How to Follow Up on Your Job Application

December 16, 2021 Amy Williams
Mentors Make the Difference: Get advice from an experienced professional

We have all been through it before. There’s this job that we strongly feel for. This might be because it’s your dream profession or you simply need something to cover the bills. It does not matter. You just feel this need to secure it so that you may start charting your path toward a solid career.

To start manifesting this, you had done your research. You have gone through a job hunt. You selected the ones that are at par with your professional trajectory. You have already sent your resume or CV (depending on what they’re asking) through email. You brush up on your verbal communication skills and pick out the sharpest wardrobe while you’re at it. Then you wait. And wait.

The call does not come in. So you wait some more. Panic a little. And then, you feel like you need to resign to the fact that the call will not come.

While learning to accept and let go is a virtue in itself, if you are dead set on fulfilling your dreams through that dream job, then throwing your hands up in the air in submission when things don’t go your way, should not be an option. So what happens then?

Stop immersing yourself in your doom and be proactive!

Here are ways to decently follow up on your job application when the employer’s response seems to go cold.

How much to wait for a response

Questioning your intent to ask for follow-ups on an application is understandable. After all, businesses cater to plenty of other matters than just recruitment. But when the trail of responses from the hiring employer has seemingly gone silent, one does have the right to get an update.

Of course, one has to be polite about it. The last thing that an applicant wants to be is to appear pushy as it might compromise the application itself.

But first a set of statistics. The recommended response time for employers is broken down in accordance with desirability into the figures below:

  • Less than 7 days — 19%
  • From 1 to 2 weeks — 43%
  • From 2 to 3 weeks — 30%
  • From 3 weeks or greater — 8%
  • Not following up — 0%

And while there is no definite rule, it is recommendable for an employer to update an applicant within 7 days he or she applies. If two weeks had already passed without any response, it would almost be imperative for the applicant to ask for updates.

Of course, we cannot discount the possibility of leaving some pertinent details out within the posting. The applicant must review it for specifications possibly missed, leading to the employer’s total disregard of the applicant. Additionally, applicants must review the posting for any detail on a specified response date from their end which might explain the seemingly long absence of response.

How to Follow Up on Your Job Application

How to ask for an update

If days pass by again with no further word, then applicants need to humbly ask for an update. Here are some steps to help them out.

Know anyone from the company? Reach out to them

The applicant is advised to review contacts for anyone there whom he or she knows who works in the organization. Should there be someone, then the applicant may ask him or her to kindly make a follow-up with the hiring manager. Should the applicant have no inside contacts, then he or she needs to go straight to the hiring manager.

Contact the hiring manager

The applicant should first look at the post again if the hiring manager’s contact details are specified within it. If it’s not there, then the applicant may look at the company’s website for the particulars. If it proves to be in vain, then writing an email follow-up should be the applicant’s next move.

Send an email

Likely that the hiring manager’s email address is already with the applicant. It must have been the address he or she used to send his resume. It would be wise to subscribe to the same address to request updates.

When sending communication, the applicant should write a clear subject line and compose the communication with utmost politeness. The applicant should economize the content but secure its substance. Consider this sample email:

Hi [Recruiter’s name],


I hope this message finds you well.

I am writing to let you know that I submitted an application to your department a week ago for the post of [position title]. I hope it would be fine to humbly ask for an update regarding my application.

I am completely interested in being a part of your team as I believe I possess the relevant competencies for it.

Please do not hesitate to inform me if you would need further particulars about myself that would help the application process. I am looking forward to speaking with you at length.

Sincerely yours, [name]

Make a call to the company

The applicant may opt to reach the hiring manager by phone in the event of a long period of no response after the sending of the email. Once the applicant gets connected to the manager’s office, it would be recommendable to ask him or her if it would be a good time to talk. If not, ask when it would be good to call back. As with any communication, be polite.

According to a study, almost 50% of senior recruiters still like being reached through email. While this is the case, 39% were still open to being engaged in a phone. This makes sense as phone calls provide quicker responses and help avoid unrequited communication due to lost or buried emails.

Don’t overdo it

Do not send a request for an update twice that is if the recruiter had not failed at keeping the response deadline he or she had set. It would be healthy to suppose that if the hiring manager keeps stalling and does not make any effort to reach out, then the company simply might not have taken interest in one’s application.

Sometimes over-enthusiasm in asking for updates appears bothersome or worse, creepy from the recruiter’s end. It would be best to determine when to simply let go.

Keep hunting!

If all else fails, then keep looking for work! If you want to establish a career in a certain discipline or industry, due diligence, high research ethics, and above all, a voraciousness and resilient attitude are a must. Zeroing in on a particular job is not wise for you might miss out on something that could potentially pave the way for what you really want to do. At the end of the day, it is the length or the long duration of hunting for a good-paying or fulfilling job that matters but securing it at the right place and at the right time. So invest in yourself. Keep pushing. Keep exploring!

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