Following up on an application can be tricky business. When should you follow up, and what exactly should you say? It can be difficult to know — if you don’t have this template.
That’s right: Glassdoor has written a guide to knowing when to follow up — and a template you can use, word for word if you’d like, to check in on the status of your job application.
Here, we’ll take you through our best application follow-up advice, with added career-expert insight and a template to use for your next follow-up.
Wait — and wait a little more.
You’ve surely heard that patience is a virtue, and that saying holds true when it comes to following up on a job application. So, if the job posting or the application indicated a timeline for the company’s reply, you should try to respect it and wait to follow up until that time has passed. Another reason to wait? Sharlyn Lauby, founder of HR Bartender, says that waiting can actually warm hiring managers and human resources professionals to you. “I know applicants want to set themselves apart early,” she says. “But take a moment to consider the company’s perspective. If the company promotes a job opening and 50 people apply, and then all 50 people decide they’re going to try to find a way to contact the hiring manager . . . well, now multiply that times 10 job openings and you’ll see how that just delays the entire hiring process — which, of course, no one wants.”
Figure out who to contact.
When enough time has passed that you can follow up, try to find a direct contact. That may be a specific person in the company’s human resources department, or it could be a hiring manager. It may take some research on your part, but try to find a name and email address.
Send your materials again.
When you send a follow-up email, be sure to include your application materials again for easy reference. (After all, you don’t want to make the human resources professional or hiring manager work to find out why you’re right for the job.) As our guide points out, “they may have a pile of applications they haven’t looked at, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them to review yours.” Let them know your documents are attached.
Your follow-up may be perfect, and yet, you still may never hear back from a company. We recommend following up no more than two times to the same contact person or company.
Lauby actually encourages you to consider moving on not after a specific number of follow-ups, but after a certain amount of time. “If an individual applies for a job and hasn’t heard from the company after a week, they need to decide if they want to work for a company that treats applicants that way,” she says. “Same with, ‘If I take the time and effort to follow-up with the company, and don’t hear back, do I really want to work for them?’” And that’s not a silly, emotional reaction. “The way applicants are treated during the hiring process can be an indicator of the way they will be treated as an employee,” Lauby points out.
Here’s what to say.
Now, what should you write, you ask? Well, that’s what this simple email template is for:
Dear [Contact’s Name],
I recently sent in an application for [job title] at [company]. I’m sure you all are very busy reviewing applicants, but I wanted to touch base to make sure it got to you, and see if you had any updates on your decision timeline. I’m still very excited about the position and would love the chance to talk more with your team about how my background in [the most relevant thing about your past experience] would really allow me to help your company [something you would expect to help achieve in the role].
I’ve attached my application materials to make it easy for you to find—please let me know if you need any additional information. I look forward to hearing from you.
No excuses now — go ahead and fearlessly follow up on those applications!