As a former recruiter, I’m going to share the best follow-up emails after a job application.
I’ll also share how long after submitting your resume to follow up… and key mistakes to avoid (including one that will cost you the job opportunity).
Here’s everything you need to do when following up on job applications…
To send a follow-up email after a job application, write a short, clear message directly to the hiring manager, referencing the job posting and asking for an interview.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to find the hiring manager for the role you applied for. I’ll share the best method below:
To find the hiring manager’s name, check the company website and job posting, as well as LinkedIn.
Often, you can identify which team/department the job is in, and then identify the right hiring manager based on that team.
You may even see the hiring manager posting the job on their personal social profiles, for example, on LinkedIn.
However, this is less common in large corporations, where recruiters will likely be performing this task.
While not guaranteed for every job, you can often discover who the hiring manager is for the role by using the research steps above and comparing the job description and then looking through a company’s employees on LinkedIn (after narrowing down the list by keyword).
Then, once you have the manager’s name and company name, you can use a tool like Hunter.io to track down their email address.
The process of finding the manager’s name for a given job opening becomes more difficult in larger companies with multiple managers who have the same job title, though.
If you can’t find the hiring manager, it’s okay to send a follow-up email to HR or a recruiter, but finding the hiring manager is best.
That last point is a good “excuse” to follow up after sending your resume, especially if a few weeks (or more) have passed.
You can point to a new certification you obtained, a recent work project you completed that’s relevant to this role, etc. Essentially, anything new that isn’t on the resume you submitted with your job application.
That way, you’re not just emailing the hiring manager to ask if they reviewed your resume, but instead, you’re providing new details.
That strategy is optional, but it’s a great tactic to reach back out to a company that you applied to in the past and want to check in with!
Next, I’ll share follow-up email examples you can use after sending your resume or submitting a job application.
Dear <Name of hiring manager>,
I’m writing to follow up on the application I submitted last <week/month> for the <job title> position.
Given my recent work in <job requirements or key pieces of the job you’ve applied for>, I’m confident I can step into the role and contribute to the team’s efforts immediately.
I’d welcome the chance to talk on the phone this week if the position is still available, and share a bit more about my recent work in <relevant topic/topics>.
Also, if my resume hasn’t made its way to you yet, I’m happy to attach it here. Just let me know.
Thanks, and I look forward to speaking with you.
Dear <Name of hiring manager>,
I’m writing to follow up on the application I submitted last <week/month> for the <job title> position, which I believe reports to you.
Given my recent work in <job requirements or important areas that you have experience in>, I’m confident I could step into the role and make an immediate impact.
Am I right in thinking that you’re looking for somebody who can help the team with <important job duty 1> and <important job duty 2>?
If so, I’d welcome the chance to talk.
When you use the second job application follow-up email sample above, you should be getting “important job duty 1” and “important job duty 2” from the company’s job description.
What’s mentioned first/most? That’s what the employer cares about.
Identify how you can help a company with their needs. That’s the best way to make a great first impression when submitting your resume or following up on your application.
And the job description is without a doubt the best way to determine what employers are looking for in a candidate.
Dear <Name of hiring manager>,
I’m writing to follow up on the resume I sent last <week/month/etc.> for the <job title> position.
Since sending my resume, I completed <relevant project, certification, training, etc.> which I believe would help me make an immediate impact in this role.
Given this new information, I thought it made sense to circle back and potentially set up a time to talk.
I’ve attached a new, updated resume for your consideration.
Here’s a summary of a few key pieces I can bring to the position:
- Key skill or piece of experience 1
- Key skill or piece of experience 2
- Key skill or piece of experience 3
I look forward to hearing from you.
Make sure you remember to attach a new resume if you use the sample email above, since it mentions that you’re attaching one.
Using a clear subject line when following up about a job you recently applied for is important.
Hiring managers get many emails about not just each job opportunity but also other aspects of their day-to-day work.
So to get noticed, you need to stand out in the hiring manager’s inbox and make it clear why you’re writing.
It’s a good idea to use the position title in your subject line in your email, since the hiring manager is likely familiar with the position title and is also receiving other emails about that position (from their internal team, HR staff, any recruiters working on that job opening, etc.)
When they see the job title mentioned in yet another email, they’ll likely open it to see further information, which is the goal of your subject line: to get your email opened!
Use one of the following email subject lines when sending a follow-up email after a job application:
Before sending your follow-up email after an application, always proofread carefully.
If your email contains spelling, punctuation, or other grammatical errors, it could cost you the chance to get to the next stage in the hiring process.
Employers want detail-oriented people, and while a small email error may seem insignificant to you, they often judge you for this.
So ensure everything is error-free, from your email subject line to your body and signature/conclusion.
If you’re in a modern industry like software/technology, consider finding the hiring manager on LinkedIn or Twitter, and follow up on one of those websites after you’ve sent your resume.
This is a great, modern alternative to following up by email after submitting your job application.
