Writing resumes is often a huge, anxiety-ridden feat. After sending them out, most people want to sit back and relax, considering their part of the job hunt over.
However, there’s an important step after you’ve sent out your resume. Ignoring it may cause you to miss some opportunities.
Sending a follow-up email can make the crucial difference between getting a call for an interview or getting left in the discard pile.
A follow-up email accomplishes a lot of things:
When sending out your follow-up email, bear the following tips in mind:
If you happen to have a contact within the company you applied to, go ahead and send them a message letting them know that you sent your resume but haven’t had a response yet. They may be able to give you an insider’s scoop on why not. It could be that the hiring manager is on vacation or the company is in the middle of a major overhaul. Or this may just be standard for them to take a long time before replying. Any head’s up you can get from your contact will help you relax a little bit while you wait for a reply.
If you don’t have a contact and you sent your resume blind, then you should do some research to find out who the company’s human resources head is and shoot them an email about your resume. Sending an email directly to them will make you stand out from the crowd who didn’t put the time or effort into finding out who would be hiring them.
Your message should be around 100 words. Don’t ramble or bring up non-relevant topics. Be professional. Introduce yourself by including your full name and job title.
Then include your reason for writing:
I sent my resume to your company on December 5th and would like to make sure that it was received.
Go ahead and summarize your resume’s highlights. This will help trigger their memory if they did read your resume and hopefully spark their interest in reading it if they haven’t.
I have a Master’s in Fine Arts and worked for five years as director of the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. I’ve recently relocated to New York and am seeking a position at your museum.
Showing some courtesy goes a long way. A lot of hiring managers are busy and it’s a drag to read resumes and check references so make sure you tell them:
Thank you for taking the time to consider my resume.
If, for some reason, your resume got lost in cyberspace or if they haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, make it easy for them. Go ahead and re-attach your resume so they can have it at their fingertips after reading your email. That way they don’t have to go digging around through their email to find it.
If you haven’t heard back from them after two more weeks, go ahead and shoot off another email. Follow the same protocol as above, only this time it’s not necessary to re-attach your resume.
Try one more time, and if you don’t hear back after that, you might have to accept that you struck out on this one. At least then you can start to focus your energy on other companies and will hopefully have earned some other interviews by then.
Have any resume tricks up your sleeve? We’d appreciate your comments and suggestions!