Tips for Following Up After Submitting a Resume

You can feel powerless after submitting a resume. You’ve done the work of creating a clean, crisp resume you feel represents your best work. The job description seems to fit your skills. The company even checks out well on sites like Glassdoor. But once you hit the send button on the electronic submission of your resume, it’s just a waiting game where all the power rests in the hands of the employer.

Or does it?

Here’s What to Do After You’ve Sent Your Resume

Today’s resume application can feel cold and impersonal. Sending a resume into the void without even the name of the hiring manager makes for a potentially awkward process if you’re trying to follow up. However, sites like LinkedIn allow the job poster to add their profile picture and a link to their page. Check the ad you submitted to see if the job poster took this friendly approach. See if you can, first, connect to the poster. Send a note with your request that alerts them to your application and thank them for allowing you to share your credentials.

LinkedIn is generally a good resource for job applicants, because you can find the job poster or perhaps someone in the HR department in your connections or through a simple search. While you don’t want to come across as a stalker, you can certainly try to follow up on your application, whether you applied on LinkedIn, a job board like Indeed, or perhaps on the company website.

It’s perfectly appropriate if you haven’t heard back in two weeks or so to reach out to check on the status of your application. There are several ways to do this:

  • Email gives the hiring team a record of your correspondence; so many prefer this method of contact. Generally, tracking down an email isn’t hard; most websites have some sort of electronic contact information. Make sure your subject line is concise. “Following up on (date) resume submission” is a good subject line to use. The body of the email should include the name of the job you applied for. If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, the salutation should be, “Dear Hiring Team:”
  • Some people choose to send a paper letter at this time to follow up. This isn’t a bad idea, because it’s an unusual approach in today’s electronic submission process. Use a standard business-style format and the same kind of content you’d use in a professional email. Make sure to include your contact information in the signature line.
  • A phone call could also work. Try these either first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, when people are not usually stuck in meetings. If you haven’t been able to find out the name of the hiring manager, just ask for the HR department when you call. Try calling twice before leaving a brief message with the job you applied to and your name and contact information. Offer to clarify any information they might need and thank them for their consideration of your credentials. 

One important caveat is to check the ad you applied to; sometimes they will say not to call the company directly. If this is the case, follow their request.

One way to take the guesswork out of the hiring process is to work directly with a recruiter at Top Stack. We take our candidate and client relationships very seriously and work hard to keep you in the loop at every step in the process. If you haven’t worked with a recruiter before, it’s a free service that will give you a leg up on other candidates who are blindly submitting an online application. Contact us to talk about your future.

Stand Out at Your New Job With These 5 Easy Tips

When you start a new job, you probably want to stand out. You worked hard to land the work and it’s natural you’d want a reward for doing if. The first 90 days in a new job is a time of excitement and learning, as you make new friends and learn new workflows. The last thing you need is to stand out for the wrong things. To start your job off on the right note, here are some things you should do in the first 90 days.

1. Fake It Till You Make It

It’s normal to be nervous in a new job, but no one needs to know it. Go in confident in your abilities to do the job, even if you feel, deep down, you’re not prepared to pull it off. The last thing you want to do is let your managers know you don’t have confidence in your own abilities. Faking it till you feel more comfortable is a good idea, because you don’t want your boss to start to regret their decision to hire you. So, go into the role having faith in the abilities that brought you this far.

2. Allow Enough Time

Go into a new job recognizing it will take some time before you feel like you have mastered the position. Think about what led you to this job and why you left your last position. You are going to have a learning curve, so cut yourself some slack and allow enough time to adapt, learn, and thrive in your new role.

3. Get to Know the Culture

Culture is everything in a new job. It’s probably at least partially why you went after the role to begin with. But you know how people are let go from jobs because they “just didn’t fit in”? The idea that fitting into a culture is just as important as being able to do the work is an important one. Understanding the cultural norms in the job is important. So, make sure you make the effort to go out to lunch with your co-workers and get to know them. Talk to people and get to know them. Make sure you spend more time listening than talking so you can learn the ins and outs of the organization and what cultural norms you should conform to.

4. Be Positive but Realistic

When you start a new job, it’s easy to promise everything to everyone. But don’t over promise and despite your enthusiasm for the job, be realistic about what you can deliver in your new job.

5. Be Proactive and Meet With Your Manager

Don’t wait for your annual review to find out how you’re doing. Set the standard when you walk in, that an environment of back-and-forth feedback is important. Ask your manager how you’re doing after the first week, first month, and certainly at 90 days. That way you can adjust your behaviors based on real-time feedback instead of waiting for a long-term review.

Finding your next job is just a phone call away. Contact the team at Top Stack to get started.


