How often should you follow up in job search?

Jobseekers often ask how often and when to follow up in job search. My guideline inspired by career industry training is the 7 to 10 day rule.

Follow up in job search: 7 to 10 day rule

Basically, between every stage of your job search, follow up in seven to ten days.

The exception is in the beginning. What should you do if you apply online and don’t get a response immediately or within 24 hours. Call (not email) to follow up with human resources to learn if your resume or application was received. This is an opportunity to market yourself for the role in a personal but professional manner.

Being pushy at any stage of a job search isn’t good. However, neither is the opposite of being so mild-mannered that you come off as mousy.

Follow up in job search after the initial application

Often hiring or selection processes begin with a phone interview. Treat the phone interview as seriously as the rest of the interview or selection process. Ask when they plan to schedule the first interview in the first seven to ten day touchback call. It is ok for you to ask for information about their process. Every company follows slightly different rules so they should be pleased that you care enough to ask about the process.

The 7 to 10 day rule I recommend helps you avoid looking like a pest to the hiring department. An overabundance of calls will most likely get you removed from the line-up. However, showing a genuine interest in the company and the position will likely be rewarded. This assumes you fit the position and demonstrated how you fit in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.

The Sloppy and Improper Job Seekers

No matter the economy, many applicants are very sloppy and improper in their approach to job search. This is better for you, the wise job searcher. As long as people submit sloppy and poor resumes, marketing to positions they clearly are not qualified for in the first place and are too pushy in the process, you, the wise job seeker, benefit.

Send thank you notes

Remember to send thank you notes to the people who help you or interview you. The thank you note makes you memorable and this is another thing that the sloppy job seeker always skips over.

If you treat this process as a project that has checkpoints (7 to 10 days), you will remember to check in via phone or email periodically to keep your name floating upward in the process.

I can help you achieve results through using a personalized job search and resume writing  strategy to take the mystery out of the process. To find out how, simply click here!


  1. Rita Carey on October 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Julie, this question is asked so often and you have addressed it well. Of course, this market makes it difficult to talk with company personnel and email is overused, but I tell them to keep trying to reach someone and to engage with that person who is answering so many calls. Think about what it might be like on their end and perhaps after identifying oneself, acknowledge that they must be receiving many calls and your intention is not to add to their workload, but you just want to be sure that the resume was received or inquire about the status of the selection process.

    • Julie Walraven on October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Rita, and for sharing your wisdom. I agree… the people are busy is part of the equation and you should make sure they understand that you are not trying to burden them but at the same time, you want to not go invisible in the process.

      A comment I got on Google+, suggested that you should ask about the follow up time and comply with it which also sounded reasonable except that the examples he gave stretched out the period to up to 2 months. I don’t think you should be waiting 2 months to find out if you are still in the running. What do you think? I think Companies should show courtesy to the applicants too with reasonable processing times and response times.

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