How to Follow Up On A Job Application (With Examples)

by Chris Kolmar
Get The Job, Guides, Post Interview - 2 weeks ago

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You submitted a job application and are pumped about getting your dream job. What can you do now to ensure that you made a lasting impression?

Whether you are applying for your first job, changing careers, or looking for advancement, we’ll show you how to follow up like a “boss” after your job application.

Why It’s Important to Follow Up After a Job Application

After you submit your application for a job it’s hard to sit back and wait. You are refreshing your inbox constantly looking for a response. Your wonder if your answers were on target.

Here are some reasons why you should follow up:

  1. It will calm you down. Sitting around waiting on pins and needles for them to get back to you can drive you nuts. It feels great to be proactive and touch base with the employer.

  2. Follow up shows your genuine interest and excitement for the position. Companies don’t just want qualified candidates. They want new employees who are passionate and motivated.

  3. Showcase your value. Following up gives you another chance to show how your qualifications and experience can add value to the company that’s above and beyond what you expressed in the interview.

  4. You can find out when they plan on making a decision. Wouldn’t it feel great not to wonder for days on end when they will get you an update? Ask what the next steps are in the recruitment process.

Excuses Why People Don’t Follow Up

Some people stall when it comes to reaching out to the hiring managers or recruiters. Here are a few of the most common reasons people refrain from touching base.

  • I don’t know what to say. I am worried I will fumble my words and sound like an idiot.

  • I don’t want to seem like a stalker. If they think I am too over eager they won’t hire me.

  • I am mass applying for jobs online and don’t have time to follow up.

  • I will wait. They will contact me back if they are interested.

Sadly, procrastinating about follow up will only hurt you. So get over yourself and follow up. We’ll share everything you need to say and do below.

Top Reasons Why Companies Don’t Respond After a Job Application

Feeling frustrated that you did not hear back from the hiring manager?

Imagine for a minute the desk of the key decision-maker. They have a massive pile of resumes from potential hires beside them. They are fielding calls from team workers. They are attending zoom meetings with the regional teams. When they are this busy and have so many priorities there’s no way that you are top of mind.

There are many reasons why human-resources might not have heard back yet. Perhaps they never even got your online application. Maybe your application email went into the resume black hole in their spam box.

Someone else may have been hired for the job. Or hiring may have been halted with budget cuts eliminating the new position.

Five Tips for Following Up After a Job Application

Not sure how to write an effective follow-up email? Here are some pointers on how to follow up with a recruiter or hiring manager.

  • Do a follow up a few days after applying for a job.

  • If you don’t hear back after the first follow up, you can reach out again. But, wait about a week after you sent the first follow up so you don’t seem too pushy.

  • Don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back from a hiring manager in a few days. Remember they are reviewing several people for the role and are busy with the hiring process.

  • Ask about the next steps. The hiring manager can tell you when to follow up.

  • Make a follow up about one to two weeks after applying for a position.

Secrets for Locating The Contact Info for the Hiring Manager

After you hit “submit” on a job application, following up can boost the odds of you being invited for a job interview. But first, you have to find the correct contact person.

  • Check the company website to see if your contact is listed.

  • Search for their LinkedIn profile for any contact-information.

  • Connect your network to see if someone else on LinkedIn knows the decision-maker or has a connection.

  • The administrative assistant can give you the name of the hiring manager. Tell them the job title you were applying for and they can give you the name and contact information for the hiring manager.

How Long Should I Wait to Follow Up on a Job Application?

After submitting your application for a new job online, wait a few days before following up.

Then you can make a second follow up about a week after that. Usually if an employer is interested you’ll hear a response back in a couple of weeks.

Should I follow up by phone or email?

In most cases, an email is better. A phone call can seem intrusive. Sending an email ensures that the hiring manager can read it when they have time. Plus, writing an email allows you to take your time and choose the right words in your message.

What to include in a follow-up email after an online job application

  • Thank them for the opportunity.

  • Say that you submitted an employment application.

  • Tell them the online job search site, job board, or career site where you saw the listing.

  • Name the job title you applied for.

  • Reiterate how your experience and skills are a match for their needs.

  • Tell them how to contact you for additional information.

Template for Follow Up Email

Subject Line: Following up on my application for Sales Management Role – Mark Hamilton

Dear Mr. Jones,

I recently submitted an application for your Sales Management job opening on Indeed. I am checking on the status of my application because I am very excited about this role.

I am truly confident that my experience makes me a strong candidate for this role. My dedication and proven track record in my current sales role demonstrate my ability to drive profits for your company.

I am excited to hear back from you regarding your decision and next steps. I have attached my resume for your convenience. If there is any additional information I can provide, feel free to reach me at 555-555-5555 or mark.hamilton@gmail.com.

Sincerely,
Mark Hamilton

Top Ways to Stand Out When Following Up

  1. Company Fit. Articulate that you understand their company culture and the challenges they face. Reviewing their LinkedIn page and company blog provides valuable insight.

  2. Demonstrate your Value. If you see on the company blog that they are working to expand into the international market, tell them about the deal you struck that drove sales in Japan by 45%.

  3. Personal Touch. Try to find and share a personal connection with the hiring manager. Do some sleuthing on LinkedIn. Find what you have in common. It could be sports, yoga, keto dieting, or a favorite movie. Building relationships is important.

The Worst Follow Up Mistakes That Turn Off Hiring Managers Every Time

You want to know where you stand. But obviously, there is a right and wrong way to follow up after a job application. Here are thank you letter mistakes and how to avoid them.

  • Rambling on too much. Be short and to the point.

  • Don’t be desperate and say how badly you need this job. Big turn off.

  • Do not spam. They are busy and you don’t want to seem desperate.

  • Never connect to hiring managers on social media. Respect boundaries.

  • Do not post about the jobs you are applying for on social media. It could backfire.

  • Make sure your voicemail message is professional in case they leave a message.

  • Having typos in your follow up email. It’s unprofessional and shows no eye for detail.

  • Using a generic cookie-cutter follow up that is not customized. Personalize it.

  • Spelling the name of the decision-make incorrectly. Names are sacred. Double-check the spelling.

  • Never say anything negative about your old boss or company and why you want to leave.

  • Don’t threaten them by saying you have another offer. Pressuring them to make a decision is a turnoff. They will make a hiring decision when they are ready.

If you feel like you are striking out, you may want to check out 12 reasons why you are not getting hired.

Master the Art of Follow Up for Your Job-Search Process

Failing to follow up is like leaving money on the table. Checking back gives you a chance to say thanks. It affirms your interest. It shows your future boss why you are a great match for the position. Sending a follow up after you apply for a job can help you land your dream job.

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