You’ve done the hard part. You submitted your resume, cover letter and perhaps a portfolio or idea pitch or writing test but now comes the waiting period. And it can feel intensely long. Suddenly you find yourself counting every second waiting to hear back from a manager and it becomes agonizing. So when can you actually reach back without seeming impatient or over-eager? Well, the good news we just got some great insight from HR managers on when exactly you should follow up and YOU SHOULD ALWAYS FOLLOW UP.
According to a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps, human resources managers said 29 percent of applicants said they should contact the hiring manager within a week, and 36 percent said between one and two weeks. Email is definitely the preferred way by hiring managers (64 percent) followed by the phone (21 percent.) Only 10 percent said you should wait three weeks or more.
“Just because you haven’t heard back after applying for a job, doesn’t mean the company isn’t interested in you,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps. “Follow up in a week or two to check on the status of the open position and express your interest in the role.” However, at the same time, you don’t want to be too overwhelming. Steinitz cautioned, “Don’t take extreme measures to get a hiring manager’s attention. Be friendly and positive, without being too pushy.” You also don’t want to bring up compensation, benefits, and perks when you follow up. That needs to be reserved for later (but is definitely very important.)
And when you do follow up remember to show that you are interested in this job! You want to use this time to reiterate what you admire about the company, its mission and the value you would add. But keep your note short, sweet and to the point. At the end of the email or conversation, be sure to ask about next steps and following up. Check out this infographic for more information.
The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.