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How To Follow Up On A Job Application

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Job hunting is tough. It can be disheartening if you’re hearing nothing but crickets with each application, especially if you’ve just found the perfect job.

It’s an unfortunate part of the process, and if it seems to be a common occurrence for you, you’re not alone. 

The hiring process is a drag.

With job openings being more competitive than ever before, hiring managers have their hands full, sifting through hundreds of resumes from talented applicants and narrowing it down to just a lucky few. 

While you may feel like the odds are stacked against you, this isn’t always the case.

Following up on your job application (the right way) can get you noticed and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

But, of course, you don’t want to come across as pushy or desperate, so how do you approach such a situation? 

How To Follow Up On A Job Application 

Following up on your job application is a great way to get the hiring manager’s attention and demonstrate a commitment to the company.

If you’ve been patiently waiting for a response and getting nothing but radio silence, it may be time to follow up on your application.

There are two main ways to do this:

How To Follow Up On A Job Application Via Phone

Chasing your job application via phone isn’t the most popular option, but it can be done.

If you chase up your application via phone, you’ll either end up leaving a voicemail or having a brief conversation.

Here’s what to say for each scenario. 

Phone Conversation 

If someone answers the phone, start off by introducing yourself: 

“Hello, this is (your name), and I’m an applicant for (the position you’ve applied for).” 

Once they’ve responded, start explaining the nature of your call and what you’re enquiring about.

This could be something like: 

“I’m calling about your (position), which I applied for via (email/job board).
I wanted to make sure you’ve received my application, and I was wondering when you expect to begin the interview process for prospective candidates?”

Asking for a timeline for the interview process will give you an idea of when you can expect to be contacted.

If the hiring manager doesn’t reach out during this period, it’s unlikely you’ve been selected. 

Voicemail

If your call goes straight to voicemail, you can adapt your template for a phone conversation and use it for your voicemail.

This could look something like this: 

“Hello, my name is (your name), and I’m just calling to follow up on my application for (the position you’ve applied for).
I submitted my application via (email/job board), and I wanted to make sure you’ve received it.
I’d be very interested in working for your company, and I was wondering when you expect to start conducting interviews for prospective candidates?
You can reach me on (mobile number) any time between (your free hours).
Thank you, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”

Tips For A Phone Call Follow-Up

If you decide to take this route, here are a few tips to help you make your follow-up phone call a success: 

  • Keep it brief 
  • Call midweek to avoid being lost in the Monday and Friday peak 
  • Don’t call too much
  • Write yourself a phone-call script, and practice it with a friend
  • Check for a hiring timeline in the posting before calling

How To Follow Up On A Job Application Via Email 

How To Follow Up On A Job Application

Following up via email is the most popular option.

Most candidates prefer to follow up via email as it allows them to ask their questions more clearly and directly.

Emails are also more formal than phone calls.

Here’s an example template you can use to follow up on your job application via email: 

Subject Line: Follow-up regarding the Content Writer Position 

“Dear Hannah, 

My name is Sophia Lobos, and I applied for your Content Writer position via Indeed two weeks ago.
I’m just emailing to confirm that you received this, and to ask whether you need any additional information to support my application.
I was also wondering when you expect to start conducting interviews for prospective candidates? 

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Many thanks. 

Sophie Lobos” 

Tips For An Email Follow Up 

  • Write directly to the hiring manager, and use their name rather than ‘sir or madam’ to keep things professional and polite and show your interest. 
  • Use a clear subject line
  • Ask questions
  • Be courteous 
  • Thank them for their time
  • Avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as criticism 

When Should You Follow Up? 

If the job posting hasn’t specified a timeline of the hiring process, it’s perfectly reasonable to follow up on your application a week later. 

Most employers will take a week or two from the date of your application to contact candidates for interviews.

However, this may vary depending on how many applicants there are for the position. 

We wouldn’t advise waiting any longer than ten business days to follow up on your application.

However, if you haven’t heard anything after ten days of submitting your application, it’s unlikely that you’ll be selected for an interview. 

Staffing firm Accountemps spoke to more than 300 human resource managers and discovered that almost 36% advise applicants to follow up between one to two weeks after submitting their application – so, take it from the professionals! 

Make sure not to follow up too soon.

Following up after just a few days can send the wrong impression (pushy and disrespectful), and it’ll decrease your chances of making it to the interview.

Hiring managers have a loaded schedule, and unless you’ve applied to a posting with only a few applicants, it’s unlikely you’ll hear back in a few days. 

The Bottom Line 

Job hunting is never easy. Competition is tough, with hundreds of applicants battling it out for just one posting.

Following up on your application is a great way to get yourself noticed by the hiring manager and show your enthusiasm for the job.

Just make sure to be courteous, and professional, and don’t follow up too soon to avoid looking desperate or pushy – this is not the attitude that’ll get you hired! 

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