August 27, 2013, 10:20 AM — You find a promising job, tailor your resume to best fit the position and send it in.
There's a fine line between determining if your resume was received and tanking your chances of landing an interview because you inadvertently annoyed HR with your constant queries.
Careers expert and author Hannah Morgan has a rule of thumb for you: timing is everything.
If you don't receive an automated response, Morgan says a carefully-worded same-day e-mail or phone call to HR isn't out of the question.
"Your priority is to ensure your materials were received, meanwhile, HR's priority is to screen the applications, not troubleshoot why yours wasn't received," Morgan tells U.S. News & World Report. "Be polite and show empathy for their busy workload when you communicate with them."
After all, you're in IT, you know things go awry better than most.
If that query doesn't earn a response within a week, Morgan says it's acceptable to ask about the status of your application, "as long as your wording is courteous."
The one thing you want to avoid at all costs is "stalking" - repeated unwanted contact with the company. Some HR departments may be so bombarded filling positions they never contact applicants to acknowledge receipt of their resumes. It's not ideal, for sure, but it happens. In this case, Morgan suggests alternate routes. For instance, if you know someone in the company, see if they can find out the status of your application or where HR is in the screening process.
If you get further in the hiring process and land an interview, you’ll be faced with a similar question: When do I hear if I got the job?
For this, Morgan says come to your interview with two closing questions: "What are the next steps in the process?" and "When may I follow-up with you?”
These will give you a sense of a timeline, express interest in progress without being overbearing and eliminate the worry of whether you’ll annoy your potential employer with follow-up contact.