Should I Follow Up After Sending a Resume


A reader wrote in and asked whether they should follow up after submitting a resume.  They had spent weeks trying to find a job: researching, writing their resume, and applying.

It’s been said that hiring managers only spend six seconds looking at your resume before moving to the next one.  According to Business Insider:

Recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.

So how do you know if you’re resume caught their attention?

Should You Follow Up After Sending a Resume?

Of course you should.  According to a recent survey, 70% of recruiters appreciate a follow up to your resume.  It shows that you are interested and not just blindly submitting resumes to any job you find posted on the internet.  With today’s competitive hiring market, it’s even more crucial to make sure the hiring manager gives you a fair shot, and hiring managers say that follow ups do put the candidate at top of mind.
The majority of job applicants are too afraid or just don’t know that the “follow-up” is an important part of the job search process.  So if anything, this will give you slight advantage over your peers.

How Long Should You Wait Before Following Up?

Good question.  You don’t want to look like a psycho stalker from one of those horror flicks so the general rule is to wait  two weeks.  Hiring managers are busy, and you want to make sure that they’ve had a chance to review your resume before you make the follow up call or email.

This also depends on how you found the job:

  • Applying when you don’t know anyone at the company:  In this case, wait the general two weeks as recommended above.
  • Recommended by a friend: The best thing to do is to have your friend personally deliver your resume to the hiring manager.  If you have to submit it directly to HR through the internet portal, follow up with your friend within three days to let them know that you’ve submitted your resume so they can put in a recommendation for you.
  • When you know the hiring manager personally: If you already know the hiring manger and they’ve already talked to you about the job, I would suggest following up immediately.  If you have already built of a rapport, there is no use in waiting.

Tips on Following Up

Think of the follow up as a way to get the hiring manager’s attention.  You shouldn’t have to reiterate your skills again as you already did that with your cover letter and resume.

A phone call or email is fine.  It depends on the job, how you’ve come across the opportunity, and what you are more comfortable with.  If you know the hiring manager or have been recommended through a trusted source, pick up the phone.  If you’ve applied through other channels, email is better because it will give the hiring manager time to look at your resume if they haven’t already done so.

A simple sample like this should work:

Follow Up Letter Sample


A lot of times you may not know the hiring managers name, but there are ways to find this info out such as calling the company, searching online, using Rapportive, or guessing email addresses.

How Many Times Should You Follow Up?

Typically, my advice would be to follow up only once.  You don’t want to look too needy or aggravate the hiring manager before you’ve had a chance to impress them with your awesome interview skills.

On the other hand, persistence pays off sometimes.  If you haven’t heard back and this is your dream job, maybe you can follow up a couple more times.

Whatever the case, you should most definitely follow up after sending a resume!

Photo Credit (Origami): Ardonik / CC BY-SA

About Paul Chittenden

JobKaster Co-Founder & Resident Career Expert

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2 Responses to Should I Follow Up After Sending a Resume

  1. Chris Romans September 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    While I’m not a hiring manager myself, I’ve sneaked a few glances at my bosses pool of candidates for some new positions opening up at my store (Yes, I work in retail); and the list is, frankly, immense. We’re talking hundreds (if not more) of applications filled out properly and with passing scores on those dumb tests they make applicants take. While I am a low level manager myself, I would not be where I am today (and with the upward mobility I seem to have) if I had not called and had an opportunity to speak with my boss (who was also doing the hiring). Every person who comes in looking for a job, I tell to apply and call to showcase their interest. In this world, there is no possible way to get pulled for a job unless you are being proactive and calling. Sure, it may annoy some people, but it makes you instantly memorable, if only because your name and initiative is fresh in the hiring manages mind. And that is one of the most important parts! Because once you have that interview, it can be easy to move forward. But getting that foot in the door is the hardest part for sure.

    Overall, good tips on following up after the departure of a resume!

  2. williamsmith August 24, 2015 at 6:46 am #

    Hi, this is helpful tips.

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