How to Follow Up on a Job Application (with Email Sample)

Follow-up on a job application can feel like stepping on very thin ice. You don’t want to come across as too pushy or impolite if you do, and if you don’t, another candidate could take your place.

Fortunately, there are some proven ways to follow up on a job application that will increase your chances of getting hired. and we’re about to share them with you, along with a great sample job tracking email.

Reading: Application follow?

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This guide will show you:

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  • a step-by-step formula to follow up on every job application.
  • how to follow up on a job application to get more interviews.
  • sample follow-up email better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • how to track the status of a job application over the phone.

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sample resume templates

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one of our users, nikos, had this to say:

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[I used] a nice template I found on zety. my resume is now one page, not three. with the same things.

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Have you already had your interview but still haven’t received an answer? Learn how to follow up with our handy guide: Email Follow-up After An Interview: 10 Examples & templates that work

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Are you still working on your letter of interest or cover letter? see:

  • sample letters of interest
  • best cover letter examples
  • sample email cover letter

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now__

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then you have submitted your resume. Congratulations. but it is only the beginning of the hiring process.

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The first step is the hardest:

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wait.

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It’s frustrating, I know. however, you should give employers some time to review your application before you can follow up.

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and yes, the follow-ups are more than good. A recent study asked how long a job applicant should wait to follow up with a hiring manager after submitting a resume. the answers?—

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  • less than a week: 19%
  • one to less than two weeks: 43%
  • two to less than three weeks: 30%
  • three weeks or more: 8%
  • should not follow up: 0%

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When to follow up on a job application?

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There is no hard and fast rule, but in general: no sooner than a week after you submit your resume.

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two weeks and no response? now you definitely have to follow up.

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When to follow up on a resume?

When to follow up on a resume

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Pro tip: Before you continue, take another look at the job posting. Employers sometimes explicitly state that they do not want you to contact them about the status of your application at this stage. in other cases, the exact response date is provided in the job advertisement. play by the rules. Following up before the due date will be rude at best and will hurt your chances of getting the job at worst.

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okay, so you’ve waited. It’s been a week or two since you applied and still no response. game on!

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Here’s how to track a job application or resume:

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1. use your connections

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  • Check your business and professional contacts to see if you know anyone from the company.
  • If you do, have them tell the appropriate hiring manager about your application, or put you in touch with someone in charge of recruiting.

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Don’t you have any contact in the company?

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2. get the contact details of the hiring manager

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  • first, check if the contact information is provided in the job posting.
  • if you applied through a job board and there is no direct email address on the job posting, check the company website for your hiring manager’s email address.
  • not there? call the company’s main desk and just ask. that will do the trick.

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then…

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3. write a follow-up email directly to the hiring manager

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  • Use a clear subject line, for example: Follow-up on a job application for [job title].
  • Be polite and humble in the body of your message.
  • Say you’re still interested and reiterate why you’re a great fit.
  • Keep the resume follow-up email short.

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let’s see how it works in practice.

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resume follow-up email example

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You might be tempted to try to impress the hiring manager by sending an old-school follow-up letter after an application, but that’s really not a good idea.

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We live in a digital age where good communication means fast communication.

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A paper follow-up letter for the status of your job application may reach the hiring manager too late to make a difference, or worse, it may be treated as unsolicited spam and never opened.

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Writing a resume follow-up email is definitely your best option.

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It’s been another week and still no response?

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4. make a phone call

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  • start by asking if this is a convenient time for the hiring manager to speak with you.
  • if not, ask when you can call them back.
  • then— base track your phone in the sample script below:

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what to say when following up on a job application:sample follow-up phone call script

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voila!

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The study cited above also found that 46% of hiring managers prefer to be contacted by email, yet 39% were open to follow-ups by phone. why?

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Working professionals receive hundreds of emails every day (122 on average, to be precise).

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Your job application and follow-up may have gotten lost in the hiring manager’s inbox (somewhere between a newsletter you barely care about and an internal email about a corporate Christmas Eve).

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a quick phone call will help resolve this issue.

