Resume writing tips

Writing a resume follow up inquiry

What should you do if you have submitted your resume and have not heard back from the company? When should you write a follow up inquiry (about your) resume?

Please note - I am NOT talking about a resume thank you letter here, I am talking about what you should do if:

  1. You have had no feedback from a company or
  2. You have been turned down by a company.

Firstly, you need to relax and take a deep breath. It is quite normal to feel slightly depressed and angry at this point.  Before you do anything make sure you have checked the following;

  1. The deadline for submissions. If there is still time (in other words if the company is still taking resume submissions) you are in no position to get anxious - the company (companies) is obliged to wait until the period for submissions has lapsed. 
  2. Secondly you need to re-read the advertisement to make sure of the stated terms on which they will get back to you.  Often there will be a clause stating when you can expect an answer.

Make sure you have "covered" the two points above before you proceed.

You now need to decide on your course of action. 

  1. If you've sent the resume and have not heard anything from the company - i.e. no notification whatsoever, you should contact them immediately.  In this case a telephone call may be the best option.  Whether you phone or write, the essence of your follow up enquiry should be to find out (double check) that they have indeed received your resume.  It is important to come across friendly - you do NOT want to adopt an aggressive tone. 
    • The worst thing you can do is phone or write saying something like "I've sent you my resume 3 weeks ago and I am still waiting for a response from you".  If I get a letter (or call) like that the resume in question will go straight to the trash bin. 

    • Phone (or write) and politely enquire if they have received your resume.  You can try something along the lines of "Dear Name, I have applied for position advertised at your company and would like to confirm that you have received my application."

  2. If your application have been turned down you should feel free to enquire why.  Firstly try not to take it too personally, you do NOT want to phone or write telling them why "they made a big mistake not hiring you".  Realize that this particular horse has bolted, this window of opportunity is closed.  However you now a new unique opportunity to learn why you were not successful.  The way you approach this is important.  Remember, you want to learn why they have not selected you in order to increase your chances at the next interview

    You have nothing to lose and lots to gain - so DO IT!

    The essence of this type follow up inquiry resume should therefore be;
    • Thank you for the opportunity to present my resume/interview with you.
    • I am disappointed that I have not been selected but would like to make it clear that I respect your decision.
    • Please help me understand which qualities you feel I can improve on in order to increase my chances at future/different companies.
    • Your help and time in this matter is greatly appreciated.