When to Follow Up on a Job Application
Just because you haven’t heard back from a job application doesn’t mean you aren’t right for the job. The hiring manager might be inundated with resumes, or they might have just forgotten about your application.
If it’s been a week or more since you sent an application and you’ve yet to hear back about a job application, consider contacting the hiring manager.
How to Follow Up on a Job Application
The main question about following up on a job application is: should you email or phone the hiring manager? This is a difficult choice because:
- different hiring managers might have different preferences
- companies might have different cultures
- your personality might not suit one of these choices
The decision is yours, so here’s how to do both.
If you sent your resume by email, consider following up by email too. 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 in as much effort as you could
- May seem informal to interviewers and hiring managers
- Easy to overlook mistakes and send without revising completely
Check out our example follow-up email to see how to write your own follow up:
Subject Line: Pauline Delaney — Just checking on my application — 8/31/2020
Dear Mr. Lopez,
I am just writing to ascertain the status of the application I filed with ResumeGenius.com on August 14, 2020. 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 47 interviews. This high volume of exposure to applicants taught me the difference between competent candidates and those who weren’t as strong.
I am familiar and comfortable with much of what your how to write a resume guide already outlines. Indeed, I was instrumental in putting Resume Companion’s resume 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 a follow-up email:
- Write a professional subject line: Your subject line should be attention grabbing, professional, and related to your message.
- Reintroduce yourself: Reintroduce yourself and inquire about the status of your application.
- Summarize the key points of your cover letter and job posting: Reiterate some of the info you’ve sent before. Remember to specify why you’re the best fit.
- Conclude politely: Ask the hiring manager to write back, even if they decide not to invite you to an interview. That way you can cross their company off your list and move on to the next.
- Keep your font size between 10 and 12 points
- Use a professional font for your resume, such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana. Never use Comic Sans
- Use plain black text. Emojis, fluorescent colors, highlighting, and all caps are unprofessional
- Brevity is fine, but write more than one or two lines
Be direct and clear in your email’s subject line: state the purpose of the email. Don’t forget to include your name.
2. Phone Call
Making a phone call is a little more assertive, but being assertive isn’t necessarily bad. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of making a phone call:
- Interviewer can hear your voice
- Comes across as direct and confident
- Shows effort
- Can be awkward, especially if you easily become anxious
- Interviewer might not be available
- If they’re not available, it’s difficult to know when and if to call back
- Ask for the hiring manager by name. Do your research; however, if you can’t find their name, ask for “the hiring manager”
- Be friendly
- Identify yourself immediately. State your name and then your purpose (calling to check on an application)
- Avoid “word vomit.” You’ll likely be anxious and might get tongue-tied. Speak slowly and don’t talk over the other person
- Call at a convenient time. Morning and 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