3 Ways to Turn Stress into Productivity

Stress is a strange emotion. It’s a psychological trigger that can lead to increased anxiety, but also more activity. On one hand, the studies show that stress can cause all kinds of health problems, like depression, heart disease, and insomnia. Chronic stress can wreck your health.

On the other hand, stress can inspire some of us to produce our best work. Which is it for you? Since everyone experiences stress, perhaps there’s a way to turn this negative emotion into a positive. Here’s how to turn something stressful into higher efficiency and productivity.

Harness Your Stress by Recognizing

An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests the first step toward conquering stress is to simply acknowledge its existence. It suggests that stress has several positive attributes we can benefit from. Being stressed reminds us of the cliché, “if it doesn’t kill you it’ll make you stronger,” and that is certainly true. But to reap the benefits of being stressed out, we must acknowledge the impact it is having on our lives. The Harvard article says that stress causes the human response of fight or flight; our heart rate and blood pressure can increase along with other visceral reactions. Understanding that what’s making you anxious is the dopamine being released in your body is just one way to use those feelings as a motivator. But recognizing these reactions can stop these physical responses. This allows you to take a more deliberate approach to your reaction to the stress you’re under.

Change Your Approach

Once you recognize your stress, you can take steps to master it. Taking steps to use stress as a challenge to help you achieve more is a good way to manage it. One study found that people who view their stress as a challenge instead of a negative problem hampering them were able to maintain their energy and focus without getting sick or emotionally exhausted. Taking stress and using it to help you overcome hurdles will give you control over your feelings of being overwhelmed by negative emotions. Instead of viewing stress as a negative, use it as the impetus to help you increase your performance and productivity.

Now Get Motivated

If you’re not experiencing stress, the body will not trigger the heightened energy that comes from stress. That’s why the final step toward conquering stress and using it to your advantage is to leverage it to get motivated. Could stress push you to meet a deadline or prepare for a last-minute meeting? The energy that comes from being stressed implies activity – which is exactly what stress can spur you on to. Stress can cause you to take action, completing tasks in record time. If you are a procrastinator, you’ll instinctively understand how the stress that comes from a deadline can motivate you to get it done.

So, use your stress, don’t let it paralyze you. By acknowledging your stress and recognizing it for the tool that it can be, you could increase your productivity and turn a negative into a positive.

To learn more about how you can turn stress into productivity, contact Top Stack. We can help you take control of your career.

4 Ways to Turn a Setback at Work Into an Opportunity

Whether you’re in management or a lower position, a setback at work can be frustrating, depressing, and can even make you want to quit. The setback could be a raise or promotion you didn’t get or a maybe a project that went wrong. Maybe a personal emergency forces you to take some time off. All these things can force a loss of confidence and dampen your enthusiasm for the job.

How can you cope with these or other job setbacks? How can you get back on track?

Feeling Down? Exercise

Daily on-the-job challenges can leave you feeling overwhelmed. But something as simple as taking a walk can improve your perspective and even help you problem solve. If you have a desk job, taking a 10-minute walk after lunch will improve your mood. Remaining active is always the best way to cope with any stress. It will also keep you moving ahead in the job, no matter the problem or setback that’s getting you down.

Rethink the Problem

A landmark study showed the power of positive thinking on the brain and our emotions. Positive thinking can help you persevere through a problem and even improve your health. Scientists say that avoiding negativity may help people avoid the physical damage that comes from stress. From a mental perspective, staying positive helps people make better life decisions while focusing on long-term goals. If you’ve had a setback at work taking the time to find your perspective, reframing the problem in a new way may be exactly what you need to keep moving forward. While today didn’t work out, what long-term goal are you hoping to achieve and what do you need to do to still get there?

Sit Down and Take Stock

Your self-confidence can take a big hit when something goes wrong at work. You can lessen the impact by sitting down and taking stock of how far you’ve come. What is it that you’ve done so far to accomplish your goal? Instead of wallowing in the loss, focus on what you’ve gained to date. No one is infallible, and if you pat yourself on the back for the wins you’ve accomplished, maybe the setback won’t seem so insurmountable. Let’s face it; life is hard and it has its ups and downs. It’s how you fight through the adversity that builds the most character.

Try Something New

Say you’ve been trying to solve a problem and it just isn’t happening. It may be a struggle with a staff member you’re managing or trouble with a difficult boss or a less human-centered problem related to the tools you use. What happens if you stop flailing away at the issue and take stock for a second. Get creative and try to think outside the box. Do you have a peer network you can share the problem with? Sometimes stepping outside accepted practices or seeking the help of a mentor is all you need to jump-start a new, fresh approach to solving the problem. Mix things up and get back on track!

Sometimes the setback is insurmountable, and you know it’s time to find a new job. When that happens, contact Top Stack. We can keep you moving forward.