I’m the first person to advocate follow-up when on a job hunt. But, I also acknowledge that too much follow-up can be a turn off. So here are some guidelines to help:

  •  Don’t follow up the day after you sent your resume. Leave it until at least 5 business days have past. Employers often don’t have time to read resumes right away so give them a chance.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a name to follow up with, try to get through to the right department – phone or email. Leave a message clearly stating your name, contact number and interest in the job for which you applied.
  • Don’t send your resume multiple times if you don’t get a response the first time. It makes you look desperate.
  • If you get through to the person that is prescreening the resumes, do thank them for their time, don’t oversell yourself and don’t push them for an “on-the-spot” decision. The chances are they only have a vague recollection of your resume (assuming they received many) so it is enough to reiterate your interest in the job and find out if you can check back with them again. At the very least this will send them back to take a second look at your resume knowing that you will be calling again.
  • Accept rejection with good grace and ask if there are any other jobs coming up for which you might be better suited. It’s ok to let the recruiter know you are disappointed, but remember it is also tough for the recruiter to tell people “no”.
  • Send a thank-you note (mail or email) even if you have been rejected. You never know, there may be another opening in the future and you will be remembered for your thoughtfulness.

Keep the conversation going on this post – what follow-up tips do you have for other people?