Five Reasons to Follow Up a Job Application

Last Updated May 7, 2010 9:37 AM EDT

If you've ever applied for a job and spent the next few days constantly checking your phone and your e-mail client, you're definitely not alone.

But what if you could help rid those feelings of doubt and anxiety, as well as increase your chances for an interview, by just making a simple phone call to your potential employer?

In an article at CareerRealism, Mary Sevinsky lists five reasons why following up your application with an employer is a crucial step in getting an interview.

  1. To ensure your application arrived
  2. Following up an application with your potential employer ensures it's been correctly received by the right people. If it's gone to the wrong department, or it simply hasn't arrived in the first place, you'll never be considered to begin with -- even if your application is perfect.
  3. It helps you stand out from the crowd
  4. Any contact with an employer is a potential chance to stand out from the other applicants. Following up your application gives your potential new boss a chance to put a voice to a name. If every application is equal, the employer is more likely to favour you for having interacted with them in some way.
  5. It leaves a good impression
  6. Regardless of industry, employers are looking for eager, active workers who are prepared to go the extra mile. Following up is a simple way to show you fit the bill.
  7. It allows you to get crucial information
  8. Any contact with an employer gives you a chance to find out more about them and the company, which could give you an extra edge in an interview.
  9. It allows you to request an interview
  10. If you are able to speak to the person hiring, you can ask them when interviews are being scheduled. While you have their undivided attention, you can even ask if they'd like to arrange an interview with you there and then. (Here's an article on interview techniques to inspire you.)
And the main reason most applicants never follow up with their application? Fear of rejection and failure. (The more phlegmatic may also be concerned about appearing too pushy.)

Have you ever felt afraid to follow up an application and, if so, how did you manage to overcome it?