You Applied to Your Dream Job. Now What?

Once you’ve hit submit on an application, a big wave of emotions usually immediately come over you.

  • Relief that you finished filling out the application completely (especially if it’s lengthy).

  • Nerves about whether this company will get back with you or not.

  • Hope that you’re the best candidate that applied for the job.

  • Wonder about what it would be like to actually work in this new role.

And while all of those emotions are washing over you, the one thing that you’re probably not considering is what you’re actually going to do next. Because sitting back and just waiting for someone to come to you isn’t always the best plan. Even though the ball is technically in the employer’s court right now, you need to take control of your application destiny!

There are plenty of tactics you can take to increase your chances of actually landing that first interview, but following up correctly is key. Doing this poorly can also significantly reduce your chances of ever landing that dream job, or applying to that company again in the future.


Connect with a recruiter/hiring manager personally

We always suggest that even if you apply to a job however the company suggests doing so, if sending off your resume and cover letter to a recruiter or hiring manager is the original tactic, you need to add that in. By using LinkedIn, you can quickly find who the recruiter or hiring manager is for a company, send them a personalized message, or even find their email address within the company database on their website. Make sure to mention that you’ve applied to the official channels for that company, but that you wanted to reach out directly as well.

But don’t start harassing these people

Don’t just start sending messages every day, hoping that someone will eventually respond to your requests because you’ll be at the forefront of their mind. Wait at least a week before you reach out to anyone again and check on the status of your application. Most companies also offer feedback on when you should expect to hear from them, and if they give you an exact timeline, be respectful of that time. We definitely suggest emailing over calling to start, as these recruiters and hiring managers are incredibly busy and you don’t want to appear desperate.

Craft your messaging carefully

Your follow up should be short, sweet, and too the point. Do not try and write out paragraphs and paragraphs of information about yourself to help them learn more about you. That’s what the interview is for. Make sure to let them know that:

  • You’re following up on your application and want to make sure they received your materials

  • You’re reiterating your interest in the position

  • You think you’d be a great match and would love to discuss the position further

  • You’d like to know when you should hear back about scheduling a potential interview

Channel your inner patience

Once you’ve followed up on the position, let it go until you hear something back. Sending another email a week later if you haven’t heard back may start to appear pushy or desperate. If you applied correctly, reached out to someone specifically, sent a follow up message appropriately, and still haven’t heard back, just let this one go. The only time it is appropriate to send more than one follow-up message is when you’ve heard about an interview or after an interview to hear about a hiring decision.