Working from Home: The Follow-Up

Which would you prefer?

Candidate #1: Finishes application and receives an email that states the recruiters will be in touch if they’re interested in considering them for a position. Waits one day. Sends an email to any email address they can find. “Last time we spoke you said you were scoring applications for the graphic/web designer role. Can you send details about my application status?”

Candidate #2: Finishes application and receives an email that states the recruiters will be in touch if they’re interested in considering them for a position. Respectfully waits as they were instructed.

These examples of post application follow-ups might be two ends of the spectrum, but the question remains – what should I do after submitting my application? Each company has a different process in recruiting their candidates. This leads to a lot of conflicting information floating around the internet about the post-application process. To make things simple for you, I’m going to provide some easy steps to follow so you can think from the recruiter’s perspective and make your own decisions.

Out of sight, but not out of mind

The first step is to understand, we’re really busy!

Waiting can be the hardest part of the job hunting process. We’ve seen our fair share of impatience. Believe me when I say your impatience comes through in your written emails even if you try to disguise it.

We understand that your only concern is job hunting. However, we have hundreds or even thousands of candidates attempting to get the job and we have to weed through them all. It can take a long time to review all candidates for a position. Just because you don’t hear back within a few days or weeks doesn’t mean you’ve been forgotten about.

Bottom line: don’t get frustrated or impatient during the job process. Accepting that things take time will help you to flow through the application process and avoid seeming desperate in your follow-up email.


The second step is to actually follow the process – it’s there for a reason!

We understand that you don’t have the job yet and the amount of time each person is willing to spend on an application varies. However, each company has a process in place and, out of fairness for everyone, each candidate has to go through the same steps.

Attempting to side-step the process will create more work for you in the long run. Keep in mind, there are a lot of different companies with different processes. If you don’t want to go through the steps one company is requiring, you can always move on to the next.

Bottom line: if you don’t agree with the application process of one company, find another company that fits your comfort level. Don’t waste time getting frustrated or trying to skip steps.

The Elephant

The last step is to think from the recruiter’s point of view.

The big elephant in the room: follow-up emails to a recruiter. There’s a lot of information on the internet regarding how to follow up, when, and why. Every company and recruiter is different. Some people absolutely hate having people follow up and some believe it shows dedication. You have to use your judgment in each situation.

If you’re going to send an email, think about what you’re saying before you hit send. Every recruiter is busy and receives a lot of emails each day. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who has to read your email and respond – does it encourage someone to want to respond or does it come across as impatient or even rude? Your email is probably going to end up attached to your profile or application. Make sure your tone accurately represents how you want to be viewed by the company; coming across as rude or arrogant may negatively impact your chances of getting hired.

If you feel inclined to follow up with the recruiter:

  • Don’t include details that are already in your application; there’s no need to bombard a recruiter with your work history or details of your work ethic. That’s what a cover letter and your resume is for.
  • Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Be professional and polite
  • Keep it short and simple
  • Bottom line: write the follow-up to be professional, short, and relevant if you feel inclined to contact the recruiting department.

I hope you will find these suggestions helpful! We’d love to hear your thoughts and any questions you have regarding the interview process.

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