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How to Follow Up on a Job Application (Email & Phone)

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Wonder how to follow up on a job application? I know it may feel like treading on very thin ice, and you don’t want to seem too pushy or impolite. But you also don't want another candidate to fill your spot.

Luckily, there are some proven ways of following up on a job application that will boost your chances of getting hired. And you’ll learn them within minutes.

This guide will show you:

  • How to follow up on a job application in a polite manner.
  • How to write a follow-up email after application to land more interviews.
  • Sample follow-up email that sounds clear and professional.
  • How to follow up on a job application status by phone.

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How to Follow Up If You Applied for a Job

You've submitted the best version of your resume. Congratulations! Yet, it's just the beginning of the hiring process. You have to give the employers some time to review your application before you can follow up.

Here’s how to follow up on your job application effectively:

1. Wait Enough Time

When to follow up on a job application? There’s no fixed rule, but generally, you should follow up no sooner than a week after submitting your resume. Two weeks and no job offer letter coming your way? Now, you definitely have to follow up.

There’s one instance in which you don’t have to worry about timelines, employer preference, or waiting “long enough”. It’s when you’re offered a position with a different company, but still haven’t heard back from your top pick. If such is the case, follow up straight away.

2. Check the Job Posting

Before you follow up, have another look at the job posting. Sometimes, employers explicitly state that they don’t want you to reach out to them to ask about your application status at this stage.

In other cases, the exact response date is provided in the job ad. Play by the rules. Following up before the due date will be rude at best and will hamper your chances of landing the job at worst.

3. Choose the Right Way of Communication

Following up via email is often the most preferred way of contact. It provides a written record of the communication between you and the hiring manager, enabling easy correspondence tracking. From your point of view, it allows you to express your sincere interest in the job in an organized manner. 

4. Highlight Your Qualifications

Remind the hiring manager of your candidature by stating the position you applied for and the date you sent it. When following up on your application by email, briefly reiterate your key qualifications that match the job requirements. Underline the skills and top accomplishments that make you a competitive candidate.

5. Show Your Gratitude

When sending a job follow-up email, thank the recruiter for considering your candidacy. Highlight details and specific aspects of the company or the position you apply for that resonate with you most. At the end, say that you look forward to discussing your qualifications and the opening you’ve applied for.

Pro Tip: Research the company’s values and missions and use them as a reference in your follow-up email after application. A tailored message proves your genuine interest in the company and the role that attracts you.

Join other members in mastering the know-how behind the pre-interview stage. Use the practice set tailored to your experience level and find out what to improve. You’ll feel instantly ready to nail your next interview.

Connect with interview coaches today. You’ll know you did a good job when you’re done.

Tips for Following Up on a Job Application

Alright, once you’re acquainted with the key rules regarding following up on your application, see a few tips to do it even more deftly:

1. Contact the Hiring Manager

First, check if contact information is provided in the job offer. If you’ve applied via a job board and there’s no direct email address in the job posting, check the company’s website for your hiring manager’s email address. Not there? Call the company’s main desk and ask.

2. Use Your Connections

Go through your business and professional contacts to see if you know anyone from the company. If you do, ask them to inform the proper hiring manager about your application, or get your foot in the door by contacting someone in charge of the recruitment. 

3. Stay Professional

When following up on your application, keep your message focused and short. Don’t overload your recipient with too much information; it may have the opposite effect. Finally, maintain a business writing tone that is confident yet polite. Don’t sound like a desperate person who wants to get that job at any cost.

4. Choose a Phone Call As an Alternative

If you decide to call the hiring manager, begin asking if it’s a convenient time for them to speak with you. If not, ask when you can call them back. Keep in mind that most of the recruiters prefer receiving job follow-up emails, though.

5. Don’t Get Too Pushy

Don't follow up more than twice, unless the hiring manager sets a response deadline and fails to keep it. Accept the fact that a given company might not be interested in you and just move on. Calling or emailing every day or, worse than that, showing up in person to ask about your application will surely discourage the company from hiring you.

Pro Tip: Not getting interview invites? Recruiters and hiring managers look up candidates on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. Read our guide to make the most out of it: How to Check Your Online Presence Before Recruiters Look You Up

Job Application Follow-Up Example

Before sending a follow-up email or making a follow-up call, prepare a well-balanced message that sounds professional. Remember, the way you communicate with the hiring manager significantly impacts the way they perceive you as a candidate.

Here’s an example of an email job follow-up:

Job Application Follow-Up Email Sample

Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Last week, I applied for the position of [position title]. I would like to kindly ask you if you could provide me with your decision timeline.

I am very enthusiastic about joining your team and leveraging [your specific skills, knowledge, and experience] to help you [what profit you’d bring to the company].

Please let me know if you need any more details about my application. I look forward to speaking with you and sharing my ideas on how to help you with your upcoming challenges.

Kind regards,

[Your signature]

[Your LinkedIn profile]

[Your phone number]

Sample resume follow-up emailAlternatively, choose a phone as a means of communication. Remember to ask if it’s convenient for the hiring manager to speak with you first.

Base your phone follow-up on the script below:

Sample Phone Follow-Up on a Job Application

Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name], my name is [Your Name]. I submitted my application for the [XYZ] position two weeks ago. I just wanted to make sure you received it and to let you know that I’m still interested in the position. I’d love to discuss how I can help you with your upcoming challenges. If you need any additional information, please let me know.

Last but not least, don’t give up on applying to other companies while waiting for the response. Don’t obsess over one job posting. No matter how great a candidate you are, you might not make it for reasons beyond your control.

Already interviewed and want to write a perfect interview follow-up email? Have a look at our dedicated guide and learn how to make the most of it: How to Write a Thank-You Email After an Interview (+10 Examples)

Getting ready for an interview? That’s great! How about finding even more opportunities? The best way to apply is with a resume created in our auto-fill resume builder. Attach a professional cover letter from our cover letter builder to create an irresistible duo.

Make a resume template and a cover letter template work together, and get ready for your incoming interviews!

Key Takeaway

How to follow up on a job application or resumeFollowing up on job applications might feel awkward, but it’s expected of you. Don’t think you’re “bothering” the hiring manager—you really don’t.

Here’s a quick recap of the key steps on how to follow up on a job application or resume:

  • Follow up at least one week after applying.
  • Try to find the hiring manager’s contact details and write a personalized follow-up email.
  • Reiterate your interest in the position and say why you’d perform well in the job.
  • After another week without a response, call the company to check if they received your application.
  • If you’re offered another job, follow up with your most desired employer right away.
  • Inform them about your response deadline and emphasize that they’re your number one choice.

Do you have any additional questions on how to follow up on a job application? Want to learn more about writing resume follow-up emails? Give us a shout in the comments.

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW
Michael is a career expert and a Certified Professional Resume Writer. With his extensive knowledge of the job market, he provides practical advice and strategies for navigating the recruitment process and advancing your career.
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