Calling to Follow Up on Your Application

A great deal of applying to jobs is waiting around for a response or any indication that someone somewhere has read your resume and cover letter. It can feel very frustrating, especially since so much of your hard work, and any decision that results from it, is now out of your hands. However, if two to three weeks have passed with no reply, you can check in on the status of your application.

Making a cold phone call sounds scary, but it’s one of the more direct approaches to following up. A phone call won’t get lost in the shuffle like an email, so try setting aside any anxieties about talking on the phone. If you are nervous, write down what you want to say and practice reading it out loud. You can keep a script nearby when you make the actual call as a point of reference or read from it directly if that helps, but try not to sound too robotic.

You’ll also want to be aware of what time of the day you’re calling. Be aware of things like peak hours, lunch time, and closing hours.

Depending on where you applied, you’ll either need to speak with someone in HR or speak directly with a manager. The goal of the call is simply to check in. Tell them your name, ask if they received your application, state that you’re very excited about the role (you can give a quick reason why you’re the right fit) and hope to hear from them soon. You can ask a quick question, like if they’re ready to interview people yet and when that process might begin. Be sure to remain polite and not too pushy.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a phone interview. You don’t need to give your elevator speech, unless prompted to do so, or go over your resume in length. Even though it’s a quick call, remember your phone manners—speak clearly, don’t interrupt, and show your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

You can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and ask a career advisor for assistance with job preparation, including resume building, cover letter writing, and interview techniques. Call 602-535-4444 to find a center near you or visit our locations page.

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