Once you’ve applied for a job, you should consider sending a personalized follow-up email to (1) reiterate your interest in the role and (2) check on the status of the job opening. Don’t count on employers to keep you informed about the status of your application. You might need to reach out to determine your status. You may not get a reply, but it's worth spending the time it takes to follow up with the employer. We’ve heard from numerous employers that customized follow up notes from candidates can make a big difference to them (and it makes them want to meet with those candidates first).
Waiting for a response on a job application can be nerve racking, but you are entitled to check in with the employer or recruiter on the status of that particular opening. And by personalizing this message, you can stand out from the crowd. If you want a tool to help you craft these types of notes, visit earnbetter.com to use our free product!
Why Should You Follow Up on a Job Application?
Following up on your application in a courteous manner lets you reiterate your interest in the position and confirm that your application was received. Job applications can sometimes get lost or misplaced, so it’s always worth checking to ensure that yours made it into the right hands. It also creates an opportunity to ask the hiring manager whether they need any additional information from you.
Doing such is also a way to show that you’re really interested in the role. It could also be a chance to sell some of your key experience, skills and attributes. It may give you peace of mind knowing where the process is at, and allow you to build rapport with the employer over the phone or by any means of communication.
Guidelines for Your Follow Up Note:
- Contact Method – There are a few options for how you can follow up, but we recommend an email, LinkedIn message or Indeed message. (1) if you have, or can quickly find the email address of a contact at the company, this is an easy and efficient way to reach out to the employer to check on your application (2) a LinkedIn message or Indeed message are other options similar to email, but less direct (3) you could try calling, but you may not be able to get through to the hiring manager. However you choose to reach out, make sure you are polished, professional, and polite.
- Contact the Right Person - Most of the time, you’ll want to reach out to a hiring manager -- or whoever is listed in the job posting. Chances are, they’re the ones who are in charge of the hiring process. If that’s not an option, you can also contact a recruiter or someone in HR; you may find contact info for these professionals on the company website or LinkedIn…whoever you decide to reach out to, pick one specific person and contact them via an email or LinkedIn message.
- Try to identify something interesting or unique about this individual that you could reference in your email. Is there anything you have in common or anything that struck you about their background? “I also grew up in Texas…” or “I see you went to XX school - that’s the team I root for in basketball” or “I noticed you’re bilingual - I am fluent in Spanish as well!”.
- Drafting your Email - When writing your follow-up email, include the company name, the position you’re interested in, and a brief description of your qualifications. Include your enthusiasm for the job title you’re after and any additional information not in your application, but keep your email short and to the point. Explain your wish to check in about your recent application, and reaffirm your interest in the job. Politely ask when you should expect to receive updates regarding the job interview process, and invite the person to ask you any additional questions should they have them.
- Right Timing – When is the best time? Before you follow up, always re-read the job posting; it could have information regarding the company’s time frame for hiring. If they specify a window of time for having interviews, you can reference this in your email such as “I know you aren’t holding interviews until next week, but I wanted to let you know how interested I am in this role…”
- Take note: a job posting might even tell applicants not to call or email regarding their application - if that’s the case, you should respect the company’s request and not reach out to them. It can be stressful to not hear back after applying for jobs, but often, all that’s needed is a little patience. Usually, the company will reach out to you if you are indeed the right person fit for the role.
- Proofread your Message - Reread your email multiple times to ensure it is free of typos, grammatical errors, or other mistakes. Hiring managers look for strong candidates with thorough and careful attention to detail. Proofreading can help you fix easy spelling or writing errors in your follow-up letter that could take you out of consideration for the position.
- Give Ample Time to Respond – Be patient and considerate on the employer’s time. It’s important to remain respectful of the hiring manager and recruiter and give them enough time to reply rather than continuing to follow up throughout the hiring process. Avoid spamming multiple people at the company or sending your message to an automated (non-human) email address.
- Send a Thank You Letter – Once the employer responds, you should follow up thanking them for their time (regardless of their decision). The idea is to leave a note of appreciation and excitement from your end. At times, even the smallest gestures mean a lot and can actually prove to be helpful for prospective applicants in the long run. Who knows? Your recruiter might just find such gestures ethically impressive and rate your profile on the grounds of hospitality, humbleness, and corporate etiquettes.
Following up on a job application can benefit you, but only if you do it right. While it can feel like a lifetime has passed, the best thing you can do is to wait patiently after you’ve sent your follow-up letter. Remember, getting selected and hired for a job requires an individual to be dynamic, smart, and intelligent. Make sure your resume reflects those skills. In a worst-case scenario where you don’t get considered for the job. Stay positive and move on with your job search.