So You’ve Applied For A Job…Now What Should You Do?


I think we’ve all been there: There’s that one job you really want.

You’ve applied for it with the best resumé and cover letter you could come up with.

Now what? It’s tough to just sit around and wait, but there is more you can do.

“Be sure to say something specific about the organization to show that you’ve done your research and that you’re not just aimlessly applying to every posting.” —Sari Friedman, human resources consultant and career coach

Touch base

You probably don’t want to do this for every job application, but it is okay to touch base. “If it says ‘no phone calls’ then it’s best not to call,” says Sari Friedman, human resources consultant and career coach. “Better to try to find out the recruiter or hiring manager’s e-mail address and send a note.”

Let the recruiter know you’ve applied for the job already and “why you’re interested in the role and what you would bring to the role. Be sure to say something specific about the organization to show that you’ve done your research and that you’re not just aimlessly applying to every posting.”

Friedman advises attaching your resumé again so the recruiter doesn’t have to dig through a pile of applications to remember who you are.

Put on your research hat

Start researching the company you want to work with: Get to know them more. When you get the call for an interview, the knowledge will come naturally.

Avoid last-minute studying! You could find yourself getting that call the same day and the more you know about the company, the more comfortable you’ll feel at the interview. You’ll also have a stronger sense of whether or not this is the right fit for you and be prepared with questions and concerns for the interviewee.


Participate and interact with the company. Explore their website and post comments. Someone on their team will notice you’re interested—hopefully someone who’s part of the interview process. But even so, this gives you a feel for the company. You’ll learn more about them and find out whether you really want to work there.

Call out the company in your tweets. Be sure to stay true to your branding and to remain appropriate; you can draw attention to yourself (in a good way) by posting relevant links from the company’s site or mindfully mentioning them in a tweet (don’t forget the @ symbol, so they know).

Clean up your online profiles

This is a never ending job, but now is the time to update—yet again. Clean up your LinkedIn profile, read it over for spelling and grammar and rearrange the sections on the page so that your best assets are at the top of the page. A potential employer may only glance at your profile and you want to make sure your greatest accomplishments catch their eye.

Make your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles as clean as possible. You want it to be easy for a potential employer to link between the two.

Update your portfolio

Does anyone carry these around anymore? I do. Though they’re not often a necessity of interview processes, they make you stand out and show how dedicated you are. Who can forget the woman or man who walked into their interview with a clean, presentable portfolio? If you’ve managed to showcase excellent work, you’ll be remembered—in a good way.

“If you have work that is relevant to show then it makes sense to bring a portfolio. For example, if you’re a designer or in creative or work in marketing or advertising. No need to make a portfolio just for the sake of having one though,” Friedman says.

Search for yourself online

Yes, employers really do look you up online,” Friedman confirms. “It’s not that every employer will look you up online, it’s that they could that should be the thing to keep in mind.”

Run a search on yourself once a week to see how you’re appearing in the online world. Friedman adds, “It’s definitely important to make sure that everything that’s online about you is professional or at least presentable.” If you spot anything inappropriate coming from Facebook, delete it or modify your privacy settings. Sometimes your comments on groups or fan pages show up on Google searches; the same goes for tweets.

You’ve done the difficult part—knowing what you want and applying for the job. This to-do list should keep you occupied until you get the phone call you’ve been waiting for. And once you receive that call, your application will be stronger than ever.

Photo credit: Waiting by Josep Ma. Rosell on Flickr
About the author

Marisa Baratta loves writing, especially about topics pertaining to environmental change, animal issues, human rights and health. She loves helping others and wants to make a positive difference in the world. She is always working on publishing her books, which seek to inspire and incite laughter. She has been published in the National Post, t.o. night newspaper and on several online magazines. She completed a BA with a specialization in English and a bilingual certificate before studying Book and Magazine Publishing at Centennial College. She lives with her family and two cats (can you spot one of them in the picture?).