So you submitted your resume, now what? Good followup skills are just as important as having a great resume and cover letter and an integral part of scoring an interview.
Do your research.
Try to find out the name of the hiring manager. If you can address your resume and cover letter to that person, there is a greater chance of it being seen and not getting lost in the shuffle. If the help wanted ad didn’t specify, check out the company’s website and try to get the name and email of the person who heads up the department to which you are applying. This will also let you know who to followup with after you’ve submitted your resume.
Followup via email.
If you don’t have the email address, then go ahead and make a single phone call about a week after you have submitted your resume. Inquire about the status of your application and when the company expects to select qualified applicants for interviews. Be polite and thank the person you speak to for their time. (Yes, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people call to check the status of their application and have a less-than-enthusiastic tone or are border-line rude).
Interview followup “Thank You” letter.
This is perfectly acceptable to send via email. Very few people take this important extra step. In my most recent position as an HR Manager over sixty people originally applied for the job. Only four got interviews and only two of those four got second interviews. A few weeks after I’d started working my boss shared this information with me. I asked him why he chose me over the other applicants. His answer? You guessed it! The followup thank you email. There is a fine line between good followup and being an annoyance.
Read the help wanted ad and adhere to the application directions.
Many request “no phone calls please.” If so, don’t call daily to check the status of your resume. I once had a woman who really wanted an accounting job with my past company. She e-mailed about bi-monthly to check in and express continued interest for several months. That really impressed me and I expressed this to the accounting department head. The woman with good followup was hired for the next opening in the accounting department.
Bottom line: Address your resume to the hiring manager if at all possible. Followup via email about a week after you’ve submitted it. When you score an interview, send a thank you e-mail 1-2 days later and finally, adhere to the application instructions.