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Busy Recruiters Call on Job-Seekers to Follow Up

A new study finds a large number of managers want candidates to contact them after applying for a position.

After a job candidate hits submit, send, upload or done with their résumé the “what do I do next” phase begins.

Days or sometimes weeks go by and the employer still hasn’t reached out. In such instances, according to a survey by Accountemps, 81 percent of senior managers want candidates to follow up within two weeks of applying for a position.

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Both phone and email are acceptable ways to follow up with an employer after submitting a résumé., hiring managers say.

“Our survey shows that 100 percent of hiring managers think candidates should follow up after submitting application materials,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “Hiring managers who do not want candidates following up should note that in the job posting.”

If a job seeker does follow up on their résumé Steinitz believes that it shows “initiative and demonstrates to hiring managers that they are enthusiastic about the opportunity. It’s also a chance for job seekers to initiate a discussion with the hiring manager and highlight how they can contribute to the organization’s success.”

Both phone and email are acceptable ways to follow up with an employer after submitting a résumé. The Accountemps survey also found that 64 percent of hiring managers prefer email over 21 percent preferring a phone call.

Alison Doyle, a job-search expert for financial wellness company The Balance, explained the benefits of both.

“The easiest way to follow up is by email. If there’s an email address listed in the job posting, you can use that. Or, you could try to find the name of the hiring manager if there isn’t one listed and write to him or her inquiring about the status of your application,” Doyle said. “Another option is to call, and if you are able to find a contact person, a phone call may give you the opportunity to talk directly with hiring manager and pitch your credentials.”

Steinitz said the employer could have priorities and hasn’t gotten around to the hiring process. Job-seekers shouldn’t be discouraged.

“HR managers may be juggling several priorities at one time, so job seekers shouldn’t become upset if they don’t hear back from an employer right away,” Steinitz said. “If you don’t get a response after a couple attempts, continue your job search or connect with a specialized recruiter in your market.”

There isn’t an exact time equation of when it is best to follow up with a potential employer. Doyle explained that “if the position has an application deadline listed, wait to contact the company until after the deadline has passed because they may not begin reviewing résumés until they have received them all.”

Once a job seeker follows up, Doyle said that “if you can get in touch with the person at the company who is responsible for scheduling interviews, following up is a way to show the employer that you’re really interested in the job.”

Accountemps made a list of do’s and don’ts while following up with a hiring manager.

According to Accountemps, do communicate through email or phone, express interest and ask about the next steps. But don’t be pushy, discuss salary and get discouraged.

Sometimes there may be an answer to why a job seeker has not heard back from a company.

“You may not hear back from a company unless they are interested in scheduling an interview with you,” Doyle said. “Some companies let candidates know when they are not being considered for a job, but many don’t.”

If a job seeker does not hear back it is suggested that they do not get discouraged but to move on, edit or update their résumé and take the time to find other opportunities.

Alexis Carpello is a Workforce intern. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.