Originally authored by April Klimkiewicz at Bliss Evolution
Should I follow up on a job application?
It can be very helpful to reach out to recruiters after you apply, but you want to do so correctly so they experience you in the best light throughout the application process.
The number one no-no is coming across as desperate. In order to look poised and professional instead, judging when to reach out, how to reach out, and when to sit back and concentrate on other applications is key.
The most important thing you’re trying to do with reaching out to a company recruiter is getting them to like you and consider you further for the position.
You may also have questions and want to gather information, but that should be secondary to being polite, kind, enthusiastic about the position, and respectful of the recruiter’s time.
Email versus Phone
People get way more emails than they get LinkedIn messages or phone calls. Starting with an email or LinkedIn message and escalating to a phone call if you don’t hear from the recruiter can be seen as pushy, but starting with a phone call and deescalating to an email or LinkedIn message is more likely to be seen as “just checking in.”
When I worked in Human Resources, recruiting was a big part of my job, and anyone who walked into the office or reached out on the phone would get a look at their resume, even if I had already looked before. Showing initiative like this can turn the tables in your favor. But be careful of coming across as pushy or rude. Behavior like this can send you right to the “no” pile.
In contrast, getting an email or LinkedIn message felt less urgent. It was helpful to have someone to reach out, and I likely looked at their resume again, but it didn’t show as much motivation on the applicant’s part as a call or showing up in person.
Note that personal preference is hard to judge but important to consider. Some people would be delighted for an applicant who is a great fit to show up at the office, while others would find that intrusive. This is why LinkedIn could be a way of getting in touch with someone while respecting their professional boundaries.
Don’t Waste Time
You also want to be sure you are qualified for the position in the first place. You could be super polite and contact someone just right, but if they’re looking for a specific skill set you don’t possess, be aware that checking in regularly could be seen as a waste of time, and you don’t want to leave the recruiter with that impression of you. In the case that a position you are qualified for comes up in the future, you want to have left the recruiter with a good impression of you.
What to Say
One thing I always recommend people ask recruiters when reaching out is “can you tell me a little more about the job in addition to what I’ve read in the job description?” This way, you’re letting them know you’ve done your homework, but you’re just trying to open the conversation with an easy question.