The Art of Following Up

100 Per Cent of Canadian Hiring Managers Encourage Checking Up on Job Applications

Toronto, ON — Submitting application materials and waiting to hear back from a prospective employer can be just as nerve-wracking as the interview itself. But should job seekers follow up with hiring managers, and if so, when? According to a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps, all human resources managers interviewed said candidates should check back after submitting a resume. Nineteen per cent said they should contact the hiring manager within a week, and 43 per cent said between one and two weeks. Respondents also shared their preferred contact method, with email (46 per cent) and phone (39 per cent) topping the list.

Human resources managers were asked, “How long should a job seeker wait to follow up with the hiring manager after submitting a resume?” Their responses:

Less than one week


One to less than two weeks


Two to less than three weeks


Three weeks or more


They shouldn’t follow up





Human resources managers were also asked, “In your opinion, which of the following do you consider the best way for a job candidate to follow up with a hiring manager after submitting a resume?” Their responses*:



By a phone call


In person


Through social media


Text message


Don’t know/no answer




*Totals do not equal 100 per cent due to rounding

“Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t heard back from a company after submitting your resume,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Give it a week or two and then do a quick follow up to get a sense of where they are in the hiring process, and to reiterate your enthusiasm for the position.”

There’s a fine line between showing interest and being pushy, added Hunnam-Jones. “Engage the hiring manager with a message that is positive, friendly and brief.”

Accountemps offers the following do’s and don’ts when checking in with a hiring manager:



Communicate via email or phone. Send your follow-up email or call within two weeks of applying for the position. Keep your message clear and concise, and try to come across as calm and confident.

Be pushy. Calling multiple times a day or cluttering the employer’s inbox with numerous emails is annoying. Don’t risk being removed from consideration for being too persistent.


Express interest. Use this message to reiterate what you admire about the company, its mission and the value you would add. Keep the note short and sweet, and don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar.


Discuss salary. Following up on your application materials is not the time to bring up compensation, benefits and perks. Reserve that conversation for when you are further along in the interview process.

Ask about next steps. When you connect with the hiring manager, ask about the next steps in the hiring process and when candidates will be notified about interviews.


Get discouraged. If you never hear back from the employer, it’s time to move on. Use the opportunity to refine your resume or reach out to contacts in your network for leads.


About the Research

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has 325 offices worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at Follow us at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

Accountemps, Resume, Job Search Tips, HR Managers


All human resources managers interviewed said job seekers should follow up after submitting a resume. Here’s when they recommend checking in:

Less than one week 19%
Three weeks or more 8%
Two to less than three weeks 30%
One to less than two weeks 43%

How job candidates should follow up with a hiring manager after submitting a resume:

Email 46%
Phone call 39%
In person 7%
Social media 2%
Text message 2%
Don’t know/no answer 3%

Source: Accountemps survey of more than 300 human resources managers in Canada

©2017 Accountemps. A Robert Half Company.