We’ve all heard that networking is incredibly important when it comes to the job hunt, and that’s true. Yet it is still possible to land opportunities through the “normal” application process.
When you apply for a job, or via a job board like ours, it’s incredibly important that you customize your application. By that, I mean your resume and your cover letter should be incredibly clear as to how your past experience will enable you to do the job well. Once you prepare and submit those application materials, hitting that “apply” button means you’re all set — so you should just sit back and pray, right?
What do you need to do after you apply for a job online? The answer is: a lot.
Here are some things you should do once you hit that fateful submit button.
Clean up your social media profiles, especially any that you included in your application
You’d be surprised at how many people include links to social media profiles with inappropriate content, or links to websites that haven’t been updated — or worse, that contain a broken URL. Make sure everything is up-to-date. Remember, it’s perfectly fine to show your personality and interests through your online presence, but be sure you’re looking at yourself with a critical eye.
Search for people who work at the company, who may be the ones reviewing your materials
With a little help from Google you can find your hopefully-future coworkers on Twitter, or at least LinkedIn. Here’s a tip though: Don’t just search for the recruiters. Try identifying and contacting who may be your future boss, as well as the hiring managers.
On public social media platforms like Twitter or Medium, you should also go ahead and give them a follow. It’s not creepy, I promise! Just avoid adding them on Facebook, or following them on Instagram — especially if their profile is private. That’s creepy.
Send a key contact (or at most, 2 people) a message letting them know that you applied
You don’t want to overwhelm recruiters or spam a bunch of people with the same message. That’s not going to make a good impression. After doing research, I would recommend reaching out to whoever you think is the best contact — either a hiring manager or specific recruiter who you can see works on the type of roles that you applied for. The message you send, ideally through LinkedIn, should mirror a super short application:
Hi [name], I hope all is well. I recently applied for the XYZ position at [name of company]. I’m confident my experience doing XYZ, and my strong XYZ skills that will enable me to thrive in the role. I look forward to hearing from the team and thank you for your consideration. Please let me know if you have any questions about my experience.
Most people will not take the time to send a note, so you will definitely stand out if you do. While there’s still a good chance they may not respond, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t look at your profile — so make sure you look great on whatever platform you’re sending a message from.
You always have to balance the online and off-line hustle, so even though you’ve hit submit, that doesn’t mean you should stop looking. Even if you get the job, you shouldn’t stop networking. After applying for — or accepting — the specific position, look out for any opportunities where you can go to events that take place at the company. Check out events with outside-networks that the company is involved with, or any other experiences that provide additional scoop on your role, or the industry. That way, you get the opportunity to meet more people from within the company, and outside of it. You’ll be equipped with valuable insight, and tons of talking points if you get called in for an interview.
How you follow up after submitting an application online really depends on the context, but here’s a few thoughts:
If you’ve actually met the recruiter, for instance, at an event like Hustle Summit, then you should definitely follow up with an email letting them know you applied, and attach your materials directly. If you have that personal contact, why not take full advantage of it?
If you don’t have a personal contact, see if they provide a general email. Reach out after about two weeks (a good rule of thumb) saying that you’d like to reiterate your interest and check in on the status of the application.
As you can see, your work isn’t over after the application is submitted. The good news? Most people will only submit the application. And remember, most people won’t get the job.
Will you be the one who stands out?
What are some of your experiences in following up after you hit “Apply?” Share in the comments!