So you’ve applied for a job. Go you! Are you excited? Is it your dream? Did you spend hours formatting your resume? Did it take you two days to draft your cover letter? Do you have a good vibe? Are you manifesting an interview?
And now let me guess – you’re in job application limbo. You’re sitting on the couch checking your email every five minutes waiting for a response. Any response. Even rejection would be better than this vacuous void of silence.
So you deliberate. Should you or shouldn’t you reach out? Is it annoying to get an email from a job applicant? Will it work for you or against you? Is it against protocol? Where is the bloody rule book on this one?
Firstly, when is a good time to follow-up? Hiring managers and HR teams are busy people, so let’s give them a little breathing space. Depending on the company you’ve applied to work at, your job application might get passed across two or twenty desks. And that process takes time. But if they’ve included a date for when you’ll hear back, wait till that date and then give them another 5 to 10 days before reaching out.
And what’s the best way to follow-up? According to SEEK, there are two ways (and neither involves showing up at your potential workplace with a gift). You either call or email but you gotta make sure you’re contacting the right person. Don’t start a 40 person BCC email chain with the subject line: are you going to hire me or what? Acknowledge the process, be professional and don’t be a pest.
Here are 5 reasons you should be following up.
Because your application might be sitting in an automated email
If you applied via a portal or an online form there is every chance that your hard work is sitting in an unchecked, automated inbox. If you hit submit and you’ve not gotten any confirmation of arrival or been given info regarding the next steps, you should totally reach out and send your resume again – this time to a human.
Imagine if you lost your dream job to spam.
Because a follow-up shows that you’re genuinely interested in the gig
Some companies will receive literally HUNDREDS of applications. And no, that’s not meant to be a deterrent. It’s just the reality of the job application game. To avoid getting lost in the tidal wave of candidates pick up the phone or shoot them an email and prove you’ve got real get-up-and-go. If you’re currently job searching via a recruiter, the same thing applies because they’re probably wading through heaps of applications too.
Go the extra mile, your future employers will love it.
Because reaching out could seal the deal
Imagine this. Your dream employer, who is offering your dream job, has narrowed the potential candidates down to two go-getters. You and your nemesis. You both studied at the same university, you both have excellent references and you’re both exceptionally qualified. Your could-be bosses are stumped.
Just as they’re about to paper, scissors, rock your life away, they get a call. Your nemesis has reached out to thank them for the interview. You’ve been one-upped. Don’t let yourself be one-upped. Reach out first.
Because it’s for your own bloody peace of mind
Did you know that more often than not we are the cause of our own suffering? If you’re sitting at home, stress-eating a packet of Doritos, waiting to hear back on a job application, just pick up the phone. Your anxiety can be eased with one phone call to the right person.
Follow-up, it’s good for your mental health.
Because it’ll make you a better candidate
This one especially applies to any job applications where you’ve hit the interview stage. If you’ve met teams and sat interviews and are now experiencing radio silence, it’s time to get in touch for some constructive feedback. Even if you don’t get the job, the feedback you get from this application might help you win the next one. Be better, not bitter.