Resume Help/Interview


QUESTION: Hello, can I ask or an interview in a follow-up e-mail after submitting my resume and cover letter for a position? If so, how should I go about asking for an interview? Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Seeker,

The direct answer to your question is yes, you can ask.  But the more accepted route to the interview is for you to wait to be called.  Employers normally sift through the applications for any job that they advertise before calling a very few candidates for interviews.  So, if you don't receive a call within a reasonable period of time, the chances are you were not selected.

If you want to call (after a period of time) to see where the employer is in making a decision, that would be an acceptable reason for a follow-up call and simply ask if they have selected interviewees yet.  If not, you might ask when they'll be making a decision about who they will interview.  After that, it is strictly up to the employer if they will decide to call you.

If you'd like to send me your resume and letter, I'll be happy to give you some feedback on both.  You can attach them to an email to the address below.  Hope this helps; best of luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello, thank you for your thoughtful response. When is it appropriate to follow-up? For sxample, is it okay to follow-up three days after submitting your resume and cover letter? Thanks again.


I can't really give you an overall "when" answer.  It depends on the employer's schedule, needs, number of applications they have to review, the kind of job involved, and so many things that it is impossible to give you a general response.  For example, if they have 100 apps to review, that's one thing.  If they have 500 to review, that's something else.

As an employer I have dealt with situations where we were able to respond within a couple of weeks and then there were other instances where it was impossible to get back to applicants in less than a couple of months.  As a job applicant, I have waited three weeks and I have waited three months.  So ... as I say ... so much depends on the employer.

If it has only been three days, I would say that is really no time at all.  I know you are anxious to get a response, but in three days, I wouldn't even expect that the decision-makers have even seen the applications yet, let alone reviewed them and made any decisions about them.

You haven't provided any details about the job you have applied for, so I don't have enough information to even give you an average within the industry that you are interested.  If you'd like to get back to me with more details, I'll see if I can give  you a more specific response.  And, as I offered earlier, if you want to send me the documents you used to make your application, I'll be happy to give you some feedback on them.  As I tell the people in my jobs workshops, 92% of all the applications that employers receive today have some problem with them. The interviews go to the people in the other 8%.   I don't know what group you are in, but I'd be happy to give you an analysis if you'd like.

Send any further questions or your resume and letter to the email address below.  

Best wishes,

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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