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Follow-up confirms interest

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 but 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. Be proactive from the beginning, and in the last paragraph 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.

Job hunting is not merely putting in applications and sending cover letters and résumés. It is communication between the job seeker and potential employer throughout the process. Follow-up is a good opportunity to market your skills and professionalism during the job search process.


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For sample cover letters and follow-up letters, visit, register a username and password, and click on “Job Seeker Services” to access the “Letter Builder” option.

Take the first step in finding a job that you would like to apply for at the “Career Connect” job fair, presented by the Albuquerque Journal, on Tuesday, April 29th from 1-7 p.m. at the Embassy Suites. Attend this free event to meet face-to-face with over a dozen companies looking for new employees. Employers will be on hand seeking to fill entry- to professional-level positions in a variety of industries.

At the job fair, ask the company’s representative how best to follow up on your application and résumé, and then when you do follow-up after applying, be sure to briefly mention your contact’s name and that you learned about the opportunity at the job fair.

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