Most of us have been in a situation where we’ve left what we believe is an important message but we never get the return phone call. This can be particularly frustrating when we’ve left a message regarding a possible job… maybe you’ve seen a job posting and it’s got your name written all over it, you’ve left a message or submitted your resume and well-thought-out cover letter but silence is the response. There are no set rules on how long you should wait before trying again, or how assertive/pushy/forward you need to be but here are some suggestions and I’ve found these time frames work well, although they’re by no means set in stone.
You’ve submitted your resume to a company and you’re perfect for the job but they haven’t even called to admit they’ve received your documents. If you’ve emailed your information from a company web site, it’s a good idea to follow up with the HR department after about 5 days. You could double-up and send your information to the manager of the department where you could potentially work, then follow up after the same amount of time. And don’t forget to make friends with the secretaries; they can be your champion and provide a wealth of info and/or help you navigate through the obstacles. If you’ve submitted your resume to a recruiter, feel free to be more assertive in this situation. Recruiters are deluged with information on a daily basis and sometime resumes fall through the cracks. If you haven’t heard from a recruiter within 2 to 3 days you should be on the phone introducing yourself.
When you go through a phone or on-site interview be sure to ask “what’s your time table for filling this position and when should I expect to hear from you?” This puts you in-the-know plus eliminates some of the initial post-interview anxiety. If the deadlines passes and you haven’t heard a thing, wait 2 days beyond the deadline then follow up with your contact. A very valid reason is “I wondered if your time table has changed for filling the position and also wanted to find out if there was any additional information I could provide for you.” If you continue to hear nothing for another 2 days, follow up with a letter (email or US mail). If a couple of weeks goes by, it’s a safe assumption that your candidacy isn’t going to continue and the company just doesn’t make a practice of letting candidates know.