STEP THREE to Getting the Interview: FOLLOW UP!


Application black holes are the worst. Are you biting your nails from the uncertainty that comes with not knowing the status of your application? You might even be losing sleep. You REALLY want the job. A lot of effort went into getting you to this point. You spent countless hours working on a resume, scouring the web for a position that meets your criteria, and filling out an application. Instead of waiting around for someone to reach out to you, be proactive. Set a reminder to follow up with the company. Don’t call the minute you click ‘send’ or one hour after submitting your application. You might come across as annoying or desperate instead of excited and invested. The person who is receiving your application most likely has other duties and responsibilities to complete that day. They aren’t staring at their inbox waiting for a job submission to come through. Wait a MINIMUM of 24 hours before sending an email or picking up the phone to follow up. Ideally, contact the company three to five days after applying. This will allow someone enough time to receive and review your application. Then, they can set a task to reach out when they have time. Again, they likely have other business to complete that day. Don’t wait more than three weeks to follow up. At that point, too much time has passed, and you can move on to other opportunities. While you are waiting to follow up, keep applying for jobs. You don’t want to limit yourself.

How to reach out:

  1. Find out who to contact. Is there a phone number or email address on the ‘careers’ page? Is there an employee or department name on that same page? Do you know someone in HR/hiring? If you can’t find out any information on who to contact, call the main line.
  2. Draft your email or practice your script. You want to be prepared when someone picks up the phone. Planning can help calm nerves and ensure a smooth conversation. Use grammar tools if you send an email. If you are working with a recruiter, they can coach you through this step.
  3. Send the message or make the call. Try to keep it brief and remember to be polite. It seems obvious, but ‘How are you?’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’ go a long way.

You follow up because you want to know what stage your application is sitting at. Did they receive it? Have they reviewed it yet? Is someone going to reach out? Am I qualified? Did they select a different applicant to interview? Following up after submitting a job application can ease job search stress because you know where you stand with the company. You might find out you are in the running – great news! Now, it’s time to prep for potential next steps, like a phone interview. However, if you find out that the hiring manager decided you weren’t a good fit for the position, keep your chin up. Know that it wasn’t the right opportunity for you and move on to other prospects. Following up can help you decide where to focus your time and energy throughout your job search. If you aren’t sure how to follow up or need guidance with your job search, submit your resume to Career Professionals to partner with an expert recruiter.

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