Following up: The Dos and the Don’ts

Posted on 26. Mar, 2015 by



dos-and-dontsWhen applying for a position it is always a good idea to follow up on your application, right? Yes, but there is definitely an etiquette that every job seeker should follow.

As a recruiter, I am constantly being “followed up” with and honestly, it takes up a lot of my day. I value the relationships I have with my candidates and it is important to keep open communication but how much follow up is too much?

If you submit an application for a position, I suggest waiting AT LEAST a week before you send a follow up email/phone call. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are very busy and sometimes it takes them a couple days to get a chance to look at your resume. There is no need to submit a resume and then immediately follow up with a call to see if they received your resume. A short email/voicemail a week after your application is submitted is totally acceptable. Something along the lines of, “I sent in my application last week and I was just following up to see if it was received. Thank you for your time.” The recruiter will most likely get back to you and let you know that your resume was in fact received and that it will be reviewed shortly.

The first impression a recruiter/hiring manager has of you could make or break your chance of getting an interview. If you come off as professional and ambitious, the recruiter will think highly of you. If you come off as pushy and argumentative, chances are that the recruiter is not going to go out of their way for you.

If you are working with a staffing firm, following up every week to check in about new positions is a little excessive unless the recruiter specifically asks you to. Typically if a recruiter has a position that fits your background they will reach out to you to discuss the role, however sending them a short email every couple of weeks to keep them updated on your job search status and inquiring about new positions is a great way to follow up.

Recruiters don’t always have the best reputation in terms of responding to applications or providing feedback, but like I mentioned previously, recruiters are very busy and receive hundreds of resumes per day, so please be patient and understanding. Recruiters often have to explain to hiring managers why a candidate is a good fit for a role, and that recruiter isn’t going to want to put in a good word for someone who comes off as pushy and unprofessional. Please don’t be offended if it takes a recruiter or hiring manager a couple days to get back to you; it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. They are probably just busy and will reach out to you as soon as they have time. All in all, keep the follow up short and sweet and always be professional – you never know when you will run into that recruiter or hiring manager again!