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Tactful Way to Inquire About a Job Opening That You Have Applied For

by Oubria Tronshaw, studioD

If you're anxious to hear back about a job opening, keep in mind that while you're anticipating contact from one company, that one company is anticipating contact from dozens, possibly hundreds of candidates. Strike a balance between a patient, yet enthusiastic and optimistic tone when you follow-up -- even if your resume and cover letter is top notch -- you could sabotage your chances if you come off as demanding or discouraged.

Give It Time

Employers are typically flooded with responses to job advertisements, and don’t have time to get back to candidates right away. Although you may be anxious to hear something about your status, give the hiring manager some time to sort through the applications in the inbox before asking about your status. Quintessential Careers recommends waiting between a week to 10 days before making contact.

Stand Out From the Crowd

If you have applied for a job online and you haven’t heard anything back, Quintessential Careers also advises sending a hard copy of your resume through standard mail, to reiterate your interest in the position in a way that sets you apart from the competition. Include a cover letter that explains that you have already applied, and that you’re still very interested in the position, and that you just wanted the hiring manager to have a copy of your resume in hand. This shows you are serious about the job, detail oriented, and have great follow through.

Length and Tone

Whether you send your inquiry on the phone, via email or regular mail, you want to make a good impression. Although you may be tempted to write a full-length letter explaining your merits, be mindful of your potential employer’s time and send a brief note instead. Although many career experts advise proactively writing or calling to say you’re “making contact to schedule an interview,” US News and World Report recommends a less presumptuous approach, for example, “I just wanted to say again that I’m very interested in the job. If it’s OK with you, once you start scheduling interviews, I’d love to come in and talk more about the position.” When you make contact, pay close attention to details -- proofread your letter before sending, and ensure you are spelling or pronouncing your contact person’s name correctly.

Social Networking

If you don’t have the name of a contact person, but don’t let that stop you. US News and World Report suggests using LinkedIn to research the company and pinpoint who does the hiring. Find out if the position is still open, and work your way into the company’s network. Who knows -- you and the hiring manager might have a mutual acquaintance who can facilitate a more effective introduction.

About the Author

Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.

Photo Credits

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