How to follow up job applications

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Here’s a common scenario: You make a thorough job search and choose several posts that you are perfect for. You send out your targeted resume and impressive cover letter to these companies only to wait weeks, then months with no reply. Oh well, you say. Maybe you’ll find another lead. Instead of giving up, have you ever considered following-up on a job application?

Many HR experts recommend following-up as a way to show your interest in the job and to reiterate your qualifications. This can be scary to do, especially if you are a newcomer but just think – it could be the thing that sets you apart from all the other applicants. If you do it right, you can be seen as a proactive and competent candidate. This attention can boost your chances of getting your application on top of the pile and perhaps snag you that interview.

Here are four simple steps in following-up your application:

  1. Observe a reasonable time

    The best time to follow-up is a week to 10 days after sending your application. It could be longer, if you applied early and the job posting specifies an exact date when they expect the newly hired personnel to start, and it’s months away. But generally, one to two weeks is a good time to follow-up.

  2. Decide on the best way to do it

    You could follow-up by email or through a call. If you choose to call, make sure to prepare your message beforehand so that you’ll deliver a clear message. Do this especially if you are not used to speaking in English. If you are more reserved, sending an email is your safe and convenient choice. Make sure that your email is brief and concise. Also get the right address so that it will not end up in the company’s spam folder.

  3. Prepare your message

    If you are making a call, list down the most important points (or questions) that you wish to say. A good lead in is to ask if they have received your application for (position) which you sent on (date). Make your message brief and straight to the point. Don’t forget to start your call with a greeting and always be polite. Watch this video from snagajob for great tips:

    If you are sending an email, write a brief letter to check whether they received your application or not (read 7 tips for writing great emails). Make sure to mention the title of the position you are applying for and the date you sent your documents. This is also your opportunity to reiterate how much you would like to be given a chance to work for the company. Also include a reminder like: “If there are points that are not clear to you in my resume, I will be happy to discuss them further with you. I am available for interview on … or at a date more convenient for you” towards the end of your email. Always close with a “Thank you” whether following up by phone or email. For a sample follow-up email, read: How to follow-up on a job application: An email template by Alex Cavoulacos of The

  4. Call or send your follow-up email

    Always make sure you have the right contact details! You should make a list of all your applications before you conduct your follow-ups. Note down each application indicating the company, job title, date you sent the application, contact person, contact details and date of follow-up. Having a clear reference will prevent you from making mistakes that can make you look unprofessional.

    If you don’t hear from the company after your follow-up, don’t call or email again too soon. This may annoy the staff or make you look too desperate. About Careers recommends not contacting the company more than three times and to leave a couple of weeks in between inquiries. Goodluck!

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How to follow-up job applications

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