How to follow up on a job application

Have you spent hours crafting the perfect job application but still haven’t heard back? Knowing how to follow up on a job application is important if you want to make the most of your opportunities. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of sending a follow-up email after an application and how long you should wait before sending it. Then, we’ll cover what you should include in your job application follow-up email in 5 simple steps. Finally, we’ll provide you with an email sample you can send to the hiring manager. So, find out how to follow up on a job application and get to emailing!

Benefits of knowing how to follow up on a job application

Now that you know some of the reasons why employers don’t get back to you, you can start thinking about why you should send a job application follow-up email. Here are the 3 reasons why it’s a good idea to send a follow-up email and how it could benefit you.

1. Stand out from the crowd

Many people will let their job application slide if they don’t receive a response. With a follow-up email, you’re sending a signal that you’re serious about landing the position. If recruiters don’t reply to your job application, sending a reminder can put you on their priority list. This only really works if you have all the qualifications for the job and can prove why you’re a great candidate.

2. Boost your opportunities

In the time that you’ve been waiting for a response, hiring managers may have already moved on with hiring for other positions. If they haven’t followed up on your job application, this is a great opportunity for you to jump back into the game. They may have other similar positions opening up in the near future which you may be a good match for. Knowing how to follow up on a job application gives you an edge when other positions open up.

3. Receive valuable feedback

Some recruiters are willing to shoot you a quick follow-up to your job application as to why you weren’t picked from the bunch. Maybe it’s because another candidate had a qualification that you didn't, or has more experience in a specific area that you don’t; whatever it is, these reasons are valuable takeaways for future applications. If you find out you were missing something (like a section in your CV), then this is your chance to put it right.

How long to wait after submitting your job application online

There isn’t a perfect timeframe to send a follow-up to your job application. A common rule of thumb is to wait at least 1-2 weeks to follow up after submitting your job application online. In most cases, this is the point where you should start wondering whether your application was received, or if there’s something you missed. If you send a follow-up email too early, like after a few days, it may come across as hasty and unprofessional. You also don’t want to wait too long, because the chances of filling the position can increase over time.

Want to know how to follow up on a job application at the right time? Here are a few things you need to ask yourself:

1. Did I double-check the vacancy and application?

Before you start typing out a follow-up to your job application, quickly double-check whether your application was uploaded correctly, and that you’ve submitted all the right documents. Also, go back to the vacancy and see if there’s any new information posted there. In some cases, you’ll be able to see if the position was filled or if the vacancy was removed altogether.

2. Did the employer send me an automated email?

Some companies turn on automated confirmation emails once you apply for a vacancy on their website. In this email, you’ll find information about the status of your application, and how long it will take for the recruiter to get back to you. Make sure to read it carefully, so you know what the protocols are. Knowing when and how to chase up a job application should be based on the information you have at hand.

3. Do I have all the requirements?

This sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people apply to jobs for which they’re not fully qualified. A few minor mistakes or inconsistencies in your cover letter or CV may be the reason why you haven’t been picked from the bunch. Make sure to review the requirements for the job. If you’re covered on all bases, you have a good reason to send a job application follow-up email.

Find your next job

Want to stay up to date on the latest vacancies? Create an account. Apply easily to jobs, save vacancies and set up email alerts all in one place.

Steps to writing a job application follow-up email

To help you learn how to follow up on a job application, we’re giving you 5 simple steps to follow to write an effective follow-up email.

Step 1: Find the contact details

It’s important that your job application follow-up email gets received by the right person. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting longer than just a week or two. First, check the vacancy or job offer for any details about the responsible recruiter. If you can’t find it there, look for contact details on the website, or simply call and ask.

Step 2: Be clear

Make sure the letter clearly states who it’s for (if you don’t know, just address it to HR), and what position you applied for. If you can, add a link to the vacancy, so the hiring manager can easily find it. It would also be helpful to state when you applied for the vacancy so that the hiring manager can easily find you in their system. A big part of knowing how to follow up on a job application is about being straightforward and understandable.

Step 3: Ask about the status

In one or two sentences, kindly request if they could give you a follow-up about your application. If you received an automated email, it might be helpful to mention the deadline that was given. Then, ask if you could get an indication about the decision timeline, so you know what to expect going forward.

Step 4: Show interest

This is probably the most important part of the letter. In a few sentences, try to touch on why you’re still interested in the position, and what makes you a great candidate. If you can spark a hiring manager’s interest, it’ll give them a reason to review your cover letter or CV.

Step 5: Call

If you’ve sent your job application follow-up email, and still don’t hear anything back from the hiring manager, it might be worth giving them a call. Recruiters often receive hundreds of emails a day, so chances are your email got lost somewhere. However, this should be your final resort. If you still can’t get in touch with the hiring manager, it’s probably best to move forward and take your chances somewhere else.

Sample follow-up email for a job application

Knowing how to ask for an update on a job application is a valuable skill to have. And now that you have all the information you need to know about how to follow up on a job application, here’s an example you can use to craft your own.

Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

Two weeks ago, I submitted my application for the position as [position] at [company]. I haven’t received a confirmation yet, so I was wondering about the current status of my application. Is there a timeframe I can keep in mind?

I’m still very interested in the role and would love to join your team. I feel that [your experience, knowledge, and skills] would benefit your company and [department] team. In particular, [career highlight] has given me a chance to prove myself in this field of work.

If you need any further details or information about my application, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you, and hope to expand on how I can contribute to your company.

Kind regards,

[Your full name]

[Your LinkedIn profile]

[Your contact details]

Have you received a reply to your email, and have you been invited for an interview? That’s great! Knowing how to prepare for an interview is essential for boosting your chances of success. Perhaps your email fell on deaf ears, in which case it’s important to look for new opportunities. If you feel your CV needs an overhaul, then we recommend giving our handy free CV maker a whirl to give it a fresh new look.

Ready to apply?

We have tons of jobs up for grabs. Check out our vacancies to find your ideal role and start applying today.

FAQs about how to follow up on a job application

  • Is it rude to follow up on a job application?

  • It might feel intimidating to send a follow-up email, but as long are you’re respectful and mindful of how it comes across, you should be in the clear. You should also give recruiters reasonable time to get back to you, especially for competitive positions. If you end up getting another offer while you’re waiting, knowing how to decline a job offer is also an important skill to have.

  • How long should my follow-up letter for a job application be?

  • Your follow-up email shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to read. The hiring manager will probably push it down to the bottom of their priority list if it’s a huge blob of text. Keep it short, with about 150-200 words maximum.

  • How do you politely ask about your application status?

  • A polite follow-up letter for a job application is about staying neutral and objective. There could be many reasons why you haven’t received a reply to your application, so it’s best not to jump the gun. Be brief and straightforward; there’s no point beating around the bush or showing negative emotions. If you don’t receive a response within another week, start looking for other job opportunities.

Explore other job application tips