How to Follow Up on Job Applications

How to Follow Up on Job Applications

You hit “submit” and apply for the job. Then you wait. And wait. And wait some more while refreshing your email, but all you hear is silence. You want to know the status of your application, but should you follow up?

In most cases, yes, you absolutely should! Following up on your job application can be an opportunity to sell yourself to the hiring manager. If nothing else, following up on your job application can help you understand where you are in the hiring process. Here’s how.

Why You Should (and Shouldn’t) Follow Up

If you’re worried that following up on your application might make you appear pushy or desperate, know that’s not usually the case. There are many valid reasons to follow up:

  • Soothe your nerves: Following up on your application can help reassure you that things are moving forward, even if it feels like it’s taking forever.
  • Gives you a second shot: Not that you’ve blown it, but following up is a great way to reiterate your interest in the position.
  • A chance to show off: As long as it’s done the right way, following up on a job application is one more opportunity to showcase the unique skills and talents you’ve got.

Of course, there are some times when you shouldn’t follow up on your application:

  • When the posting says not to: Sometimes, job postings specifically ask applicants not to follow up.
  • When the information is in the posting: Likewise, some job postings specify that candidates will be contacted by a specific date.
  • When you’ve already followed up: There are some exceptions to this, but generally, if you’ve already followed up, don’t follow up again.

6 Tips for Following Up on Job Applications

1. Double-Check the Posting

Start by double, then triple-checking the job posting. Make sure there’s no time frame indicated in the post or that only applicants the company wants to interview will be contacted. Also, make sure it does not explicitly state that you should not contact them.

2. Two-Week Wait

If you’ve determined it’s OK to follow up on your job application, make sure it’s been at least one (but preferably two) weeks since you applied. Two weeks gives the hiring manager enough time to receive the bulk of the applications. And since some companies don’t review applications until after they stop accepting them, following up too soon means the company may not have had time to review yours yet.

3. Check Your Network

Particularly if you found out about the job opening through your network, consider reaching out to that contact instead of the hiring manager. While your contact may not know the status of your specific application, they may be able to get the inside scoop on the hiring process in general, so you have some idea of where things stand.

4. Email Is Your Best Bet

If reaching out to the hiring manager is the way to go, email is usually your best bet, but you can call too. 

In either case, you want the direct contact for the recruiter, not necessarily the email you used to apply since that might be a general mailbox that no one checks. If you can’t find the hiring manager’s email, you can use LinkedIn too.

5. Be Clear, Concise, and Polite

No matter what method you use to follow up on your job application, keep your message clear, brief, and polite.

State who you are and why you’re contacting them. Then, reiterate your interest in the position and mention one skill that makes you the perfect fit for the job. Thank the recruiter for their time, and state that you look forward to hearing from them.

6. Letting It Go

If you’ve followed up once and don’t hear anything for another two weeks, you can follow up again. But if you still don’t hear anything, it may be time to let that job go. It may be that the company has a very slow hiring process, but it could also be that your application wasn’t selected.

Keep Going

Even in the middle of following up on applications, keep your job search up and apply, apply, apply. You never know what’s going to happen, so until you land the perfect job, keep that job search going.

For more helpful job search hints, check out our articles.

Learn More

By Rachel Pelta | October 4, 2021 | Categories: Work Remotely


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