Job Hunting 101: How to Land an Interview

A job hunt is often a lengthy process, involving a series of steps that can, at times, be challenging to complete. Once you submit a resume, you may assume that whether you get an interview is entirely out of your hands. After all, you’ve highlighted why you’re a great candidate in your application; what more can you do?

While it may seem like you have to simply wait and hope for a reply, that isn’t necessarily the case. There are certain actions that may boost your odds of getting an interview after you’ve already submitted your resume. If you want to handle this step properly, here’s a look at what you can do to potentially increase your odds of landing an interview.

Ask for a Referral

While many professionals focus on referrals when they are trying to find jobs to apply to, that doesn’t mean you can’t use one after you’ve sent in your resume. If you know someone who has the hiring manager’s ear, you could see if they are open to speaking with the hiring manager about your application.

This approach should only be used if your connection with the potential referrer is fairly strong. After all, you’re asking for a favor. Plus, they may ultimately end up having to vouch for your capabilities during the conversation if the hiring manager wants to know their opinion of you.

However, if you have a member of your network who is aware of what you bring to the table and is comfortable with approaching the hiring manager, this option can work. It’s essentially a referral after-the-fact and can be equally as effective as one earlier in the process.

Well-Timed Follow-Up

If you’ve sent in your resume and haven’t heard back, you can follow up with the hiring manager. However, you want to make sure it is both well-timed and well-crafted. Otherwise, reaching out may actually hurt your chances of landing an interview.

First, when it comes to timing, review the job ad again to see if there is a closing date listed. If so, don’t follow up before that date passes. There’s a decent chance that the hiring manager isn’t looking at any applications before that moment, so following up ahead of that makes you seem impatient or like you lack attention-to-detail.

Additionally, see if there is a statement about follow-up messages or calls. Some job ads explicitly state not to follow up. If that’s the case, don’t reach out. By doing so, you may get yourself sent automatically to the discard pile because you failed to follow directions.

If there is a closing date and there’s no verbiage saying you can’t ask for a status update, don’t reach out until approximately one week after it passes. That would give the hiring manager sufficient time to review applications or, at least, make your timing seem reasonable.

For job postings without closing dates that don’t prohibit follow up, you’ll want to wait one to two weeks after you send in your resume. Again, it’s about providing the hiring manager with enough time to potentially conduct an initial review, ensuring you aren’t rushing the process.

Be Professional and Concise

When you craft your message, focus on being professional and concise. Open with a greeting, then immediately say that you are writing to follow up on a resume you submitted, listing the date you applied and the specific job title. Express your interest in the role and quickly highlight two of your strengths that are relevant to the position.

Then, thank them for reviewing your resume and let them know you look forward to hearing from them about the opportunity. Sign off and include your contact information at the end below your signature line.

Send out that message, and no more. Following up too often could be viewed as bothersome, so you may be better off with a single, well-crafted follow-up message and, if you don’t hear back then, move on to other opportunities.

If you’d like to learn more about landing interviews, the team at GSG Talent Solutions can help. Contact us today.


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