Q&A: When to Follow-Up on Resumes


Question:

I know I am supposed to follow-up on every resume I send an employer. How do I know how long to wait before I contact them?

Answer:

Here’s a simple timeline for resume follow ups:

Juliette Leufke

First follow-up call should happen 2-4 business days after you emailed your resume or completed the online application. Wait 7 business days if you sent it snail mail.

  • In your first follow-up call/email, only check to make sure that the employer received your resume and ask if they know when they might start interviewing.
  • If you do not know the name of the hiring manager, now is the time to ask who that person is.
  • Also ask when would be good to check in again and if you should do so by phone or email.

Second follow-up call or email: Some organizations will not contact candidates until after the job posting has closed. If you were not given specific time to check in during the first follow-up, make your second follow-up with a week after the job posting has closed, or one week after the first follow-up contact.

  • If your first follow up was an email, your second follow up can be a phone call or vice versa.
  • In your second contact, ask if the interview process has begun and if you are in consideration.

Keep contacting the company about once every 2 weeks until you get an interview, or you know you are not being considered for the job.

When you follow-up, be persistent, but not pushy. Go with your gut feeling to decide if you are calling too often. And always be very polite, cooperative and patient with everyone you communicate with.

Call or email no more than once a week or ever-other week, unless a specific person at the company said it was OK to call them more often.

Originally published September 2010

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