Your resume is the best it can be. Your cover letter is targeted to the job. You submit it to the company. What now? Wait. Well, for awhile, yes. After that you need to follow up. Here’s how to do that effectively; to be proactive, but not a pest.
Wait at least two weeks.
Eighty-two percent of executives polled by Robert Half International recommend contacting the company within two weeks of sending a résumé.
The best way to follow up is usually an email.
An email is the least invasive way to follow up and thus the most likely to get a response. Many people screen their phone call, so you probably will not be able to actually talk to someone. Leaving a phone message or sending a snail mail note would both require the hiring authority to either call you or email you to respond. It’s a lot more likely that they will respond to an email.
Make sure that the email you write is concise and very specifically targeted to getting your questions answered. Give the reader all the information they need to determine which job you have applied for and when. Let them know that you trying to determine first, if your resume has been received and second, if you are being considered for the position.
Don’t expect a long and detailed explanation of why you are not in contention. That won’t happen. Human resources, recruiters and hiring authorities are too busy. Not nice. Not polite. Not what you want to here, but unfortunately, usually true.
Make it clever.
Including some current, industry specific information in your email, or perhaps a link to an interesting and appropriate article not only gives you another reason to write, but also shows that you are well read and up on current events.
Target the hiring authority, rather than the human resources person or the recruiter.
The person actually doing the hiring is usually more accessible, willing to talk and provide detailed information.
Use LinkedIn or any other social media available to determine who the hiring authority is.
The economy, while definitely moving in the right direction is still sluggish. Looking for a job is a full time job and always takes longer than you think it should. With perseverance, something will happen.