After submitting your resume and cover letter to a potential employer, it’s a good idea to follow up and check in a short time later. This can help you make sure your materials have been received, and it can also let employers know that you’re serious about the job. Professional follow-up sends a double message: a) You want this position, and b) You’re the kind of person who commits to a task and doesn’t give up until the job gets done.
But it’s also possible to take this message too far and become a relentless pest who seems oblivious to hints and situational cues. And that’s not the kind of candidate most employers want to bring on board. So how can you tell the difference between a polite, firm reminder and a clamoring nuisance? Keep these guidelines in mind.
1. After the Initial Resume Submission
Professional follow-up looks like this: The candidate waits two days for a confirmation, doesn’t receive one, and decides to take action. She sends a short, respectful email copied to both the hiring manager for the role and the HR manager for the company. The message says simply: “Hello Qualco staffing team! I noticed your post for the Account Manager position on a national job board earlier this week and I submitted by resume two days ago. I’m very excited about this job and I’d like to make sure my application materials have been received. Do you have them? If not, just let me know and I’ll resend. I’m looking forward to speaking with you further about the position. Thanks for your attention!”
Annoying pushiness looks like this: One hour after submitting his resume, the candidate becomes frustrated by the lack of response from the company. He sends an email copied to every senior member of the department, the HR manager, the CEO of the company, and the CEO’s assistant. The message says: “I submitted my resume earlier and have not yet received a response or acknowledgement. I believe I am the perfect candidate for this position and would appreciate confirmation that my materials have been received. Please acknowledge this email, and please let me know where I stand in the candidate selection process.” The candidate supplements this email with a series of increasingly urgent voicemail messages. The next day, as soon as the sun rises, he repeats the cycle.
2. Two Weeks Later
Professional follow-up looks like this: The candidate has received confirmation of her resume submission and has been told that interviews will be scheduled by the end of the following month. She thanks the person who delivered this message. Then she returns to her job search, scanning job boards, applying for several positions each day, scheduling informational interviews, and attending networking events. By the time these interviewers call her (at the end of the following month), she already has several other interviews lined up and has received at least one offer.
Annoying pushiness looks like this: The candidate receives confirmation of his submission and is told that a decision will be made by the end of the following month. A week later, he becomes impatient and calls the company again. He sends a fresh email “reminder” every day for the next several weeks, meanwhile ignoring other opportunities and focusing relentlessly on this job, and only this job. By the end of the following month, his resume has landed in the recycle bin and he’s back to square one.
Keep Your Resume In the Running
Smart, socially savvy candidates submit their materials and allow the company to open a dialogue when the time comes. But first, they visit LiveCareer and create a resume that commands attention.