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Follow-up crucial step in applying

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After submitting a job application, or cover letter and résumé, you can follow up to check on the status of the job.

Follow-up can be a great way to distinguish yourself as a candidate by showing the employer that you are a serious applicant who is sincerely interested in the job. Before proceeding with any follow-up, double check the job posting to see if the employer has stated not to contact them during the recruiting process.

When is the best time to follow up with an employer after you have submitted an application or résumé? How soon to wait after submitting paperwork depends on the situation and the type of job, but waiting one to two weeks to call the employer is a good guideline. Do not repeatedly contact the employer or business. There is a fine line in being a confident, persistent job hunter and being an overly aggressive candidate.

You can call the employer to check on the status of your application or résumé. Call during regular working hours and avoid lunch hours, peak hours during the day, or after hours. Be direct, to the point and polite. If you have a contact or a specific name from the job posting, request to speak to them or leave a message if they are unavailable. Begin with your name and the position you applied for, as well as the date of you submitted your materials. After you introduce yourself, you can simply state, “I would like to check on the status of my job application.”

Many employers and HR departments prefer follow-up via email and letters because it can be less intrusive than phone calls. In your initial cover letter, let your contact know when you plan on calling him or her. After you have submitted your cover letter and résumé, you can send a follow-up letter within the next one to two weeks, if you have not heard anything.

For sample cover letters and follow-up letters, visit www.jobs.state.nm.us, register a username and password, and click on “Job Seeker Services” to access the “Letter Builder” option. This free, easy-to-use tool will help you create, store, and update the letters you will need during a job search.

Following up after an interview is critical as well. Always follow up an interview with a thank-you note. You can send a quick thank you by email the day of the interview and then follow up with a more detailed letter by postal mail within twenty-four hours. Do not procrastinate writing and sending your thank you notes past 48 hours.

If you have not heard anything a week after the interview, you can make a follow-up phone call to the interviewer, HR manager or your contact letting them know of your continued interest in the job and ask if there is any further information you can provide.

Job hunting is not merely putting in applications and sending cover letters and résumés. It is a constant communication between the job seeker and potential employer throughout the process. Follow up, in the form of phone calls and written contact with employers, is a good opportunity to market your skills and professionalism during the job search process.

This is a regular column written by the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions. For more information, go to www.dws.state.nm.us.

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