Imagine this… You went on an interview last week, didn’t hear back, and just sent a follow up email. You check your inbox the next day and your stomach sinks- no new messages. Still nothing.
The reality is the follow up email subject line you choose is important, and the email is too. You want an answer but you can’t send something too aggressive because it will ruin your chances of hearing back. So it takes a bit of experience to do it the right way.
So I’m going to show you the best follow up email subject lines for your job search. Here’s what you’re about to get:
If you’re following up with somebody that has already emailed you, it’s usually best to keep the subject line the same.
Example: Maybe you got an email telling you they’re working on scheduling your interview. Something like “We are still finalizing the schedule”.
Just reply to that email and keep the same subject line they used, with a “RE:”. So your email subject line for following up would look like this: “RE: We are still finalizing the schedule”.
Why is this an effective subject line for following up? They’ll recognize it right away so it will get opened fast. It has no chance of being mistaken for spam, etc.
You don’t always have an existing email to reply to, so sometimes you’ll have to write your own email subject line. So let’s look at what you can send.
Here are 15 great subject lines to choose from when following up:
The follow-up email you send here will vary depending on if you just finished your interview and are mostly sending an email to say “thanks”, or whether it’s been a while (3-4 days+) and you need to send a follow up email for feedback. So I’ll cover both situations…
Follow up email subjects for immediately after interview:
Follow up email subject lines if you’ve gotten no response 4-5 days after interviewing:
The more specific you can get in your follow up email subject lines, the better. So try adding details.
You can mention the exact job title or something specific you discussed in the interview, like a question they asked you, or a topic they shared information about.
You can include other details too, it depends on the situation and the person you’re following up with. Don’t make your subject line too long, but a bit of information is good and it’s okay if it’s around 8 words long.
So you have your best follow up email subject lines picked out. What should you put in the email?
It’s best to keep it short and to the point usually. You want a response or an update, so make it clear. Here are a few templates and examples you can use:
I’m following up on my application for the _____ position. I’m excited to learn more about the opportunity because I thought it’d be a great fit based on my experience with _____. Any update on your end when you get a chance would be really appreciated!”
For the last blank space, pick a skill or piece of experience that fits what the job requires. Something you learned from your past work, education, or training.
If you do this, you’re going to set yourself apart from the other applicants. You’re reminding them of a specific reason why you applied and why you’d be a good fit.
This is very important to do in your interview answers too, so make sure you’re always focusing on this in your interviews AND follow ups.
A lot of job seekers just blast their resume all over the place, including for jobs they’re not a good fit for. So by stating why you thought it made sense to apply, you’re going to grab the company’s curiosity and they’re more likely to want to learn more about your background!
I wanted to take a second to thank you for your time earlier today. I enjoyed our conversation about ____ (specific topic), and the position sounds like an exciting opportunity. I’m looking forward to hearing any updates you can share, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever.”
It’s best to pick a specific topic you discussed with the person for your email, instead of just saying you enjoyed talking about the overall job.
It’ll remind them of the conversation you had and show you were paying attention. And if you interviewed with multiple people in the company, they might compare emails. So send something slightly different to each person.
Maybe one person told you a lot about the team structure and the daily work. So in your follow up email you could write:
“I enjoyed our conversation about the day to day work and operations of the group, and the position sounds like an exciting opportunity.”
Maybe a second person told you more about the training and how you’d get started there. Your follow up email to that person might include this:
“I enjoyed our conversation about the training and the process of how I’d get ramped-up in this position, and it sounds like an exciting opportunity.”
In most interviews, you’ll talk about a lot of topics with each person you speak to. Don’t get overwhelmed when following up. Just pick one and mention it. Something that stood out or seemed interesting that they’d remember discussing with you.
And choose something related to the other person’s area of focus. If you interviewed with the Training Manager, you want to stroke their ego by writing about something training-related.
Let’s say you interviewed, sent a “Thank You” email (or forgot to) and now you haven’t heard back in a few days or a week. What should you send?
Here are two good options:
I wanted to follow up in regard to the ____ position that we discussed on ____ (day). I’m excited about what I learned and wanted to check if there have been any updates on your end. Thanks for keeping me in the loop!”
I wanted to check in and see whether a decision had been made regarding the ____ position. I’m excited to hear feedback based on everything I learned in the interview. Let me know the latest when you have a chance. Thanks!”
Remember to be direct and brief, stay polite, and be clear about what you’re asking for in your emails, so there’s no confusion. Your subject line matters a lot but that’s only half the battle, so put time into the body of your emails too.
Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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