,” and your perfectly tailored resume and cover letter are with your prospective employer. Tingles of anticipation run up and down your spine as you daydream about the call you’ll soon be receiving for an interview. Think you can relax? Think again. Support all that hard work by following through with an additional step. If you really, truly want the job, continue to show your interest after you have sent your application.
If you have submitted your application materials directly to someone in the company or to the company’s HR department, place a phone call or send an email to reiterate your desire to learn more about the position. Don’t become a nuisance, but do be persistent. Use the opportunity to present your basic qualifications and affirm your interest in the company.
Follow these basic guidelines for constructive follow-up, and you won’t go wrong:
• Be persistent but not pesky. Two calls in one day are overkill; two calls in one week are probably fine.
• Be prescriptive in your requests. Ask specifically for what you want, whether it’s to schedule an interview or to have a casual chat on the phone.
• Keep the ball in your court. You’ll probably feel more in control if you can plan the next steps rather than wait by the phone.
• Make yourself easily available. Provide a number where a message can be left at any time.
Employers say that at this early stage, there is a fine line between the interested candidate and the pushy one. But the hiring staff we interviewed unanimously said it couldn’t hurt and could most definitely help your application if you take some time to follow up by contacting them in a respectful manner—a few calls or emails, and that’s it.