How to Follow up on Job Applications Without Stalking

Differentiate yourself from the competition by following up on your job applications. 

Most job seekers do not follow up after they hit the “submit” button on a job application. By following up at the right time and with an appropriate message, you differentiate yourself from the competition.

Here are five rules to help ensure that your follow-up tactics are greeted with appreciation, rather than resentment:

Give it a week.

Follow up approximately one week after the job application deadline (if listed). This gives the recruiter enough time to review the resumes. If the job posting didn’t list an application deadline, the rule of thumb is to follow up one week after your initial application.

Read the fine print.

If the description states “no phone calls,” do not call to follow up. If you do, the recruiter will think that you cannot follow simple directions or did not read the job listing carefully. If the job listing didn’t state such a condition, call once and ask how to follow up again before doing so.

Ask informative questions.

Whether you’re sending an email or calling the recruiter, your communication needs to sound confident – not desperate. Ask questions that will help you understand your chances of gaining traction with this job. Inquire if any decision has been made, and ask if it’s acceptable to follow up in another week if you haven’t heard back from them, as well as determine the timeframe for the hiring process.

Know when to move on.

Keep following up once a week, each week, until their responses become vague – such as “don’t contact us, we’ll contact you” – or non-existent. At that point, it’s safe to let this one go and set your sights on other prospects.

Keep up the momentum.

Regardless if you gain traction with this role, continue applying to jobs online, pursuing opportunities through networking, and engaging with recruiters each week to maintain an active job pipeline. This will help stop you from dwelling on one job, as well as improve your chances of landing the right job.

Follow these rules to improve your response rate and gain traction in your job search.