How Do I Follow Up on an Application When I Haven’t Heard Back for 2 Weeks? |

EP 1117 So I applied for a job and hasn’t heard back for 2 weeks.  How do you successfully follow-up?

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This is Jeff Altman, Not Big Game Hunter. I’m the head coach for Today, I’m answering a question from someone that asked, “Are there any successful ways of following up on application when you haven't heard back for 2 weeks you?”

Good question! And it's a question that tends to be asked by less experienced people, rather than more experienced people. I say that because more experienced people tend to be resigned to the fact that they have been rejected whereas less experienced people tend to be a little bit more eager and want to pursue the application.

So, the 1st signal that you're not qualified is that it is now 2 weeks and you haven't done anything and the firm hasn't done anything. Why is that happening?

You have applied for a position which tells me that you gone in through the applicant tracking system and the probability is your resume didn't make the case for your candidacy. Or, and this is the 2nd variable, or the recruiter who is directed to review applications, has been sufficiently busy with other things that they haven't gotten to it.

Big companies have more resources so the probability is there was opportunity for them to follow up . . . And the fact that they haven't tells you that they're not interested.

Small companies . . . It's more likely that it may have gotten lost along the way but the 1st thing is before you start chasing this application, before you do anything, I want you to get to the original job listing that prompted you to apply and look at your resume. And don't think of your resume from the standpoint of , “I want to do that job. I could learn it.” But look at the requirements of the position. Look at your resume. How do they match up.

You see, if they don't match up. Stop wasting your time and emotional energy and stop wasting their time by spamming resumes because that's what you're doing . ..

Spamming resumes is a useless exercise. Don't bother following up. Chalk it up to experience and if they miraculously are interested, even though your background doesn't fit, considered a minor miracle. But, the probability is with a large firm you been rejected, with a small firm. You probably been rejected but there's the possibility that maybe the recruiter has gotten so busy that they can’t follow-up.

Are there successful ways to do it? I could introduce you to your mobile phone and have you call them, but there's no guarantees of that because the reality is you are going to call up, call the main number say, “Hi! I applied for a position. Who in recruiting would I contact they would connect you with that department, put you on permanent hold. Eventually you talk to someone who has no idea what you're talking about because they are an administrative person. You say, “I applied for a position 2 weeks ago for such and such.” They say, “Hold on; I will transfer you that person,” or, and this is where the person would say or this individual would say, “hey, look, if we are interested, (and they will say this more nicely) if we're interested will be in contact. We are not going to interrupt our day to go looking for your application online . When the probability is you just spammed another useless resume.”

A story from my own career when I still worked in recruiting was how often I got follow-up calls from individuals whose resumes did not fit the job at all . . . The only thing that fit from the job requirements to their resume was having the word “the” in the resume. That was it.

The word “the” was in the resume. The word “the” was in the job description. Then these people were indignant that they had gotten an interview. And they would scold me, they would rebuke me and I eventually would have to say, “Look, this is what the client specified. It's a legal request and if you are going to try to bully me. This is going to be wasting your time.

Instead, you're better off just giving me a resume to demonstrate how you fit the requirements of the position, and preferably, how you also fit the functionality of the job that they will ask you to do once you're on board.

You see, that's really the key-- it is for your resume to demonstrate how your background fits the qualifications and, ideally, the functionality of the position, you're very likely to get interview.

Otherwise, don’t waste your time. Seriously you been rejected .

I’m Jeff Altman. My website is Come join. Let me help you.

Have a great day


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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