Help!!! Who do I follow up with?

Dear Resume Survis Lady,

I’m totally confused at this point on how and who to follow-up with directly after filling out an application and submitting a resume online.   Aside from following-up with HR to be sure they have your information, what advice can you give on taking it a step further?

Finding out who the hiring manager is and following-up directly with that person seems to be logical, but isn’t always the best scenario. I’ve had some people react very badly (rude and abrupt reaction to a direct call) and that has kind of made me think twice about this approach.

This is a great question and one I get often.  I hear from many clients that they have been told to find out who the hiring manager or decision maker is regarding the position they have applied to and contact them directly.  From my experience working with hiring managers, this is only a good idea if you either know the hiring manager personally or if you have a direct connection to the hiring manager through a friend or acquaintance.  Typically, hiring managers are extremely busy and don’t like dealing with tasks that they consider to be “HR’s” responsibility and that includes communication with candidates and status updates. 

Candidates that have interviewed for a position are a different story.  If you’ve already had an interview with the hiring manager, it’s completely acceptable, in fact I encourage for you to follow up with the hiring manager by sending a Thank You note after your interview thanking them for their time and letting them know your interest level in the position.  Now days, in the age of technology, it’s completely acceptable to  send a Thank You note via email if you have their email address or via professional networking such as LinkedIn.  Once the Thank You note has been sent, your next follow up is with the recruiter or the person that made the initial contact with you for the position.

I got sidetracked, back to the original question of who to follow up with.  If you’ve submitted your resume/application and have not heard anything back after 1-2 weeks, it is acceptable to follow up with the HR department/recruiter to make sure that your application has been received and to ask where your resume is at in the process.  During this initial follow up, I would also ask the recruiter if for future communication they prefer to communicate via email or the phone.  A rule of thumb with this is that if the recruiter’s initial contact with you is via email, they probably prefer to communicate via email and if their initial contact is via phone, they probably prefer phone.  Moving forward, you’ll know which method of communication to use with them.

To have your resume or job search questions answered by Resume Survis Lady, send your questions to: or on twitter: resumesurvisldy or connect with her directly on LinkedIn by sending her an invite to connect:


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eamonn Coleman
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 17:45:20

    nice comments. To be more specific I would try and folllow up with an actual recruiter within the target company, and if you can get them on the phone all the better. Inquire into the status of the position (if is still active, if you are a viable candidate, and next steps in the process. Leave them with a favorable impression as sometimes the resume will not get you an interview, but building a rapport with the recruiter in a brief conversation may….


    • resumesurvislady
      Apr 19, 2011 @ 17:49:08

      Thanks Eamonn! Great comments! You’re right, it is so important to build that relationship with the recruiter. In a lot of companies, the recruiters are the “gatekeeper” meaning they are the ones that determine which candidates move forward to the hiring manager.


  2. Sherryl Perry
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 19:28:14

    I think that’s a great tip to try to follow up using the method that they communicated with you first. My daughter is in an active online job search. I’m going to forward this to her. Thanks!


  3. Catherine S (Photography and Design)
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 22:38:29

    I truly appreciate all the pertinent information one can research on your posts. This one is no exception. I found your response to this question, as I have many others, very helpful. Thank you for sharing the experience you have gained in your field.


  4. Catarina Alexon
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 09:21:35

    You are absolutely right. If you contact someone outside of the HR department you run the risk of HR feeling by-passed and decide against you. Human nature sometimes works like that. Especially if the person in HR has low self-esteem.


  5. Keyuri Joshi
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 13:38:09

    These really are wonderful suggestions. As with anything in life, proceeding with good etiquette makes a big difference.


  6. Samantha Bangayan
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 17:51:01

    I’ve always been confused about this as well. Thanks for the suggestions! Great to point out preferred method of communication. I always forget that my way of communicating may not be the most convenient for the recruiter. =) Thanks, Billye! =)


  7. Jessica
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 09:54:52

    Great advice! With the advent of technology hampering traditional follow up methods, I think a lot of job seekers are asking themselves this same question. I think your advice is spot-on…contact the recruiter first. You will inevitably have to go through that individual first anyway, so best to establish a good repoire.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: