So you've been filling out dozens of job applications online? That's not necessarily a bad thing, but remember that sending out resumes willy-nilly is likely to get you nowhere fast. The fact is, employers often receive hundreds of applications for an open position, and your resume might only take up 20-30 seconds of their time. Even worse, many key hiring managers won't even actually see your application – looking over applications is often a task doled out to the human resources department or even interns. This means that your resume and cover letter may never end up in the hands of the person that has the ultimate say on who's getting hired. So rather than simply click "send" on dozens of job applications, seek out the positions you truly desire, and then find a way to get your resume in front of the people who matter. One simple way to do this is to follow up. However, this doesn't mean you need to pester people at the company until they pay attention to you either. You want to be persistent, but not overbearing. Here's an easy guide to following up with potential employers respectfully:

Following up on a job application
Following up on a job application is rather simple. The first step is to be patient. You can't expect employers to get back to you the same day you sent in your resume and cover letter. Wait a week or two and see if you get a phone call or email about the next steps. If you don't hear anything, then it's OK to follow up, but do some appropriately. If you've already spoken with someone directly about the position, following up might make you appear too eager. Hiring can take time.

However, if you applied for the job blindly and have yet to hear anything, simply send a short, polite email. All you need to do is inquire about the position courteously, express your continued interest and leave it at that. Make sure you are aware of whom you are addressing, and not sending an email to a random inbox where it will get overlooked or make you seem out of the loop. LinkedIn is also considered an appropriate avenue for following up, but only do so if you are already connected to someone in the company doing the hiring. 

Following up on an interview
It's strategic to discuss the expected timeline for employment near the end of an interview. Essentially, at this point you and the company have both invested time in each other, and you are entitled to have an idea of how things are expected to move forward. Confirming at least an estimated timeline will allow you to gauge when you should expect to hear from an employer about the position. That way, if you have not heard by the previously discussed time, you can email or call the company to check in on your status without appearing antsy or rude. At this point you are allowed to be a bit more persistent because the employer has already expressed significant interest in you for the position. 

Directly following an interview it is also a good idea to send a thank-you note. Many people swear by handwritten thank-you notes, but an email will usually suffice as well. In the email thank the person for taking the time to meet with you. Show initiative by highlighting particular points of interest you discussed during the interview and re-express enthusiasm about the position.