How to follow up job applications

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What do you do after you send a job application? Do you just wait for weeks or months for a reply? Have you ever considered following-up?

Many HR professionals recommend it because:

  • It shows companies your interest in the job.
  • It is a chance to state your qualifications.
  • You can be seen as a proactive and competent candidate.

Following-up can boost your chances of being considered for an interview.
Important: If the job posting says “no follow-ups” then don’t do it.


Four simple steps for a good follow-up:

  1. Wait a week
    The best time to follow-up is between a week to 10 days. You can wait longer if you applied early and the deadline of application is months away. 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 phone call. Prepare your message before calling especially if you are not used to speaking in English. Sending an email can be a safe and convenient choice. Make sure that your email is clear and direct. Check the email address before sending.

  3. Prepare your message
    • Phone call:
      Make an outline or script before calling. For example: “I am calling to check if you received my application for (position) on (date). May I know the timeline for your decision-making process?”

      Practice what you are going to say to make you feel more confident. Start your call with a greeting and be polite. Ask for the hiring manager. If the manager is not there, ask when would be a good time to call again. Remember to make the call in a quiet place and don’t call during peak work hours or on holidays. Record a professional voice mail message in case they decide to call you back.

      Be enthusiastic. Smiling while talking on the phone can make your voice sound lively. Say that you will be delighted to come for an interview.

    • Email:
      Address it to the hiring manager and make it brief and concise if you are sending an email. Read 7 tips for writing great emails. Indicate the name of the position you are applying for and the date you sent your application. Emphasize how much you would like to be a part of the company.

      Add this reminder: “I will be happy to discuss if there are points in my resume that are not clear to you. I am available for interview on (date) or at a date more convenient for you” at the end of your email. Close with a “Thank you”. Here is a sample follow-up email: How to follow-up on a job application: An email template by Alex Cavoulacos of The Muse.com.


  4. Call or send your follow-up email
    Make sure that you have the right contact person, phone number or email address. The best way to prevent mistakes is to make a list of your job applications. Write down the job title, date you sent the application, contact person, contact details and date of follow-up.

    Don’t call or email again too soon if the company doesn’t respond. It may annoy the staff and make you look too desperate. Don’t contact the company more than three times. Leave a couple of weeks in between inquiries (About Careers). Goodluck!

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