Following Up On Your Resume By Jeremy Cyrus 07/17/2012
Once you've written your resume and sent it in to an employer along with the relevant application paperwork, you may think your job is done, but in this economy, it's not. You can't just walk away and expect to get the job. You're going to be competing with a lot more candidates than you would have been in the past, and taking extra steps to ensure that the hiring manager is interested in you can be key to getting a job. One way in which you can entice a hiring manager into taking a second look at your resume is by means of a follow-up letter.
Following up on your resume only takes a few minutes—and once you compose a generic follow-up letter, you can just substitute in the names of positions and companies and send it off to different hiring managers. This saves you some time. Your follow-up letter doesn't need to be long or detailed—it should just express your continuing interest in the position, and invite the hiring manager to get in touch with you if he or she has questions about your resume. You can send the follow-up letter about a week or two after you submit your resume—sooner or later if necessary. It all depends on the timeline for the job application and selection process.
Why is this so important? With so many resumes to go through, hiring managers are at their leisure to ignore you. By showing extra interest in the position, you demonstrate determination and gumption, and prove that the job is important enough to you that you're willing to make some extra effort. That extra effort is something which the hiring manager will see as a positive sign. This in itself is a quality which can only be demonstrated—not described on your resume.
Following up also reminds the hiring manager that you exist.
Even if a hiring manager is genuinely interested in you from the start, it can be easy to lose track of your resume amid so many others, especially nowadays. You'd hate to be passed over simply because a hiring manager got confused or busy, wouldn't you? It can be worth it to send over a helpful reminder so that you don't miss an opportunity. Jobs are too scarce and too valuable these days to do anything else.
If you do get an interview, you'll want to take the time to follow up on that as well. You follow up on your interview with a thank-you letter in which you convey your gratitude to the hiring manager for taking the time to meet you, answer your questions, and show you around. Both the follow-up letter and the thank-you letter demonstrate that you are a polite person who knows how to interact with others. This is another quality which you can only convey through action—and not simply through your resume. It's one of the most important qualities any employee can have. So do the extra work and you are more likely to be rewarded.