Saturday, July 23, 2005

How often should I follow up?

You’ve sent your resume to a company but haven’t heard back. Or, you’ve interviewed with a company representative and days have gone by without a word regarding the next step. You’re interested in the position but you don’t want to be a nuisance. How often should you follow up with the company and how should you do it?

Email is the best follow up unless a company has specifically asked you to call. It is less intrusive and the hiring manager can answer at a time when they are not busy.

If you’ve sent a resume and not gotten a response within ten days, it is reasonable to send a follow up email. In your email, tell them the date that you sent your resume and say that you are checking to make sure they received it. Ask them to let you know if they haven’t so that you can send them another copy. Don’t attach another resume to this email (some hiring managers are annoyed by duplicate resumes).

If you still don’t hear back from them, assume that there is no interest and move on. A company that is interested in you will respond.

If you’ve already interviewed with the company but haven’t heard back, send an email at an appropriate time based on when they said they would get back in touch with you. For example, if they told you they would get back with you on Monday, it is reasonable to send an email on Wednesday re-expressing your interest in the position.

If you’re dealing with a recruiter rather than with the company directly, base your follow ups on the level of interest the recruiter expressed as well as when they said they would get back with you. Follow up no more often than every 10-14 days via email. Remember, recruiters are on the phone all day talking with companies that may result in them finding a job for you – you don’t want to take their time away from that! Do not send a resume with the follow up emails unless you have made revisions.

Good follow up shows an interest in a company and the position they offer. Keep good notes on your follow ups so you are staying in front of the hiring managers and recruiters at the companies you are targeting in your job search and you’ll be the candidate they remember when there is a new opportunity.


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