Here’s the rundown for any situation you may run into, and the proper etiquette to follow. This list runs in chronological order, from application, to post-interview.
1. You’ve sent in your resume and cover letter. How long should you wait to ask if the hiring manager received it?
Wait one week. The company is probably overwhelmed with applications, and won’t be able to look at yours immediately. If you don’t hear a response in a week, then you are justified in sending an email asking if they received your resume and cover letter.
Here’s how to format that letter:
I: Inform them who you are, and that you have applied for a position in their company.
II: Apologize for interrupting or seeming pushy, and communicate your understanding that the hiring manager is likely very busy.
III: Inform them that you are very excited about the opportunity to work at their company, and therefore felt the need to remind them that you applied.
IV: Ask if they received your application, and whether you could give them any more information.
V: Inform them that you look forward to hearing from them.
Perfect. Now, the hiring manager knows that you’re an “active” candidate, and not a bum that sends out resumes willy-nilly hoping to land a job. You’ll also come off as considerate, since you communicated your understanding to the hiring manager that they probably didn’t respond due to being too busy.
2. What if you don’t get a response again?
Make sure you’re emailing the correct address. If you do have the correct email, it’s possible that the hiring manager is either extremely busy, or not interested in you as a candidate. To be sure, send a final email after waiting another week. In that email, you should:
I: Introduce yourself again, and remind them that you applied two weeks ago, and sent a follow up letter one week ago.
II: Apologize for being intrusive again.
III: Inform them that you just wanted to make sure that your communications weren’t getting lost.
IV: Inform them that if you don’t hear from them this time, you’ll assume that they are not interested in you as a candidate, and that you’ll stop emailing them.
That’s the best you can do in this situation.
3. You get a phone call from the company informing you that they want to interview you. Should you email them to acknowledge and thank them for the opportunity?
Yes, you should. If the company contacts you by phone, you should ask for the email of the person who is in charge of hiring you. After the phone call is over, you should write an email to them, thanking them for the opportunity to interview with them, and re-confirming the details (date, time, place) of the interview.
4. After the interview, how long should you wait before emailing the hiring manager to thank them for the interview?
Wait one day. Going home and immediately emailing them would seem desperate, and waiting longer than one day seems negligent. What should go in this e-mail?
I: A thank you to the hiring manager for giving you the opportunity to interview.
II. A sentence or two regarding your excitement to join the company if given the chance, and a statement of genuine belief that you’d make a great fit.
III: If they didn’t tell you during the interview, ask when they will have the chance to follow up with you. If they did tell you during the interview, let them know that you look forward to hearing from them.
IV: Either at the beginning or near the end, add a sentence or two that is more personalized, bringing up a topic of discussion that came up during the interview, such as sports, some hobby, family, travel, food, movies, entertainment, etc. (If none came up during the interview, don’t worry – though this kind of personalization helps a lot.)
5. After your send your post-interview follow up e-mail, how long should you wait for the company to respond before following up again?
Wait one week before sending another follow up e-mail. That gives them plenty of time to consider your candidacy, and forces them to either respond with a rejection, an acceptance, or a request for more time. Here’s how to format that email:
I: Introduce yourself.
II: Ask the hiring manager if they’ve had enough time to consider your candidacy.
III: Ask them if you can provide them with any more information to help them make their selection.
IV: Inform them that you enjoyed the interview experience, and that you’d love to have the opportunity to join the team.
V: Thank them for the opportunity, and that you hope to hear from them soon.
Those are the 5 situations you can find yourself in, where proper “timing” etiquette may seem confusing. As you can see, at the very worst, you could be looking at a period of close to two months to successfully communicate with a single workplace.
That is why it is essential that you apply for more than one job at a time. You need to have several wheels spinning at the same time in order to make the best use of your time.
As the old cliché goes, finding a job is itself a full time job. Make sure that you’re using your time wisely – because there could be a lot of waiting involved.
Be aggressive! Best of luck finding a job. If you feel that it’s your resume that isn’t strong enough, give our resume builder a try. It can help you structure and write a professional resume.