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Graceful way to contact company after applying for a job?
July 21, 2014 6:13 PM   Subscribe

About a week and a half ago, I applied for a job that I would be perfect for. I'm getting antsy. Should I sent a follow-up note?

I have every skill they want, and more. And it's perfectly in line with my personal and professional goals. I want this job.

I'm trying to figure out if there's graceful way to re-alert them to my application. The internet seems really divided on this point. Do people appreciate getting a follow-up note? Handwritten letter? Or is that creepy? It's at a nonprofit, if that makes a difference.

For the record, the job is not Director of Professional Etiquette. I wouldn't be qualified for that. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Non-profits are kind of notorious for... not a lack of organization as such, as a pace that does not necessarily lend itself to quick outside decisions.

Not time for a note yet. Did you apply online or with a handwritten application? They're probably aware of it either way, but it could be following up in a week or so in the same fashion in which you applied. Definitely not a handwritten letter, even if you had to manually fill out an application.
posted by RainyJay at 6:29 PM on July 21


Oh gosh, not yet. They know you're interested, because you applied, and they know how to reach you.

That said, this is a perfect opportunity for a third-party endorsement. Do you know anybody who knows anybody at the non-profit? Have them drop an email to their contact to put in a good word for you. That really can make a difference in getting you noticed.

Ask A Manager has good advice about waiting (and lots of other topics): "[D]on’t let up on your job search even a bit meanwhile. You will kick yourself later if you didn’t apply for other jobs while waiting to hear from a company that ends up never contacting you."
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:33 PM on July 21


That said, this is a perfect opportunity for a third-party endorsement. Do you know anybody who knows anybody at the non-profit? Have them drop an email to their contact to put in a good word for you.

I am no expert on job searching, but when I am hiring this carries a lot of weight if it is from someone I trust, while an applicant pestering me before I can even get the entire hiring committee to meet for the first time is not so cool.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:01 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I'm a hiring manager at a nonprofit. We just finished one round of hiring and are starting another. For some candidates (depending on when they applied) it took up to a month for us to get back to them. It wasn't because they were less qualified; it just so happened that they applied early in the process and it took us a while to start interviews.

In the past, also in the nonprofit sector, it's taken up to 2 months for managers to contact me for interviews for jobs I later got. In one case, there was a big campaign push that came up unexpectedly; in another case, the manager went on parental leave.
posted by lunasol at 7:17 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


hen I am hiring this carries a lot of weight if it is from someone I trust, while an applicant pestering me before I can even get the entire hiring committee to meet for the first time is not so cool.

Seriously. Think about it from the hiring manager's standpoint. A manager at a nonprofit is probably juggling a lot, in addition to hiring. Anything that makes their life easier is great. An endorsement from someone I know and trust is super-helpful. A candidate emailing me before we're ready to start interviewing just creates extra work for me.
posted by lunasol at 7:22 PM on July 21


Just hang tight. It's the hardest part about applying, I know, I have been there! However I am now doing some hiring myself and I see how quickly a week or two (or three!) can go by. Even if the company has a HR dept it can take time to process applications and for the hiring manager to have time to do interviews.
posted by radioamy at 7:27 PM on July 21


I once got a job at a nonprofit that took three months to interview me. Luckily I still had my old job in the meantime. But yes, it can sometimes take a while...hang in there.
posted by three_red_balloons at 8:46 PM on July 21


Jesus christ, a week and a half for a nonprofit job? Duuuuude. I've waited +6 weeks to get an interview request from really big, organised non-profits. You gotta give it time.

Also, if you're application is not strong enough, or you're not right for the role; calling them up will not change any minds on this. Likewise, if it's good or you're right for the role, they will be in touch.

You gotta accept that at this point it's out of your hands and it's their decision now, and it could take a good long while.
posted by smoke at 3:59 AM on July 22


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