I've never had a job before. As such, I am very new to the process of applying for a job. While I have done online applications and resumes in the past, my first "serious" attempt has been recently. I made my resume more professional looking and created my first ever cover letter. I got it checked out by a professional to make sure I did things correctly.

As such, when applying for a on-campus student job, I wanted to make sure that I followed every procedure correctly. I missed two major hints that the HR department would not wanted to be contacted by phone: they only listed an e-mail instead of a phone # in the job description, and on the main website for the department I'm applying for they say "e-mail contact is preferred". I would have said I would follow-up by "e-mail" instead of "phone" since I am socially awkward, but I was so engrossed in writing the cover letter that I didn't really think it through.

They put a big emphasis on being able to "follow simple directions". Getting a student job is very competitive and I don't want to eliminate myself before I even got my foot in the door. Since it is nearing the Christmas holidays, and because I said I'd follow them up on this week, I should call them sooner or later.

Did I screw up? What should I do?

  • 1
    Call them? I don't understand the issue here. HR may prefer email but they must also pick up the phone... – Maria Ines Parnisari Dec 15 '15 at 1:56
  • So you sent them an application through e-mail, and you think they prefer contacting you by e-mail. Can't you just wait for their e-mail response? – Brandin Dec 15 '15 at 6:56
  • @Brandin No I actually applied via an online portal. I'm unsure of how they would contact me, aka, why following-up is essential. – user45022 Dec 15 '15 at 8:05
  • "because I said I'd follow them up on this week" What on earth do you need to follow up on? Did they even contact you yet? After you send in an application you're basically done. You can follow up once after several weeks to check on your application but in most cases they are either following their hiring process or they decided not to consider you as a candidate. While it's common courtesy to inform applications of a rejection, many employers don't. If they want to contact you they'll do so via the contact details you provided. You're over-thinking this. – Lilienthal Dec 15 '15 at 11:54
  • How do you call if you don't have a phone number for whom exactly to call? I'd consider sending an e-mail though I'd also be tempted to consider other ways to find a job as on-line portals can sometimes have quite a few applicants and make it hard to get an interview in some cases as there may be hundreds of applicants. – JB King Dec 15 '15 at 23:17

No, you didn't screw up. And you've learned a lesson about attending to what the other person needs/wants, which is an important bonus. So now, despite what you had earlier said, go ahead and e-mail. You might add something like, "In my (letter of [date]) or (conversation with [whomever]), I said I would follow-up my application by phone, but, as your web page indicates a preference for e-mail, I'm sending this instead." Then go on with your follow-up note.

Good luck!

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