How to Follow Up on a Job Application

By Shabana Bachu

It feels like it’s been a while since you’ve submitted your application for that dream job.

Unless it’s explicitly stated on the job listing to not follow up, it’s always a good idea to follow up on a job application when you haven’t heard back. 

When to follow up on your app

Wait at least a week after submitting an application to follow up. 

Keep in mind that holidays and office hours will affect how long it takes to hear back about your application. the time that you submit an application, to when you hear back. 

The best way to reach out

The best way to follow up on a job application is generally by email. Unless you’ve been corresponding with someone at the company by phone or you have a contact that gave you their phone number—then tap that resource.

How often can you reach out? 

During normal workweeks (i.e., not during holiday weeks) use the 3×3 rule. Follow up no more than three times at least three days apart.  

If you submitted an application shortly before a holiday break, check in once the normal workweek has resumed. 

What to say when you follow up on a job application

In an email to a hiring manager, begin as you normally would any professional email. Clearly state your purpose, which is to inquire about your application’s status. Keep it brief, and you might even attach your resume or CV and cover letter, for their easy access. 

Example #1 – Email

Example #2 – By phone

If you reach out by phone, it’s not always guaranteed that you will get to speak to the hiring manager. You might speak to a recruiter or assistant who might pass along your message.

Here are two examples of how to follow up on your job application on the phone, depending on who you are speaking to: 

1. If you’re speaking to a general information desk or someone in recruiting, use this as your guide:

Good morning/afternoon! My name is Jane Smith and I recently submitted a job application for [job title], [X] days ago. I haven’t heard back from anyone and was wondering if there are any updates available that you could share. If necessary, I’d be happy to send over my materials again

2. If you’re speaking directly to the hiring manager, use this as a guide: 

Good morning/afternoon! My name is Jane Smith and I recently submitted a job application for [job title], [X] days ago. I’m following up to see if there’s anything else I could provide. I’m very interested in the position.


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