How to Follow Up After Submitting a Resume
You have submitted a job application or sent your resume to a company you'd love to interview with, but you haven't heard back. What should you do next? You can either wait patiently, presuming the employer will contact you if they are interested, or you can choose to follow up with the hiring manager.
Should You Follow Up?
Following up in a courteous, professional way can make you stand out in a positive light by showing the employer just how interested you are in the job.
If you are able to get in touch with a contact person, reaching out can help your resume get a closer look. Here are tips for the best way to follow up by phone or email.
How to Follow Up on Your Resume
If you don't hear back from the hiring manager within two weeks, it may be worth following up. Employers and recruiters usually prefer follow-up emails. That way they have a record of the correspondence and can respond at a convenient time.
If no email address is listed, you can try sending a paper letter or calling the company. If no email address or phone number are listed, or the posting says not to contact the employer, follow the instructions and wait to (hopefully) hear back.
Send an Email to Follow Up
Begin your email with a polite salutation, using the hiring manager’s name.
Subject: Job Title - Your Firstname Lastname.
Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname,
Body of the message. (see samples)
Thank you for your consideration.
Your Firstname LastName
Write a Follow-Up Letter
If you are writing a paper letter to follow up with the hiring manager, follow standard business letter format. Start with the hiring manager’s name, title, and company address. Be sure to include the date, and then begin your letter with a professional salutation and the hiring manager’s name.
Finish your letter by expressing your appreciation, using an appropriate closing, and including your signature and contact information.
ABC Company, Inc.
10 Main Street
Anycity, Anystate 11111
October 14, 2017
Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname,
Body of the letter. (see samples)
I appreciate your time and consideration.
Your Firstname Lastname
Make a Follow-Up Phone Call
When following up with a phone call, try early or late in the day, because people are less likely to be in meetings then. Try calling once or twice before leaving a brief message with your name and the job title you applied for. Thank the employer for their consideration, and say you’d be happy to clarify any information on your resume. Leave your phone number, so it’s handy for them to call you back.
If you reach the hiring manager, be brief and to the point.
Let him or her know your name and what position you applied for, then ask them to please contact you if there is anything they would like you to clarify or any additional information they need. Thank them for their time and consideration, and politely ask if you can give them a phone number where they can reach you.
Examples of What to Say
In your follow-up, it’s important to be as courteous and professional as possible. Any contact you have with the hiring manager has the potential to enhance—or harm—your chances of moving along in the hiring process. Let the employer know how interested you are in the position and how eager you are to meet for an interview.
Be sure to thank them for reviewing your resume and application materials. You can also ask questions about what to expect as the company moves toward a decision.
You can take the opportunity to add or clarify any information about qualifications you would like to highlight or briefly share new information that adds to your candidacy. If you are applying for an out-of-town position and you plan to visit the company’s location, mention the time frame, and ask if it’s possible to arrange an interview during your visit.
Some of the things you could say include:
- What are the next steps in the recruiting process?
- Will all candidates be contacted?
- Do you need any additional information about my candidacy?
- How many candidates are you going to interview?
- I’m pleased to let you know that I graduated cum laude from XYZ College in May and am looking forward to meeting with you to share what I can offer ABC Industries.
- I wanted to let you know that my article on the implications of social media marketing for millennials was recently published in the Harvard Business Review.
- I’ll be traveling to Milwaukee on May 15 and staying for a week, ahead of our move in July, and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you then.
Tips for Making the Call
When you do have a contact person, here are tips for what to say when you follow up with Brandi Britton, district president, Robert Half International:
- There are a couple of keys to following up with hiring managers. First, always be polite and respectful of their time. If you call, ask if that moment is good for them or if they'd prefer you call back at a later time. Whether by phone or email, don't contact employers more than twice, unless they request it.
- Perfect what you want to say. You should highlight your enthusiasm for the position while showing why you're a good fit for it. Don't just ask employers whether they received your resume. Mention your specific skills or experiences that will help the organization.
- When discussing why you are the right person for the job, keep the focus on the employer and how they will benefit by hiring you. Can you help with an upcoming expansion initiative? Do you have expertise in a new service line the company is entering? By demonstrating how you will help the company succeed, you can further distinguish yourself.