Sunday, August 03, 2014

Should I Follow-Up After Submitting Resume?

I received the following question from a personal trainer looking for additional work?
I am looking for additional opportunities to help supplement my in-home personal training business. I have submitted my resume to several gyms in my area without a response. Should I call to follow-up?
My immediate inclination was to say no. Alison Green of Ask A Manager frequently writes:
As for following up … don’t call. They have your application. They know you’re interested. You will annoy them if you call.
This resume was not sent in response to an ad. It was sent with the hope of the recipient being so impressed with the resume they’d create a position for the applicant. I decided to get a second opinion.

One of my fitness instructors previously owned a gym. Before class one night, I asked her opinion of job applicants following-up on resumes:

She actually preferred it and would be impressed. As a gym owner she needed trainers who were willing to call a clients to say we haven't seen you in a while. By following up on your resume you are demonstrating you have the ability to do this. She said to say something like, "I am following up on a resume I sent you. I want to make sure you received it and if you had any questions."

Then this weekend I asked my sister-in-law who is an HR Director at a large insurance company for a third opinion. She too thinks following up is okay, but recommends only calling ONCE. She feels the reason so many applicants feel the need to call is actually an HR problem. They don’t send rejection letters soon enough and many HR departments do not send rejection letters at all.

Do you think applicants should follow-up after sending resumes?


  1. This is a question I struggle with, too.

  2. We all struggle with this one. As the HR person, I always replied to unsolicited resumes within 48 hours, so that I would not have to take the phone calls!

    But, as an applicant I frequently called to inquire where they sere in the process. The number of responses even a small company gets in response to a job posting is overwhelming, but I think too many companies have forgotten that there are living, breathing, possibly unemployed people out there needing to know if they need to move on.

    When I was laid off in 2008, I searched for three months and only received one 'sorry, we filled that job' letter ... and it came 14 months after I applied.

  3. If you really want a job, follow up. I have always done that. Potential employers love go getters. Often someone that calls to follow up get an interview. There are often piles of people in a yes box and even more in the no box. These in the no are often skipped because employers just dont have the time, and you might be the best candidate and they havent even looked at your resume. so yeah, call them always to see how you go

  4. You might call only to ask if it was received, nothing more. And it's true, if you don't get invited to an interview you'll never hear more about the job being filled. Where I work we only notify the candidates that were actually interviewed but didn't get the job.

  5. Savvy, I love that you have 3 different perspectives for this question! I think one call can't hurt!