So often I hear from job seekers, “I send out my resume and I never hear anything back.” To this I ask them if they followed up with the company after they sent their resume. More often than not they haven’t. Too many job seekers take a ‘wait and see approach’ instead of a ‘seize the day’ approach. When it comes to your job search a passive approach will get you nowhere while an assertive, proactive attitude will pay off.
Imagine if you are a hiring manager trying to fill an open position. Chances are you are bombarded with resumes from interested applicants. Trying to weed out qualified candidates, schedule interviews, and conduct interviews is a time consuming task. They will not have the time to reach out to all candidates to let them know their resume was received, that they are not being considered, that they ARE being considered, they’ve halted the hiring process, or the position has been filled.
This lack of communication and the general unknown regarding the entire hiring process is a large source of frustration for job seekers. But there is something a job seeker can do to lessen this frustration; they can take a proactive approach to the hiring process and make themselves known to the hiring manager beyond submitting their resume.
A simple email or phone call to the hiring manager or HR department inquiring about the status of the hiring process not only shows your interest but can alleviate the frustration I mentioned earlier. Rather than waiting weeks to find out if you are being considered you may find out that the position has already been filled or maybe hiring for the position has been cancelled. Or maybe you will find out the hiring manager is on vacation for two weeks or is still reviewing resumes. This email or phone call may give you the information you need to keep your hopes up or cut your losses and move on to other opportunities.
If they are still in the process of hiring for the position your communication and inquiry will let them know that you are interested in the position. Give them your name and the position you applied for; this will help them to place a voice with the resume and you will appear as more than a name on a piece of paper. However, don’t call everyday; this will be annoying and bothersome. One simple call with a polite inquiry will keep your name in their minds and make you stand out when they review the resumes they’ve received.
This communication is not only essential after you send your resume but also after you’ve been called in for an interview. It is not uncommon to complete an interview and be caught in the waiting game as companies evaluate the candidates they’ve met with and decide which is the most qualified.
By reaching out to the hiring manager after the interview you can reassert your interest in the position. You may find out if you are still in the running or if they are considering other options. If you are given a date by which a decision will be made that may be an indication that you should hold off on making any more calls. However, if that date passes feel free to email or call to find out where they are at in the hiring process.
A real life example – When my husband graduated and began his job search he was called in for an interview at a company he really wanted to work for. After the interview, rather than waiting he began making calls to the person he interviewed with affirming his interest in the company and the position. The hiring process ended up taking waaaaaaay longer than anticipated but he continued to reach out which kept him in the forefront of the hiring manager’s attention and also kept him in the loop as to where they were in the hiring process. Rather than sit and wonder he took matters into his own hands and ended up landing the job.
Don’t just send your resume and then sit back and wait. Be assertive but not aggressive, be polite, and don’t annoy the hiring manager.
by Megan Koehler