Your job search: When to follow up

Can’t wait to check in? We suggest giving it a couple of weeks.

During your job search, it’s tough to know when to pester and when to hold back. Once you’ve applied — or after you’ve interviewed — how long should you wait before you start hounding a company? Of course, there’s no steadfast rule on this, but some professionals do have strong opinions about timing.

Give employers some space

“Once you forward your resume to a firm,” says Revi Goldwasser, managing partner with Wall Street Personnel, “I suggest waiting approximately two to three weeks to check in. That is sufficient. When you follow up, make sure to reference the job opening for which you applied, and resend your résumé again. There’s nothing more annoying than to have to go and look for your résumé.” And put yourself in the employers’ shoes. You wouldn’t want to be constantly contacted while trying to make a decision.

Find alternative ways to get the scoop

Your network is a fruitful resource for finding an opening, but it’s also there to help give you insight. “Ask your inside contact if the job has been filled. They may know something about the process and they may not, but it is worth asking to see if they can shed light on the situation,” says Lynne Sarikas, director of Northeastern University’s MBA Career Center.

Don’t pause your search

Until you’ve snagged the career you want, keep sending those résumés. A prospective position is just that — prospective. “Regardless if you gain traction with this role, continue applying to jobs online, pursuing opportunities through networking and engaging with recruiters each week to maintain an active job pipeline,” explains Amanda Augustine, job search expert for TheLadders. “This will help stop you from dwelling on one job, as well as improve your chances of landing the right job.”


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