Picture this: You work really hard on sending out a lot of resumes and cover letters, all targeted to jobs you qualify for easily. Then there is nothing but silence. You don’t get a response from anyone. You think to yourself. Why?

Here is the answer: You must follow up with each one. If you do this the right way, then employers will see that you have initiative and are driven. They want to see these attributes in candidates. If you are an extrovert, then calling them to follow may be the way to go for you. If you are more introverted, then follow up with an email. Remember, most job announcements receive hundreds of applications, so you need to stand out from the crowd.

You should follow up about 7-10 days after applying. In order to keep track of this, I recommend having a tracking system where you can keep track of where you applied, who you applied to, and when you followed up. A great job search system I’ve suggested to many is www.JibberJobber.com. If you completed an online application, then you can follow up by mailing your cover letter and resume to them. Your follow up should be brief and succinct. Continue to follow up but don’t overdo it or be annoying about it.

If they tell you that you have been rejected, then take that opportunity to ask why. This can provide a way for you to improve because this will give you insight as to why your resume was not moved along further in the process. You can use this information for future applications.

You can also call the company to verify that they have received your cover letter and resume. In these days of spam, it is possible for it to be caught in the spam filter. So it doesn’t hurt to ask. You can also use this an opportunity to ask what the screening process is and when would be a good time to follow up. This avoids you from being held in the lurch.

Following up will allow you to stand out from the crowd. When the hiring manager gets ready on who to move forward with, they are going to remember who they had a personal interaction with. If you follow up, then they will remember you.