You’ve sent out your resume — now what?

We all want to receive a response right away after sending in a job application. However, the reality is the HR manager likely has to scan through tens or hundreds of resumes on top of their other job duties. Therefore, fast turnaround times are understandably uncommon in hiring.

While you’re waiting to hear back, you can do more than stare into space. Always remember to follow up.

Follow Up in One Week

In all likelihood, the employer won’t be contacting anyone for at least a week; you have to give them time to sort through all those resumes. But once a week has elapsed, it’s fair to send a follow up message. You won’t come across as too eager or impatient at that point.

Consider sending your follow-up message in the middle of the week, since Mondays are generally the busiest days and Fridays are most relaxed.

Email Is Your Best Bet

HR managers get so many emails — won’t your follow-up just get lost in the shuffle?

The reality is that email is the best method of contact these days. A phone call or an in-person visit to the office may come across as aggressive or pushy. Email shows you’re interested in the status of your application but willing to give the recipient time to respond at their leisure.

Consider Using LinkedIn

Email is certainly a great option, but LinkedIn is also a good choice — and it may help you stand out.

During the hiring process, an HR manager’s email inbox is often flooded with new applications, including yours. Sending a message through LinkedIn could help you avoid the clutter of the email inbox. It could even prompt the HR manager to dig through their stack of resumes to find yours.

If you do reach out via LinkedIn, make sure you’ve done some LinkedIn profile development prior to contacting the HR manager. Your profile should be complete and impressive, as it’s likely the HR manager will look at it closely.

Don’t Show Desperation — Show Interest

There is no doubt that searching for a job is stressful, and there are times when our emotions can get the better of us. But desperation doesn’t look good on anyone.

Instead of simply asking what the status of your application is, send in a letter of recommendation along with an explanation of why you’re interested in working for the company. The key to effective follow-up is giving the HR manager something to remember you by.

Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, CERW, CEMC, is a certified professional resume writer, career consultant, and the president of Professional Resume Services.

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