You’ve written a killer cover letter. You’ve read about the company and your passion came across in your application. And now you’re playing the waiting game. Will they respond? It’s been a week. Why haven’t they responded? You put everything into that application. You’re a perfect fit for the role. What was missing?
Well, chances are your resume wasn’t seen, and even if it was, it got lost in a pile of other work. Hiring managers and recruiters have a nightmare of a time keeping track of who’s a good fit and who isn’t. They often have to read a hundred or more resumes to narrow down just one shortlist of likely candidates for just one job opening. There are many steps along the way where your application can slip through the cracks.
This all sounds pretty daunting, doesn’t it? It can feel like you’re at the mercy of human error and a numbers game. And to some extent, we all are – but there’s one thing you can do to dramatically increase the chance your resume is seen.
The key is the follow-up. The vast majority of candidates believe they’re done once they hit the submit button on an application. The savvy job seekers know that their work has only just begun. Here’s how to do a proper follow-up:
Prior to hitting submit on your application, find the company you are applying to on LinkedIn and look for the person who might be your most direct manager on the team. For example, a candidate for a Marketing Associate role should look to reach out to the Marketing Manager. If you’re applying to that Marketing Manager position, you should probably look for the VP of Marketing. If you’re uncertain about who would be your direct supervisor, take a look at the job description. Often, descriptions will tell you exactly to whom you would be reporting. Otherwise, take your best guess!
Once you find the appropriate point of contact, there are two crucial ways you can follow-up with them about your application.
Send an email or LinkedIn InMail one week after you apply, saying something along the lines of “Hi, my name is X, I recently applied for Y position, but I also wanted to introduce myself to you. Here is who I am and what I can do for your team. Looking forward to speaking with you about the role and my qualifications.” Keep this email short and to the point – no more than a few sentences.
Send an email or InMail one week after your first follow up if you have not heard back. This email should ask for the status of your application and include a short (1-2 sentence maximum) description of yourself and your qualifications.
Both of the above emails/InMails should have your resume or a link to your LinkedIn profile attached for the hiring manager/recruiter’s consideration.
Use JobHero to set deadlines, record contact information, & track follow-ups. Do this for every job you apply to. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself getting a lot more responses. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll get an interview (your qualifications will), but it does increase the likelihood that your resume is seen by the companies you apply to.