The most stressful aspect of the hiring process is often waiting for a company to respond to your application. Sometimes the position has a large pool of candidates and in other cases, the organization may not be interested in pursuing an interview. Understanding when and how to send an appropriate follow-up email for a job application is important for maximizing your chances of advancing in the hiring process. Our guide will provide expert tips to craft concise emails and make the right impression on the hiring manager, accelerating your job search.
When Should You Follow Up on a Job Application?
Studies indicate that job seekers should respond between one to two weeks after applying. Ensure that you’ve given the hiring manager proper time to review your qualifications; following up too soon might cause you to appear overeager or unprofessional. Be patient throughout the hiring process and don’t allow yourself to make the mistake of responding too early, despite how excited you are about the job opportunity.
How Long Should Your Follow-Up Email Be?
Although you may be tempted to write a longer letter and further sell yourself to the hiring manager, this is the wrong approach in most instances. Hiring managers are extremely busy, especially during the hiring cycle, and sending an overly long email will show you aren’t conscious of their time. Crafting a polite, concise response will have a much more positive impact and improve your chances of making a strong first impression.
Never Follow Up More than Twice
You may not want to follow up again if you haven’t received a response to your first email, as this isn’t a positive sign that the company is interested in interviewing you. If you do send a second email, submit it only after three weeks have passed. Following up more than twice when you haven’t received any further communication isn’t advisable, and won’t do anything to help grow your professional reputation within your industry.
Leverage Your Connections
If you don’t hear back from a company after applying, you may want to use your connections to garner insights into the hiring process. For instance, you may find that a first connection on LinkedIn is currently employed at the company you’ve applied to. In this case, it may be appropriate to reach out to your connection for advice on sending a response or perhaps obtain information on where the company is in terms of evaluating applicants.
Respond to the Hiring Manager Directly
It’s important to make sure that you’re sending your follow-up email directly to the hiring manager after submitting your job application. If you send a response to a general inbox or the human resources team, it’s likely that your email will get lost in the shuffle. Conduct research on who the hiring manager is on the website or LinkedIn and address them personally in the email. It’s always better to engage directly with the person who is responsible for evaluating applicants — you’re much more likely to receive a response.
Sample Email 1
In this sample, the job seeker is applying for a project manager position but hasn’t received a response in over two weeks. They feel that this company is a rare opportunity to further grow within the software development industry, and are sending a note directly to the hiring manager:
Hello Mr. Tyrone Jackson,
Two weeks ago, I applied for the technical project manager position with your company. I realize that you’re likely busy reviewing other applicants, but I wanted to follow up on a possible timeline for when you may have a decision on my application.
Luminous Software Corp. has a prestigious reputation as a leading innovator within the software development space, and I’d love to provide more insights regarding how my project management experience can benefit your organization.
Feel free to contact me via phone or email for any additional information on my background and experience. I appreciate your time and consideration and hope to hear from you soon.
This follow-up email is effective because it’s straightforward and concise. The job seeker makes a point to show consideration for the hiring manager’s busy schedule, which says something about who they are as a professional. Demonstrating their knowledge of the company’s reputation and genuine interest in pursuing the position may set the candidate apart from the competition and lead the hiring manager to schedule an interview.
Sample Email 2
In the following example, the candidate is pursuing an internship with a prestigious financial firm. Although it’s been over a week without a response, the candidate feels this opportunity is important enough for their career goals to send an email:
Dear Ms. Lori Taylor,
I submitted an application for the investment research internship position two weeks ago. I’m aware that you are likely busy reviewing other candidates, but I wanted to follow up on when you think you may reach a decision on my application.
As a recent graduate in finance, I have a passion for investment strategy and financial analysis. Fidelity’s prestigious reputation within investment banking is what draws me to apply for this internship, and I believe that I can provide valuable contributions to your team in evaluating portfolios and investment opportunities.
Let me know if you require any additional information on my background or academic achievements. I’m available via phone or email at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.
This email is appropriate because it draws attention to the candidate’s skill sets and knowledge of Fidelity without being too long-winded. Again, you need to be extremely polite in these types of responses, and drawing attention to your awareness of the hiring manager’s busy schedule is important. You want to show that you’re enthusiastic and engaged without being overly pushy.