Following Up Your Applications

followToo often after you apply for an HR and/payroll job, you’re left wondering “Hey… wha’ happened?” The unfortunate fact of job seeking in 2016 is that employers are bad… check that… awful at following up. So you are left to play the “apply and wait” game. Fortunately, when you work with a recruiter like Willory, you will receive updates along the way. But if you are simply applying for positions you find online, here are some actions you can take to not only get answers, but maybe even land that elusive interview. Following up can separate yourself from the competition as it shows your interest – an important factor that employers consider.

Use LinkedIn and Your Network. Hopefully you have a robust network on LinkedIn – with people you actually know. Leverage this to find employees at companies where you apply. Ask them to contact the hiring manager and put in a good word.

When should you follow up? Sometimes postings will have a close date for applications – if there is, don’t contact anyone until a few days to a week after the posting has closed. If you follow up before you seem eager… but are you overeager or impatient? More often the job posting doesn’t provide a clear close date. In these cases wait a week and then follow up. Send an email or make a call. You will need to be careful and not put anyone on the defensive – people are busy and maybe they just haven’t reviewed resumes (or your resume) yet. Keep the tone of the conversation or email light and friendly, and, if you can, slip in a few questions and have a bit of a conversation if it seems appropriate.

Questions to ask.
When you call or write, good questions to ask on a follow-up call or email might include:

  • Where is the process now (screening, interviews, etc.)?
  • Have any decisions been made yet?
  • Is it okay to follow up again and if so – how should I follow up?
  • Will you be notifying all applicants of their status, regardless of whether they will receive an interview or not?
  • Is there any clarification or additional information that I could provide to help in your decision-making process on whether I be brought in for an interview?
  • What’s the timeframe for the hiring process?

Don’t overstep. Consider that a connection via a phone call CAN bring your resume to the top of the stack of applicants as it shows interest and a genuine desire to land the job. But if the posting says no phone calls, then don’t call. If it doesn’t and you get ahold of someone, make sure you respect the person’s time and ask if they can speak. And by all means, in the age of caller ID, don’t constantly call thinking that no voicemail message means they don’t know you are calling.

Hopefully follow-ups will help you; best case land your HR or payroll job, worst case provide clarification. But no matter what happens, keep your head up – looking for a position can be a long and arduous process. You won’t year back in most cases. It’s not you… it’s them.


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