Job Application Follow up – Good or Bad Idea?

There are two camps as far as job application follow-up is concerned.

1). Do Follow-Up

“Having hired 100’s of staff directly, I can’t tell you the number of times a call has made the big difference. A call to tell me just how interested you are in the post, and to show that you really want this job, not just any job makes all the difference. Many hiring managers feel much the same way, and e-mail is far too easy to ignore (and usually is).

Pick the phone up. Be polite. Explain why you are so keen. Don’t ask if I have your details, that’s too easy to say yes. Tell me your availability and ask for a slot. Don’t fear the phone by hiding behind a mouse.”

2). Don’t Follow-Up

“Calling does no good if you’re not a highly qualified candidate … and if you ARE a highly qualified candidate, I’m going to contact you anyway.

I’m hiring for a job right now that’s received more than 400 applications. If just 20% of those applicants called me, that’s almost a full day of my time right there. But what I’ve actually noticed is that the candidates who DO call are invariably the ones who aren’t well matched with the job. I don’t think I can recall ever getting a call from a candidate who was really strong, in fact! It’s almost a signal that they’re not going to be right.”

So here’s what I suggest for making a job application follow up in Singapore:

  • Only engage in a job application follow up for roles which you really like and/or where you meet the requirements the employer/recruiter is asking for. This is just to express your interest/competitiveness and also to make sure that your application is not overlooked (sometimes you might not appear in the search results of the employer’s/recruiter’s applicant tracking system).
  • Make it clear very early in the email/conversation that you are getting in touch because you meet the requirements of the job and because you think you can do great things in the role. You are not a desperate job seeker who is making contact just for the sake of it.
  • Follow-up  5-7 days after you make the application.
  • Try and get the relevant recruiter/hiring manager’s contact details from Google or LinkedIn. Give them a phone call if possible and only send an email if you can’t get hold of anyone to speak with.
  • If you can’t find any contact details at all, for a relevant person:
  1. For Recruiters: Call the board line and ask for the person who handles XYZ sector/function.
  2. For Hiring Managers: See if any of your connections on LinkedIn work at the company and try to get information on who the hiring manager is and possibly ask them to put in a good word as well.

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