Online job applications play a major role in job hunting today. They’re convenient, but you may feel like your resume disappears into a black hole after you hit the send button and hear nothing in return.
With so much uncertainty, how can you protect your peace of mind and increase your probability of being invited in for an interview?
While some companies tend to leave job candidates in the dark, there are steps you can take to follow up. Stand out from the pack by using these persistent but polite suggestions for what to do after you’ve applied for a job opening online.
Protecting Your Peace of Mind
1. Think positive. Maybe you’re hesitant to follow up because you’re concerned about appearing desperate or annoying. In reality, appropriate communications demonstrate your enthusiasm and conscientiousness.
2. Keep things in perspective. It’s easy to feel shunned when you see policies about no calls. Avoid taking it personally. After all, any business would be overwhelmed trying to handle personal conversations with 200 or more candidates.
3. Look ahead. Once you’ve put forth your best effort, switch your attention to other opportunities. Having multiple options will help you stay motivated.
4. Be flexible. Even if you don’t receive a job offer, there may be other benefits. Maybe you’ll welcome the hiring manager into your network or ask to be considered for future openings.
Increasing Your Chances of Being Interviewed
1. Act promptly. Note if there’s a close date on the job notice. If not, anywhere from 5 to 10 days is usually a reasonable window for confirming your application and trying to continue the discussion.
2. Choose your methods. Pick the approach that lets you shine. Write an email or pick up the phone depending on the situation and your strengths.
3. Be prepared. Outline your thoughts before making contact. You want to sound as articulate and thorough as possible.
4. Clarify the process. Ask pertinent questions if you get the chance. Find out more about the selection timeline and hiring priorities.
5. Post a letter. Sending a hard copy of your application by snail mail sometimes gives you a second chance to capture an employer’s attention. Think twice if it’s an environmental organization that prides itself on being paper free or a technology company that might think that’s old fashioned.
6. Find a contact. If possible, research the company in advance so you can address your application to a specific individual. Afterwards, continue using your network to identify other company personnel you could consult with.
7. Watch the news. You’ll make a more favorable impression if you have something substantive to say instead of just asking the hiring manager when they’ll make a decision. Try commenting on industry news or one of their Facebook posts. Look for ways to work your relevant accomplishments and qualifications into the discussion.
8. Juggle multiple offers. Congratulations if you receive a competing job offer while you’re application is pending. You may want to ask the company about their hiring schedule so you can make a decision or withdraw from consideration.
9. Track communications. Keep a log of your job applications and related interactions. It will help you to schedule future action, stay in touch with valuable contacts, and evaluate your progress.
Looking for a job can be stressful, but you can take some of the uncertainty out of applying for positions online. Skillful follow-up gives you the confidence of knowing that you’ve maximized your opportunities, and reassures you of your value while you’re making your next career move.