Follow Up and Stand Out From the Rest of the Online Job ApplicantsJanuary 02, 2009 by Candice A
So many companies provide online job applications on their Web sites, that paper applications have almost become obsolete. That’s interesting when one considers that they have the same disadvantage – the applicant has no way of knowing whether his application made it to the chosen employer or not. Following up after mailing an entry level job application was probably recommended back in the day … and it’s recommended now to any and all who submit applications online.
Recent college graduates looking for entry level jobs and college students looking for internships can apply to any company in the world in a matter of minutes because of the Internet; however, online applications get misdirected the same as applications sent through the mail. That’s why experts in the field strongly suggest following up every application submitted online with an email, letter, or – best of all – a telephone call to confirm that the application was, indeed, received.
Karen Grigsby Bates, co-author (with Karen E. Hudson) of The New Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times, said, “Applications can get lost – think how many e-mails you have disappear into cyber space – so for important documents that are sent online, it’s a good idea to follow up with a call, even if you need to leave it on voicemail.”
For example: “Hi, this is Joanna Smith at Kenyon College. I just wanted you to know that I did fill out the online application
DataWorld requested, and sent it in on January 3rd. If you could confirm that you received it, that would be great. And if you need anything else, please contact me at (your phone number or e-mail here), and I’ll make sure you get what you need.”
Thanks for your consideration. I hope to speak with you soon.”
“It’s a good practice to follow up with employers after submitting your resume,” advised DeLynn Senna, executive director of North American permanent placement services for Robert Half International. “You can take this opportunity to ensure the hiring manager received your application materials and reiterate your enthusiasm and fit for the position.”
Teena Rose, author and resume writer added this insight: “Applying to positions online is inherently unreliable, mainly due to the inability to verify any one person [who] views your application. Besides, following the same path those before you and those after you took hardly sets you apart. By conducting a follow-up call or making contact with via email or additional letter, you’re taking an added step to further distinguish your candidacy from all the others.”
Finally, author and recruitment/job placement veteran, Tony Beshara, suggested foregoing emails or letters entirely in favor of telephone calls, even if the job posting has a “do not call” notice on it, because he believes “most of the online applications do not wind up in front of a real, true hiring authority. They usually wind up in an administrator’s folder on their desktop and the probability of having your application or resume reviewed by someone who can actually hire you is very, very slim.” Beshara’s advice may sound risky, but it can’t hurt to try.
Finding the right job is especially difficult in today’s economy because there are so many people competing for them that employers can afford to be choosy. Anything you can do to make yourself stand out in a positive way to potential employers is worth the effort. Plus following up indicates to employers that you really want that job and not just any job.
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