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what’s next?

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5. don’t get creepy

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  • Unless the hiring manager has set a response deadline and you haven’t met it, don’t follow up more than twice.
  • accept the fact that a certain company might not be interested in you and move on.
  • call or email every day or, worse than that, show up in person to Asking about your application will surely deter the company from hiring you.

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by the way, it’s very rude not to reply to any of your follow ups. If a company doesn’t treat you with respect now, why expect them to once you start working with them?

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remember, there are a lot of fish in the sea, so…

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6. keep looking for work

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even if you think you’ve found a perfect job for you, don’t stop applying to other companies while you wait for the answer.

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don’t obsess over a job posting. no matter how excellent a candidate you are, you may not make it for reasons beyond your control.

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Sample resume follow-up email

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Have you already been interviewed and want to write a perfect interview follow-up email? check out our dedicated guide and learn how to get the most out of it: how to write a thank you email after an interview (+10 examples)

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When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullets, skills and auto complete boring stuff. spelling checker? check. Start creating a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, zety’s resume builder will grade your resume and tell you exactly how to improve it.

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There’s a case where you don’t have to worry about deadlines, employer preference, or waiting “long enough.”

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This is when you’re offered a position at another company, but you haven’t heard back from your first choice yet.

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If that’s the case, follow up immediately.

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Send a message to the employer of your dreams and say:

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  • that you have received another offer.
  • that you are ready to decline if you are still in the running.
  • include a date by which you are expected to respond.

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sound too much like a gamble?

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well, it could be. but sometimes it’s worth it.

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here is a personal story:

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I only got my current job thanks to proper follow-up.

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I got another offer, but I really didn’t want it. what did i do?

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here’s the key: I provided value.

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I wrote a sample article for the zety blog. I then attached it to the following email message:

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The next day I received one of the shortest emails I’ve ever read: “when can we schedule an interview?”

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Trust me, this strategy can work for you too. but remember: if you do, you should give your potential employer an advance on your skills.

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make them realize they can’t afford to lose you.

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pro tip: not getting interview invites? Recruiters and hiring managers search for candidates on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. your online presence could be to blame. When looking for a job, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you’re not sharing anything inappropriate or unprofessional on your online accounts. Read our guide to getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile: How to verify your online presence before recruiters look for you.

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Want to learn how to email resume the right way and get ahead of your competition? read our guide: how to email your resume to get more job offers (examples)

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Job application tracking serves two purposes. First, to remind the hiring manager about his candidacy. second, to help you put an end to the terrible uncertainty.

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Has my job application reached the hiring manager? Have you seen my resume?

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guess what: you don’t have to ask yourself these questions.

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There is an easy way to know if and when your resume has been opened.

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first, you can start tracking your emails using free email tracking software, like mailtag.

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Of course, knowing that your resume email was opened doesn’t guarantee that the hiring manager actually read your resume. but you will be able to make a better informed decision about tracking.

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then again, there’s one more thing you can do.

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Create a resume online and include the link in your job application email.

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Imagine no longer having to ask “have you by any chance seen my resume yet?”

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You’ll know exactly when to follow up and what to say.

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Also, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an edge over other candidates. you can type it into our cover letter generator here. Here’s what it might look like:

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matching set of resume and cover letter

see more cover letter templates and start writing.

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Keeping up on job applications may seem inconvenient, but it’s expected of you. don’t think you’re “bothering” the hiring manager, you really aren’t.

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How to follow up on a job application or resume

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Here’s a quick rundown of the key steps on how to follow up on a job application or resume:

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  1. follow up at least a week after applying.
  2. try to find the hiring manager’s contact details and write a personalized follow-up email.
  3. Reiterate your interest in the position and say why you would do well on the job.
  4. After another week with no response, call the company to see if they received your application.
  5. if you are offered another job, follow up with your most desired employer right away.
  6. inform them of your response deadline and emphasize that they are your first choice.

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Do you have any additional questions about what to say when following up on a job application? Want to learn more about writing resume follow-up emails? Write us in the comments and we will answer your questions.

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