A Step-by-Step Guide to Following Up on a Competitive Job Application

competitive job applicationThe job market is a crowded place, especially for young adults. Although the job market is improving and becoming more employee friendly, there are still a lot of young professionals gunning for the same opportunities. When you send a competitive job application, you need every advantage possible.

The application follow-up is one way to gain an edge and give you peace of mind.

To help you do just that, here is a step-by-step guide to following up after submitting your job applications…

Step 1: Lay Low for 24 Hours

If someone responds via email and says, ‘Thanks for applying. We’ll be in touch if we need blah blah blah…’ then you know your resume/cover letter made it to the right place.

If you don’t hear a peep after 24 hours…

Step 2: Get Ready to Take Action

If 100 people apply for the same job, the employer may not respond to each person and say ‘Thanks for applying. We got your stuff.’ No big deal. Maybe it’s just the way the company handles the hiring process. Regardless, you now must change your mindset. You must go into “action” mode.

Step 3: Find the Email Address of Someone Involved with Hiring

When you find it, send this email:

‘Hello ______,

My name is ______, and I recently applied for the position of _______. I want to make sure you received my application. When you have a moment, please let me know?

Thanks very much.’

If no answer by email…

Step 4: Call the Front Desk and Ask the Same Thing

Be polite and don’t come across offended that no one responded to your application or your follow-up email. If the employer confirms he/she received your application, you’re golden. Then, you have two reasons to feel good:

Do you think all 100 people will call/email to check on the status of their applications? No way. But you did. And now you look pretty sharp in the eyes of the employer.

Step 5: Wait 48 Business Hours and Call Again

Wait two days (business days, of course) then call again. No, you won’t be perceived as a stalker at this point, as long as you remain positive and professional.

And if you still can’t reach anyone after the second call? Then it’s time to ease up. The company may have internal issues completely out of your control, or maybe they just don’t treat their candidates well. In that case, you need to decide if you even want to work there.

Above All, Do Not Be Timid

Ever have this thought?

“I don’t want to call the company and check on my application because I would just be bothering them.”

Nonsense. Pure, unfiltered hogwash.

In this job market, you need to look out for yourself at all times. If you want the job, go for it!

Let the employer know you exist, demand (in a nice way) that someone acknowledge your competitive job application. It’s not brown-nosing, and it’s not being overly aggressive.

There are people who wait for the world to come to them. And then there are those who go out and make things happen.

Which one are you?


For this post, YouTern would like to thank our friends at dannyrubin.com.




Danny_RubinAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is a communications expert and author of the new book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search and LinkedIn. For more of Danny’s insights and sample chapters from the book, visit his blog, The Template, which highlights the career advice in the latest headlines. Follow him on Twitter.



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