You’ve put in a lot of hard work to making your resume and cover letter exceptional, but as it is the case most times, a couple of weeks have gone by, and all you’ve got is total silence and reminders of acute unemployment in Nigeria occupying the news.
So, what’s a job seeker to do? You’re still interested, but you aren’t quite certain how to break the silence without being awkward. It turns out there are a lot of the things you’re worrying about – Should you call the recruiter? Should you stalk him/her on social media? Should you send an email?
So instead of stressing out, focus on how to follow up on a job application.
1. Don’t call. Send an email
Know this: Most Nigerian recruiters don’t have a lot of bandwidth for phone calls from applicants. So, skip calling and simply send an email. It leaves a paper trail, which will help your chances, as the recruiter would have the time to properly consider your suitability.
Keep it simple, with few sentences on something specific like the next steps in the process to take. For example:
“Hi Raphael, I applied to the Staff Writer position 3 weeks ago and would like to get some information on the hiring process timeline. I’m very eager to learn more about this position, and any updates you can provide would be greatly appreciated.”
2. Never show desperation
It’s okay to show your interest in the job when following up. But you shouldn’t start begging for an interview during your initial check-in (never let unemployment do that to you). Be enthusiastic but not desperate. Remind the recruiter of your interest in the job, and back it up with specific examples of why you’d be a good fit:
“As I mentioned in my resume, I created strategies that increased readership by 15% in my previous role as a Writer, and I know I can make the same type of impact in this position.”
3. Don’t get overtly personal
Avoid getting too familiar, too soon by being overly casual with the hiring manager. Even a great initial interaction with him/her doesn’t give you license to stalk them on social media, send messages to their personal accounts or websites, or ask for recommendations. Recruiters may not appreciate applicants invading their personal space with inquiries about application statuses.
It’s better to ask recruiters up front whether and when you should follow up – it’s more safe and professional. Not respecting personal boundaries could send red flags and have you labeled as a potential stalker. And that’s risky business for your employment chances.