Following up on a job application is never fun. It can be uncomfortable, frustrating, long, and nerve wracking. In a Mashable article by Elliott Bell, “Pleasantly Persistent: 5 Rules for Effectively Following Up” Bell discusses how this painful process, doesn't have to be so painful.
No one wants to be annoying or bothersome to a professional contact, especially when you want a job. However, remember that the average person can get a few hundred emails a day. If you don’t get a response, it may just mean that they are too busy.
So, should you follow up? Absolutely.
And how often should you do so? As many times as it takes, if you do it the right way.
Here are a few tips on how to (nicely) follow up with that hiring manager —and get the answer you’re looking for.
Rule 1: Be Overly Polite and Humble
Resist the urge to get upset if you don’t hear back right away. Never take your feelings out in an email, saying something like, “You haven’t responded yet,” or “You ignored my first email.” Just maintain an extremely polite tone and say that you understand how busy your contact is.
Rule 2: Persistent Doesn’t Mean Every Day
Sending a follow-up email every day shows you don’t respect a person’s time. The general rule of thumb is to wait at least a week before following up. Any sooner, and it might come off as pushy; let too much time pass, and you risk the other person not having any clue who you are.
Rule 3: Directly Ask if You Should Stop Reaching Out
If you’ve followed up a few times and still haven’t heard back, it’s worth directly asking if you should stop following up. Most people respect honesty and then you will know one way or the other.
Rule 4: Stand Out in a Good Way
If done well, a little creativity in your follow up can go a long way. In a large pool of applicants, you don't want to blend in!
Rule 5: Change it Up
If you’re not connecting with someone, try changing it up. Getting people to respond can sometimes just come down to catching them at the right time. If you always follow up in the morning, maybe try later in the day a few times.