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The Resume Follow Up

by Phil Barakoski

Employers can receive an overwhelming number of applications for one posting. To increase your odds that your cover letter and resume will stand out, consider following up on your application rather than waiting for the employer to contact you, provided the job posting does not request otherwise.

Following up allows you to take a more proactive approach in your job search and shows that you are committed and interested in the position. It allows you to make a “first impression” with the employer which will hopefully help to move your resume to the top of the pile. To take a more proactive approach, consider these follow-up tips:

Be Brief and Concise – Employers are busy and appreciate getting straight to the point. Introduce yourself and explain why you are contacting them and ask for the most appropriate person to speak with regarding the position.

Be Thoughtful - Thank them for the opportunity and explain quickly why you want to work for them. Share what you know about them, what you have to offer and why you would be a good fit.

Be Predictive - Make it easy for them by thinking of the questions they would have of you. Provide those answers before they ask. Taking the initiative with your answers can build confidence in the employer’s mind.

Be Forward – Try being bold and suggest dates and times to meet to discuss what you have to offer and learn more about the position beyond the posting. Tell them that you can drop by their office for convenience.

Employers are busy people but many welcome or even anticipate some sort of follow-up. However, sometimes this isn’t the case and the employer does not have the time to discuss your application. Always face this disappointment with grace as you do not want to hurt your chances of receiving a call after the employer has reviewed resumes. If you learn from your follow-up that you were not selected for an interview, it can still be a productive call. Ask politely if they would be willing to share why you weren’t considered and if there is anything you can improve for next time. Following up could give you that much needed feedback that highlights mistakes that you are making or shortcomings that you haven’t identified. Receiving this type of feedback can help you re-focus and refine your efforts towards the next opportunity.

In this competitive labour market, you want your resume and cover letter to stand out. So long as the job posting does not request otherwise, a follow-up call could be that one thing that sets you apart. If you want to learn more, an Employment Advisor at any one of our three locations can offer you free assistance with your job search.