Get a Job: The Do’s and Don’ts of Calling to Check the Status of Your Job Application

check on your job application

Wondering how to follow up on your job application?

Have you recently made a job application, perhaps many job applications, online or in-person?

When you are seeking a new job be aware that small mistakes can make the difference between success and failure in your job search. For more help have a look at our many posts, taking you from career change decision making through job search and resume writing to interview skills.

Has your job application led to an interview?

If not, you may want to jump on the telephone and figure out why. Calling to check the status of your job application is a decision that many job seekers make. Before you take this step, please keep these helpful tips in mind.

DO give them time to read your Job Application

Although a good percentage of companies do have human resource departments that focus on nothing but employee management and hiring, other companies do not. If your application was sent to a recruiter or a large company it may not matter what time of day you contact them.

Applying for a job as a full-time cashier at a local grocery store? Chances are your application will be reviewed by the store manager who has a million other tasks to complete. Your application will not be reviewed as soon as it is received. Wait at least three days (although five is better) before calling to check the status of your application.

DON’T choose a busy time

You should also take into account the type of business when calling to check the status of your job application. Sometimes it is hard to know when the best time to make contact is, but you don’t want to cause a fuss or interrupt a busy day.

DO consider the best way to make contact

You can check the status of your job application via phone, email, or in person. Each option has their pros and cons. You don’t want to interrupt a hiring manager while they are busy. If it is a small business and you show up in person to check the status of your resume you may get personalized contact. But that also gives you also the option to leave and come back later if the person you want to speak to is busy.

DON’T demand a job interview

When calling to check the status of your job application, tread carefully. You don’t want to imply that you expect to get a job interview. Not all applicants do. Instead of saying “when can I come in for an interview,” opt for “My name is Joe Smith; I applied for the full-time bartender position on XdateX. Have you had the opportunity to review my resume?”

DO show enthusiasm

It is great to show that you are hopeful for an interview and enthusiastic about the job, but don’t show desperation. You might be surprised how many job seekers call daily. After the second or third time, a sense of desperation sets in. Regardless of how much you need to have a job, don’t let this desperation show.

It is okay to mention that you would love the chance to land a job interview, as the company seems like a great place to work. It is not okay to mention that you really need the job because your bills are piling up.

DON’T keep pestering the supervisor or hiring manager

Getting a new job can be a slow process. It is okay to call on the status of a job application once, and possibly twice if they ask you to call back again later. With that said, you do not want to become the job seeker who goes from casually calling to check the status of your job application, to the job seeker who calls every day looking for a job interview. This approach will create a bad impression.  It does not make you stand out in a good way and it often backfires.

Business Insider Australia’s article Here’s How Long You Should Wait Before Following Up On Your Job Application suggests that in Australia potential employers may find a phone call too pushy and irritating. This could ruin your chances of an interview.  However the article goes on to say

” it’s fine to follow up once—in an unobtrusive manner—to underscore your interest. You can do that not by calling, but by sending a quick email saying something like this: “I submitted my application for your __ position last week, and I just wanted to make sure my materials were received. I also want to reiterate my interest in the position; I think it might be a great match, and I’d love to talk with you about it when you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews.” That highlights your interest without interrupting the employer or demanding an immediate response.”

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