Frustrated by a stalled search? Here are three scenarios that may sound familiar.

Scenario A: You share your resume with a contact inside a company who promises to distribute it, but nothing ever happens.

Scenario B: You have an amazing conversation with a potential employer--perhaps during a chance encounter, a career fair or an informational interview. You share your resume, and you end on a great note: we'll get back to you.

Scenario C: You really connect with a potential employer, feel like a job opportunity is just perfect--and then are told "great to meet you, we don't want your resume now...Please apply online. (This may feel like the dating equivalent of a handshake after an amazing time.)

You respond to the encounter promptly with an e-mail, then never hear back. After a period of time, you may follow-up again, but again--the loop is never closed.

Your best way to follow-up to any of these situations: Apply online and then let the employer know you've done so.

Here's why this is the case: Employers must follow standard record keeping procedures in keeping with Federal compliance guidelines and EEOC guidelines. As part of this requirement, employers must gather information on all applicants in a standardized way and report on the number of applications received. For many employers (especially any organization that is a Federal contractor), you are not officially counted as an applicant until an online application is received.

Therefore, in sum--you can minimize any potential time or follow-up delays with a potential employer simply by applying online (and then letting a contact know that you have done so!)

To your success!