A social media follow-up is easier because it doesn’t require you to find the direct email address of the hiring manager.
Sending an email also allows you to write a message that’s shorter and more casual.
Since you’re likely sending out many job applications each day/week, this can save you a lot of time.
Hello <Name of hiring manager>,
I submitted my resume last <week/month> for the <job title> position, which I believe reports to you.
Given my recent work in <what you’ve done recently that aligns well with this job’s requirements>, I’m confident I could step into the role and make an impact immediately.
I’d love to discuss the position with you if the opportunity is still open.
If my resume didn’t reach you, I’m happy to attach it here, too. Just let me know.
I look forward to talking.
If you’re feeling particularly bold and want to do something that nobody else in the hiring process is doing, you can also use a phone call to follow up about a recently submitted resume.
I recommend/prefer email or social media, though. It could be because my recent recruiting background is in software technology.
In that industry, nobody wants to receive a cold call, and you’ll have more success by writing on LinkedIn or using one of the email templates above to reach out.
You don’t want to pester hiring managers with many messages, but you can certainly send a LinkedIn message, see if it gets seen/read, and then move to a follow-up email a week later if you haven’t received a response from the hiring manager on LinkedIn.
If you’re active on LinkedIn (which I recommend to job seekers for a few reasons) then always check your network to see if you have any mutual connections to a company before following up.
In fact, do this before applying for the job in the first place, if possible.
You’re more likely to hear back on your application if a colleague within the company puts in a good word for you.
And if you already applied, someone within the company can help you check on your application status and get the interview/job offer with fewer hassles potentially.
Time is valuable in your job search, and while I do recommend you follow-up for feedback after each interview, I don’t recommend you follow up on every unanswered job application.
Especially if you’re applying for many positions on job boards, LinkedIn, etc., it’s just too time-consuming to circle back and send a job application follow-up to each employer.
And that time could be spent applying for more jobs.
In most cases, an employer will see your application/resume and will respond within a few weeks if they’re interested.
So I recommend being selective and writing a follow-up email after sending your resume only when:
Or, I recommend you find the hiring manager on LinkedIn or Twitter immediately after you apply for the job, and send them a quick message there to draw attention to your application.
That can boost your odds of hearing back and getting an interview quickly after submitting your application.
It can help you move to the interview stage quickly.
While HR and company recruiters may be bogged down by piles of resumes and cover letters, you could be the only person who directly messaged the hiring manager on LinkedIn about a job.
If they like what they see in your LinkedIn profile, you could be invited to interview faster and receive that job offer before others have interviewed!
That’s a great way to stand out and get your resume seen after you apply for the job.
Hi <Hiring manager’s name>,
I just submitted my resume and cover letter for the <job title> position, which I believe reports to you, and wanted to follow up.
Given my recent work in <what you’ve done recently that aligns well with this job’s requirements>, I’m confident I could step into the role and contribute right away.
Is the role still available? If so, I’d love to discuss more with you.
Also, if my resume didn’t reach you yet, I’m happy to attach it here. Just let me know.
I look forward to talking.
As a general rule, you should wait one to two weeks after submitting your resume to follow up with the company.
The hiring process takes time, and if you haven’t heard back for a few days after applying for a job, it may just mean that the employer is still reviewing your application materials.
Every company’s decision timeline is different but it’s rarely the same day or even same week.
They’ll often let applications pile up, review them all at once, and then take a few more days to reach back out to send you a request to interview.
So whether you applied via a job board, directly on the company site, or through another channel, it’ll likely be a few days or more until your cover letter and resume are read.
For this reason, it’s best to wait one to two weeks before you send a job application follow-up email.
Job seekers who follow up sooner run the risk of overwhelming the hiring manager before they’ve had a chance to review recent job applications on their normal schedule.
If you use the social media strategy above and message a hiring manager on LinkedIn or Twitter, you can follow up right away, without waiting for them to follow the standard application process.
A message on social media can add to your application right away. You can show enthusiasm for the job opportunity, mention that you just applied and are eager to discuss the role since it seems like a great fit for your job search and career goals, and then state that you look forward to hearing back.
Writing a follow-up email after sending your resume can help you:
But only if you do it right.
If you’ve read the steps and email examples above, you know how (and when) to write a follow-up email after applying for a job.
In your follow-up message, mention the specific job you applied for, briefly remind the reader why you’re a great fit based on specific skills and experience, and then directly ask for an interview.
Personalize your messages to include the company name, job title, and the name of the manager if you can. All of the above will help your email message stand out and help influence the hiring decision.
And finally, be selective about when in your job search you follow up on an application.
Making contact to check in after submitting your application shows interest and initiative. However, it’s also time-consuming, and still won’t guarantee you hear back from the employer.
…Especially if you applied via a job board, where the position may be already filled, on hold, etc.
So pick and choose which applications you follow up on. Do so if the job listing is particularly exciting, if you believe you’re uniquely qualified for the role, or if you have new information that was not on your resume.
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