career, job search, recruiting

When should you follow up?

When I do employer panels or Q&A’s, I get asked the question above quite a bit as it relates to the job search process. Here’s my take:

  • Should I follow up to confirm receipt of my resume? Nearly all companies have an Applicant Tracking System that should both send you an automatically generated email confirmation of your application as well as having a job apply status section in your online profile. If you do NOT see either of these things, I recommend problem solving first to determine why you may not have received a response (Did the auto-confirm go into a spam or junk folder?) or why your application didn’t complete (Did you forget to e-sign your application?). 
  • Do I follow up after a phone screen? If you are very interested in the position, it’s good to demonstrate your interest and get back to top of mind with the recruiter. However, keep it very short and don’t do it more than once–recruiters usually receive a very high volume of email from internal/external stakeholders each day; don’t become spam.
  • What if I haven’t heard anything in a couple of weeks? I think this is appropriate–and so do other recruiters I know. Follow the above rule, though–not too often (more than 1x/week) and keep it very short. (“Dear Recruiter, I’m touching base regarding the status of the Graphic Designer position. While I am in consideration for a couple of other positions, I am most interested in your opportunity.”)
  • Do I thank everyone on the interview loop? Absolutely–by email.  Again, keep it short, personal (don’t send them all the same form letter!), refer back to something you two discussed, sell yourself again, and thank them for the time.
  • Should I send a thank you for receiving a job offer? Not necessary. You should be in regular phone communication with the recruiter and (possibly) hiring manager by that point; express your enthusiasm and excitement to them.
  • What about if I decline an offer? Up to you. It’s a respectful way of not burning bridges, at least with the recruiter (who may be a bit frustrated that you declined–they’ve usually worked hard to get you that far in the process, and now they may be set back).


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