Once you hit ‘submit’ on that job application, it’s hard to fight the urge to reach out to your potential employer about the next steps. But would a quick email make the hiring manager say “next”? Or would a little extra communication keep you top of mind? Here’s how to follow up on a job application the right way — without hurting your chances at getting the job.
How long should I wait before I follow up on a job application?
First, check the job description. Because employers sometimes ask that applicants don’t reach out about the job. Other times, they may give a window for people to apply. Example: The application might only be available from October 1 to October 31. In that case, wait until the window has closed before following up.
What if the job listing doesn’t mention any of that?
The general rule of thumb is to wait at least two weeks before following up on your job application. That should give recruiters and hiring managers enough time to review your resume. And they should actually have a little insight to share with you by then. Like: interview timeframes.
What should I say when I reach out?
Remember to keep your follow-up professional. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Keep it short and sweet
Think of the follow-up as an elevator pitch. If you’re reaching out via email, try not to send a message longer than three short paragraphs. If you think a phone call is the way to go, keep the convo to three minutes or less (unless the hiring manager extends the conversation).
Express your interest
At the start of the call or email, tell the hiring manager you're reaching out to touch base on the application. So they know where the convo is going. Then explain that you're still interested in the job you applied for. And why.
Talk about your qualifications
Now that your reason for reaching out is clear, it’s time to share why you’re the best candidate for the position. Share your strengths — including certifications, relevant experience, and any special skills that can help you stand out. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to attach a copy of your resume if you’re reaching out via email. Just in case the hiring manager wants to take a quick glance.
Wrap it up with gratitude
End the conversation with a thank-you for the opportunity to talk about your application status. If it’s a phone call, offer to share your contact info in case anyone needs to touch base with you or ask additional questions. If you’re following up with an email, drop your contact info at the bottom of your note.
I’m taking notes. Mind showing me an example of how to follow up on a job application?
Take all the tips we just went over, and your email should look something like this:
Dear [CONTACT NAME],
I recently submitted an application for the [ROLE] position at [COMPANY]. I am reaching out to confirm that you received my application and to restate my interest in the position. I know my [QUALIFICATIONS, CERTIFICATIONS] would be an excellent match for the [ROLE] role. My experience with [SKILLS] has also prepared me to exceed expectations for this position. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional references. Thank you for your consideration.
[YOUR NAME + CONTACT INFO]
How about how to follow up on a job application over the phone?
Unless the job posting says no phone calls, it’s OK to call the hiring team for an update. Here’s a simple script you can use:
Hi [CONTACT NAME]. MY name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m reaching out to follow up on the status of my application for the [ROLE] position. I submitted my resume [METHOD USED TO APPLY] and wanted to confirm that you received it. I am very interested in working for [COMPANY], and I know my [EXPERIENCE, SKILLS] would make me a great fit for the role. Do you know when you expect to begin the interview process for candidates you are interested in?
And before the call ends, offer to give them your email address and phone number.
The waiting period between applying for a job and hearing back from the company can be stressful. Sending a follow-up note at the appropriate time can help put you at ease — and might help you land that job.
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