Answered by Rachael, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on Friday, March 18, 2016
Great question! I know what it can be like on both ends, as a recruiter, but also as the candidate looking for a job. Before I started working at Merck, I was working with various staffing agencies in getting my resume submitted to companies. Sometimes the recruiter would never respond back, even after I would follow up, so I assumed they just weren’t interested in my background, and would invest my efforts with a different job prospect. However, if you are not working with a staffing agency, you may have more control in being able to contact the company directly. You could potentially connect with the hiring managers on LinkedIn, and remind them that you are still very interested in the position. With recruiters and managers being so busy, sometimes positions go on hold, so by following up periodically, you are staying fresh in their mind. As a candidate, it’s important to show that you are motivated and enthusiastic about the job, but there seems to be a fine line between being persistent and being considered bothersome to some recruiters. This can vary between recruiters, as some love it when candidates follow up consistently, while others may prefer to contact you when the hiring manager is ready to move to the next step. After the recruiter has provided confirmation of your resume submission, that is your chance to ask what the next steps are, and when you should expect to hear back. If you haven’t heard back from the recruiter in the timeline he/she provided, then I would say go ahead and send a follow up email. You can also ask if you’re still being considered for the role, and if not, you can certainly ask for feedback as to why, and then use this information to guide you in your career development.