When to follow up on a job application
Just because you haven’t heard back doesn’t mean you aren’t right for the job. Perhaps the hiring manager is inundated with resumes, or maybe they just forgot.
If it has been a week or more since you sent an application and you’ve yet to hear back, consider getting in touch.
How to follow up on a job application
The question remains: should you email or should you call? This is a difficult choice because different hiring managers might have different expectations, companies might have different cultures, or your personality might not suit one of these choices. The decision is yours, so here is how to do both.
Writing an email has some clear benefits as well as drawbacks:
- Easiest of all the options (as you’ve probably emailed the company before anyway)
- Quickest to write and fastest way of getting in touch with an interviewer
- Most reliable way to make sure your follow up is seen
- Can look like you aren’t putting forward as much effort as you could
- May look informal to some interviewers or hiring managers
- Easy to overlook mistakes and send without revising completely
Check out our email follow up example below for a detailed guide and format on how to write your own follow up:
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject Line: Pauline Delaney – Just checking on my application – 1/21/2018
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I am just writing to ascertain the status of the application I filed with ResumeGenius.com on January 14, 2018. Your job posting directed me to send it to this email address, so I wanted to ensure that it hadn’t ended up in your spam inbox by mistake.
On the job posting, your company listed a need for skills ranging from strong communication and writing to developing a strong network of industry contacts. These are just a few of the relevant skills I’ve developed in my years as a writer and career advisor, and I feel I’d be a wonderful fit for the position.
My experience as a hiring manager at Resume Companion has equipped me with great insight into not only how potential employees should approach the job search, but also what HR specialists are looking for. During my time at Resume Companion, I received 750+ resumes and conducted over 60 interviews. This high volume of exposure to applicants taught me the difference between prepared and competent candidates versus those who weren’t as strong.
I am familiar and comfortable with much of what your how to write a resume already outlines. Indeed, I was instrumental in putting Resume Companion’s writing guide together, covering much of the same content.
I very much look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience. I am positive I would be a great addition to your team and am excited at the prospect of joining you. Thank you again for your time and consideration.
How to write your own email:
- Subject line: Be sure this is snappy and attention grabbing but also professional and related to your message.
- Re-introduction: Re-introduce yourself and inquire about your application status.
- Summary of key points of cover letter and job posting: Rehash some of the info you’ve sent before. Remember to specify why you’re the best fit.
- Polite conclusion expecting to hear back: Ask them to write back, even if they decide not to invite you to an interview. That way you can cross their company off the list and move on to the next in earnest.
- Keep your font to no larger than 12 point and no smaller than 10 point.
- Use a professional font, such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana. Comic Sans is forbidden!
- Avoid anything besides black text: emojis, florescent colors, highlighting, and all caps are tacky
- Brevity is fine, but you should write more than one or two lines
2. Phone Call
Making a phone call is a little more assertive, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here are a few pros and cons of making a phone call:
- Interviewer can hear your voice
- Comes across as direct and confident
- Shows effort
- Can be kind of awkward
- Interviewer might not be available
- If not available, difficult to know when and if to call back
- If you can, ask for the hiring manager by name. Do your research. If you don’t have their name, ask for “the hiring manager.”
- Be friendly.
- Identify yourself straight away. State your name and then your purpose (in this case, calling to check on an application).
- Avoid “word vomit.” You’ll likely be anxious and get a bit tongue-tied. But, be measured, wait for them to finish speaking, and don’t hog the conversation.
- Call at convenient times. Morning or mid-afternoon are best. Don’t call at 4:59 p.m.
- If it helps, prepare a script. But, avoid reading directly from it. Think of it as “notes.”
- If the hiring manager or interviewer isn’t available, leave a message and don’t call back for at least a day or two.