Job seekers frequently ask about following up during a job search on the Dice Discussions board. They want to know whether they should follow up, when and the best way to contact a manager. There's definitely some etiquette involved, although the rules are largely unwritten. Like other social mores, the standards evolve over time and differ by individual, so make a few adjustments if you find that a different approach is working for you.

Should I follow up?
Absolutely. You need to separate yourself from the crowd and the best way to do that is by making a personal connection, showing interest in the position and demonstrating perseverance.

When should I follow up?
Allow five business days after initially submitting your resume before following up. Send a thank you letter or e-mail within 24 hours after an interview and then follow up every three business days during the hiring process, unless the manager specifies a date you should contact him. Job seekers often ask about the line between being professionally persistent and a pest. If you allow the manager a reasonable amount of time to receive your communication and respond, you'll avoid annoying him.

What's the best method for following up?
Start with a phone call, if you don't hear back within a few days, send an e-mail. Your objective is to speak with the manager or recruiter, so the phone is your ally. Call the manager's landline, in case you want to avoid voicemail and try your call again later. Don't contact the manager via cell phone, text message or instant messaging unless you know it's OK.

Here's a tip from Rob Hellmann, vice president of The Five O'Clock Club, an outplacement firm located in New York.

At the end of your interview or phone interview always ask your interviewer how they prefer to be contacted. This will allow you to use the best method for him or her and will help you avoid stepping on any toes.

Which follow up methods work for you? How often do you follow up?

--Leslie Stevens-Huffman