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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Waiting Game: When & How to Follow Up on a Job Application

You found a job posting for the job of your dreams. You sent off your application ten days ago, and still haven't heard anything from the employer. Now what?

 As a general rule, large firms participating in on-campus recruitment ask candidates not to contact them during the application process because of the high volume of applications they receive. For all other job applications, always check the original job posting to see the employer's preferred method of communication before making contact. Some job postings clearly state "No phone calls or emails." If that is the case, then you are going to have to sit tight and wait until you hear from them. Other job postings may say, "No phone calls, email OK." Other employers may be open to having candidates call the office and will have the contact name and telephone number listed.

 When to Follow Up: If the posting does not say otherwise, it is fine to call or email the hiring contact two to three weeks after sending your application.

What to Say: When following up on a job application it is important to convey your continued interest in the position while not sounding too pushy. Begin the phone call by stating your name and the job you applied for, then let them know that you are still very interested in the position and ask them where they are in the hiring process. If the hiring contact tells you they will get back to you in two weeks and you do not hear from them after those two weeks, wait a few more days before following up with them for a second time.

Following Up After the Interview
At the end of an interview, always ask the interviewer when they expect to make their decision. Send a thank you note to the interviewer immediately after your interview to reiterate your interest in the position.  If you do not hear back from the employer after the stated deadline, give them a few more days before calling to check on your status and follow the same rules for calling as above.  

Unfortunately, not every employer will get back to you in a timely fashion and some may never get back to you at all. The best you can do as a job applicant is to let them know you are still very interested in the position and then wait patiently.

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