You’ve gotten your resume in order, contacted your references, and filled out and submitted the application for the job of your dreams. Now it’s time to sit back and wait for a phone call from your future employer, right?
Well, not exactly. After you’ve hit that little “submit” button, there are a few things you should focus on doing, such as:
Follow Up – Or Don’t
Before we dig in, here, let’s get one thing straight:
If the job posting says not to follow up, or only to apply in a certain way: follow these instructions. Deviating from such explicit directives will essentially disqualify you from even being considered for hire. Don’t do it.
That being said, if there’s nothing in the job posting regarding such restrictions, you have a few options: following up via by email, phone, or in person.
If following up via email, you can do so at your leisure – but it’s best to do so immediately. This way, you can hopefully grab the attention of your prospective employer right as your application comes in. If following up by phone or in person, you’ll want to do so at a time in which you’re fairly certain your potential employer won’t be busy or otherwise unreachable. Not only will this make you more likely to get in touch with them, but, if you do reach out during a busy time of day, it’ll show you don’t know all that much about the industry in the first place.
When following up, you basically just want to reach out to ensure your application was received in full with no glitches. You’ll have time in the future to speak more about your abilities, etc. – now is not that time.
Keep the Application In Mind
Perhaps you’ve applied to a number of different places over the course of the past few days or weeks. If this is the case, it can be difficult to keep track of every application you’ve sent in – but you simply need to do it. The last thing you want is to be contacted by a potential employer, only for it to be obvious that you’ve completely forgotten about the application you sent in a few days ago.
For each application you submit, take some time to research the job, the company, and the industry in which the company operates. In doing so, it’ll be much easier to jog your memory if an employer calls you in for an interview. In addition to this, of course, you’ll be that much further along in terms of preparing for the interview at hand.
You also want to prepare for a callback in a logistical sense, as well. In other words, make sure your phone is on, your outgoing voice message is set up, and that you have time set aside to check your email inbox and spam folders. Chances are, your potential employer received dozens (if not hundreds) of applications; if you miss your chance, they’ll simply move on without a second thought.
Relax, and Possibly Move On
As we’ve alluded to, waiting to hear back from a prospective employer can be a bit nerve-wracking. As the saying goes, the waiting is the hardest part.
But, again as we alluded to earlier, perhaps the best thing to do after you’ve gotten all your ducks in a row, so to speak, is to sit back and let nature take its course. If you’ve followed up already, you definitely don’t want to do so again; you don’t want to seem desperate or overbearing. Given the choice between not knowing whether or not you’ll get a callback, and sabotaging your potential gains, the former is definitely the better path to take.
Of course, you won’t always hear back from a potential employer, which makes it difficult to know when to move on. Perhaps the best course of action, then, is to continue applying elsewhere even while waiting for a callback. Best-case scenario: you hear back from them, and won’t need to worry about your other applications. Worst-case: you haven’t wasted any time sitting around waiting for a phone call that never comes.
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