How to follow up on a job application without annoying your recruiter?

Following up after sending a job application can feel, well, awkward. Candidates often feel as if, following up will make them seem annoying or insecure. It is usually best to wait a week or two before making an inquiry. It’s important to give the employer enough time to review job applications and to get ready to schedule interviews. If you follow up any sooner, you might come across as pushy or impatient to the employer. If you make it to the interview phase, a week is a good amount of time to wait before you follow-up. However, not following up–especially after the interview–could leave the door unguarded for another candidate to snag your dream job. There are ways to follow-up while making sure that you are not a bother:

Give them a reason to remember you

There’s nothing wrong with reminding hirers of the timeline they gave, but give them a reason to engage. Sending a Thank You note is always a good idea. Send a thank-you email right away and keep it short and sweet.  Some people also bring a small gift during the interview but it is important to do some research on the recruiter first, as some people might see this you trying to ‘buy them’. Everybody is different so make sure your good intention is not misinterpreted. If you have a side hustle like a bakery, you could bring them a box without making it feel like you have any bad intentions. You could also ask, after the interview, if there is anything else they are expecting from you (a document or else). This can also be a great excuse to follow-up.

Ask for specific dates and deadlines after your interview

After your job interview, ask by when they will be able to get back to you. This will give you a good reason to follow-up if this deadline is not respected. You will be able to start your email with “I have been told I would get a feedback by xyz date, but I still have gotten no phone call or email….” This will put you more at ease, as you will have a reason to follow-up instead of simply sending out emails or calling to ask if they have an answer already.

Email instead of calling

Some recruiters prefer phone calls, while others find it profoundly annoying to be tied up on the phone with someone they only know on paper. If you make it to the interview process, ask which way is best to reach them. Most of the time an email will be more appropriate as it leaves the recruiter the time to get back to you at their own pace.

Be patient

Resist the urge to make multiple phone calls, send more than one unsolicited email, or attempt to reach out on social media without permission. There’s a thin line between following up and being a stalker. Screening through applications and making a decision after interviews take time. Give the recruiter the time to go through this process.

When you do follow-up:
  • Keep it short
  • Restate your interest in the company
  • Be polite
  • Ask for follow-up questions

As much as you want the position, it is important to remember that some bad recruiters simply do not follow up. Don’t contact an employer more than three times, and leave a couple weeks in between messages, unless the employer has suggested otherwise.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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