When searching for a job, sometimes the most stressful time in the whole process is waiting for a phone call or email. The wondering… Should I follow up or not? Well, the answer is you most definitely should!

If weeks go by since you have turned in your resume, don’t wait. You can check the company’s website to see if the posting is still listed or if it states that the position has been filled. Call or email the employer to inquire if they received your application. Introduce yourself and reiterate your qualifications. You don’t want to seem pushy, however, you DO want to seem interested in the company and the position. Following up also gives you another chance to sell your credentials that match the posting.

Now, the question you are most likely asking is, when do I follow up? Always include in your cover letter your intent to follow up. Give it a couple of days to two weeks follow up time. “If you do not hear anything from the company after your follow-up e-mail or phone call, continue with your job search, but do not give up hope. By contacting them repeatedly, you risk burning a bridge either during the process or later on,” said Dr. Patrick Madsen, director of professional career services at The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Tips for Following Up
Here are some useful guidelines to consider before you follow up with prospective employers.

General Tips:

  • No matter how busy you are, follow up on all leads.
  • As we talked before, follow up in a timely fashion.
  • Create a job leads log, so you have a record of your job-search and follow up.
  • Even if the posting is for an online application, also send a hard copy to the hiring manager via postal mail. You will stand out over the other applicants.
  • Keep your follow up brief, to the point, and professional.
  • Ask the hiring manager if he/she needs any further information not included in your cover letter, resume, or application.
  • Focus your follow up around your fit with the position and organization.
  • If you recently completed training, received an award, or earned some other recognition that would make you an even better candidate for the position, be sure to mention it in your follow up.
  • Don’t overdo it, but always continue to follow up regularly.

Remember, always, always, always follow up. If you are afraid of a no, don’t be! It may be discouraging to find out that you may not have gotten the job, but at least you know and can move on. Resist that urge to just resend your resume with no follow up call or email.