Waiting to hear back from an employer after you’ve sent in your polished resume, cover letter, and application materials can seem like a daunting process. However, you may be able to decrease your waiting period by understanding an employer’s reasoning and adapting a few tips and tricks. Here is a guide to help you determine how long you can expect to wait to hear back and how to follow up with an employer:
How Long It Takes to Hear Back After Applying for a Job
The average length of time it takes to hear back is one to two weeks or around 10-14 days after you submit your application materials. In contrast, certain jobs, like those for government positions could take as long as six to eight weeks to hear back. However, the amount of time it takes to hear back from a job application depends on the company's urgency to fill a position, size, or the volume of applicants an employer has to review.
Steps to take to when you haven't heard back yet
When you're waiting to get a phone call or email about a job you applied for, you may wonder what the right way is to go about following-up about your application without seeming desperate or inconvenient. Use a timeline like this one when you haven't heard back from a job yet:
1. Review the job description or posting
If you are unsure of when and how to follow up with an employer about a job you applied for, check the original job posting. There may be information that tells you how long you can expect to wait before receiving a reply. For example, if the employer plans to respond within two weeks, then you shouldn't contact them before that two week period passes. However, if the description says you will receive a reply from within five to ten business days, and you still haven't heard back after 10 days, the employer is more likely to welcome a follow-up.
2. Continue your job search
As you wait to hear back from a job, continue your job search. You will most likely find other potential options should you not be asked for an interview. It can also help alleviate your nerves and give you a sense of control to apply for multiple jobs.
3. Write a follow-up email to the employer
After the one week mark (or the amount of time the employer specified to wait) consider writing a follow-up email to demonstrate your interest in the position and remind them about any relevant details on your application. Your follow-up email should be brief and include the following components:
- Salutation and name of the recipient
- Personable statement
- Full name
- Position you applied for and reasons you are a good fit for the role
- Inquiry about the status of your application
- Closing statement with forward-focused language
- Closing salutation
- Full name
- Contact details
Here is an example email using the above components:
Subject: Following up about application for the Marketing Manager position
Hello Casey Markham,
My name is Jordan Bailey and I am writing to follow up on the status of my application for the Marketing Manager position within your company. Because of the experience I acquired during my internship and current role match the job description, I look forward to speaking with you at your earliest convenience to further explain the details on my resume.
4. Make a phone call to the employer
After you send a follow-up email to an employer, you may decide to send a second follow-up email after a period of time, or a phone call. Be sure to call during business hours to ensure your best chance of speaking with a company employee. When the employer answers the phone, be sure to incorporate the following into your conversation:
- Greet them by name
- Introduce yourself
- Ask how they are
- State your reasoning for your call
- Maintain a professional, friendly tone of voice
- Thank them for their time
Here is an example:
'Hello is this Casey Markham? This is Jordan Bailey, how are you today? I was calling to follow up on my application for the position of Marketing Manager. I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me, have a great day.'
5. Spread out your attempts to contact the employer
Be sure to space out your follow-ups with an employer to avoid seeming desperate or making the employer feel overwhelmed. For instance, if you send a follow-up email on Monday, consider sending another email or giving them a phone call on the following Monday if you don't get a response the first time.
6. Know when to pursue other opportunities
If you still haven't heard back after your follow-up attempts, allow yourself to move on to other opportunities. Remember that you do have something to offer and the right position will come along.
Tips to get faster responses
There is no guarantee that you will get a reply about a job you applied for, but there are ways you can ensure that you tried your best to engage with an employer about your candidacy. Here are a few tips that may help you get faster responses about your application:
- Only apply for jobs where you meet most, if not all, the requirements. This ensures that you spend time applying for jobs that give you the best chance of receiving a reply.
- If the application asks for your salary expectations, say you're open to negotiation. If you set your expectations in your application, an employer may overlook you due to your specific expectations.
- Match your resume and cover letter to specific keywords in the job description. The employer may use ATS (application tracking software) that enables them to pick and choose applications that have the most relevant wording based on the job description.