You applied for a new role and still haven’t heard back from the employer? Are you getting impatient but not sure how to follow up on the application? Look no further, this is where the almighty follow-up email comes into play!
After applying for a job, the eagerness to find out where your application stands can sometimes make the wait seem nail-bitingly long. When following up on a job application, you don’t want to seem too pushy, but not following up means another candidate might snatch the position away from you. Play your cards right however, and you might just boost your chances of getting that dream job!
Before You Follow Up
It’s important to understand that the hiring process can be lengthy, depending on many factors like the size of the company or the number of applicants. Here are a handful of reasons why you may not have heard back from your prospective employer:
- The application deadline has not yet been reached
- The employees responsible are ill or on vacation
- More candidates than expected have applied for the position
- The selection process is taking longer than planned
When should you ask?
As a general rule of thumb, you should wait a week or two before making an inquiry. It’s important to give the employer enough time to review the applications. Mark the date on your calendar and send a well-timed follow-up email—it’s a great way to raise your head above of the crowd!
Dos and don’ts
Stick to the following guidelines when you write your message:
|Be friendly and polite when inquiring about your application status and avoid any implication of criticism.||Pester the recruiter.|
|If it’s a small business, allow a minimum of one week before following up, for larger companies, extend this to two weeks.||Send a message too quickly. Try to be patient (we know it’s hard!)|
|Express your interest in the position in an unobtrusive way.||Simply repeat your cover letter. Reach out to the recruiter with new and interesting information.|
|See if you can get an answer as to the next steps in the application process.||Put all your eggs in one basket, keep applying for other roles!|
When it comes to the perfect email, and especially if you’re applying for a role with a small business or a young startup that may take a more relaxed and informal approach, make sure your message is clear and concise but also friendly and conversational. Here’s how:
- Be polite: To convey a professional impression, good manners are your currency. Address the HR manager by name and thank them if, for example, you’ve received an acknowledgment of receipt.
- Keep it short and conversational: A short email is more likely to be answered promptly. No one wants to read a 10,000-word dissertation on your qualifications at the follow-up stage. Be conversational, friendly, and focus on your winning personality. After all, whoever is reading your email might become your colleague in the near future.
- Be confident: It’s in your interest to ask about the application. Be self-assured but polite and remind your potential employer why (Hello) it is YOU they are looking for.
- Ask a question: Formulate a specific question, for example, “when can I expect feedback?” or “how will the application process proceed?”, a concrete question is more likely to elicit a response than a rambling discussion of your suitability for the job.
- Signal you’re available for an interview: Indicate in your email when you would be available for an on-site interview.
- Check the email: You can make a positive impression not only through your application documents but also through your email. The text should, therefore, be free of errors. Check the grammar and spelling and make sure that you’ve correctly named the addressee.
Job application follow-up email samples
Email templates can help you gather ideas for possible ways to write your own email. However, you’ll need to adapt the email to the job you’re applying for. You can use the suggestions below as a guideline:
|Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I submitted my application for the [job title] position on [DD.MM.YYYY]. I just wanted to make sure you received it and to let you know that I am still very interested in the position. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information. I look forward to hearing back from you.
|Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Thank you very much for your confirmation of receipt on [DD.MM.YYYY].
I am aware that a qualitative application process takes time. Nevertheless, I would like to inquire as to when I can expect feedback on my application as I am very enthusiastic about the prospect of filling the [job title] position.
Should you have any questions regarding my application documents, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or telephone on [mobile phone number].
I am looking forward to your feedback.
Many HR professionals are active on professional social media platforms, such as Xing or LinkedIn and you can use these channels to contact them. Generally speaking, the same standards apply as for an email. The advantage here is that if the contact person clicks on your profile, you may be able to score points right away if your page is designed seriously and attractively. A picture is worth a thousand words they say!
If you already have another job offer and therefore have to make a decision, describe your situation objectively: you can point out that the notice period with your current employer is about to expire or that you’ve already had an offer but would value an opportunity to interview as you are keen for the role. One thing to remember is that even if you think you’ve found the dream job, don’t stop looking for alternatives until you’ve got a definite answer!