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Following up is one key way job seekers can stand out to hiring managers and show their enthusiasm and commitment to positions for which they apply, but an overly aggressive approach can backfire and leave a bad first impression. If you handle follow-up professionally, you can increase your chances of consideration. Keep these best practices in mind to err on the side of persistent … instead of annoying hiring managers:

Time It Correctly

If you reach out to hiring managers too soon, it can be irritating and make you look overly desperate. Review the job description thoroughly to see if there is a close date for when they’ll stop accepting applications – if you follow up before the close date, it shows that you can’t follow directions or pay attention to detail. When no close date is indicated, a safe bet is to wait a week before following up about the status of your application.

If you have an actual interview, don’t leave without asking about the expected timeline for when you’ll hear from them – and only follow up if that time passes without word.

Ask Appropriate Questions

Whether you contact the hiring manager via email or phone, it’s best to make the conversation brief. It is not the time to list why you’d be perfect for the job – this is how persistence morphs into annoying, because you’re taking it upon yourself to determine how the hiring process should go. When they want you to “sell yourself,” hiring managers will set up a time for that.

In the meantime, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask if a decision has been made and if there’s an expected timeframe in place. Politely thanking the hiring manager and saying that you’re looking forward to hearing more shows your enthusiasm, without coming off too strong.

Don’t Be Pushy

Ideally, hiring managers would treat candidates with consideration and not leave them hanging. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. They can get busy if they’re inundated with candidates and may not be able to respond, or they may choose not to. If you don’t hear back, resist the urge to amp up your efforts. Limit your attempts to once per week, and never demand to know why you haven’t heard back.

You job search isn’t over until you have an offer and have actually started, so continue your efforts while you’re waiting to hear back. This will keep you productive and reduce the temptation to follow up too often.

Improve your job search by working with the experts at Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions. We are an experienced staffing firm serving the Hudson Valley and offer a wide range of positions from area employers. Our experts will collaborate with you to match you with available positions that are right for you. Search our available jobs online to get started.