What’s the best way to follow up on a job application? Wait two weeks, then craft a brief email detailing the position you applied for and what makes you the best candidate.
Are you hearing crickets after applying for your dream job in Canada? There’s no worse feeling than endlessly refreshing your email, hoping to see an interview request. But the average hiring process takes 42 days, so it might take a couple of weeks to hear back. Sometimes a follow-up can bring your resume in front of the right eyes. Plan how you’ll follow up on your job application with our tips, follow-up email templates, and call scripts.
Sometimes a follow-up can bring your resume in front of the right eyes. Plan how you’ll follow up on your job application with our tips, follow-up email templates, and call scripts.
1. Wait One to Two Weeks
It’s standard to wait two weeks before following up on a job application. Waiting two weeks allows a busy Hiring Manager to review all applications and shortlist qualified candidates.
Avoid following up during the weekend when Hiring Managers are away. Similarly, Mondays and Fridays aren’t great either because emails may get lost in the shuffle. That leaves Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as the best days to send an email.
2. Contact the Hiring Manager
After the two-week waiting period, the next step is to determine who you should contact. Most businesses have a Human Resources department or even a Hiring Manager or Specialist that you can contact. The first place to check for a name and contact details is the job description, but not all companies will list their Hiring Manager.
If the Hiring Manager’s contact information isn’t listed in the job description, try these steps:
- Check the company’s team page on their website to find the Recruiter or Human Resources Coordinator. They may have emails listed with the person’s photo.
- If there isn’t a team page, use your detective skills to reach out to the company’s Recruiter or Human Resources Coordinator on LinkedIn.
- As a last resort, email the company’s general information email address.
Nine times out of 10, you should follow up by email, not by phone. You can use our email templates below.
3. Be Respectful and Brief
Hiring can be incredibly time-consuming between posting job descriptions, sorting through resumes, and interviewing candidates, meaning their time is very limited. When you follow up with a Hiring Manager after submitting a job application, be respectful of their time and keep it brief.
Follow-up emails should be only three paragraphs or less, and phone calls should be less than a few minutes. Your interaction should be brief enough to just cover the basics of your cover letter and resume.
4. Reach Out to Your Connections
Do you have any close connections at the company you applied for? If so, reach out to your connection to ask the Hiring Manager about your application. You should only do this if you know your network connection well, as this may count as an employee referral.
Tips for Following Up on a Job Application by Email
Email is often the preferred communication style for many businesses and candidates because it’s quick. If you’re following up on a job application by email, proofread your work to catch any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Follow our tips below when crafting your email to increase your chances of a response.
1. Command Attention
Both your subject line and leading paragraphs should command your recipient’s attention. Write an eye-catching subject line that quickly explains the email’s purpose. Here are some examples:
- Next steps: [Name] Job Application
- Did you receive my [position title] application?
- I would love to learn more about the [position title] job
- Follow-up: [Name] application for [position title]
Similarly, your leading paragraphs should also convince the recipient to read on and look for your application. Be direct, but don’t be afraid to show some personality or humor to help yourself stand out. Or, if you know something about the recipient or read some of their work, you can start your email with that.
Also, if you have a contact at the company who referred you, the opening line is a good place to drop their name.
2. Confirm Your Interest
You may think that following up on a job application shows that you’re obviously interested in the job. However, briefly explaining why you want to work for the company can show your enthusiasm too.
Hiring Managers want to see candidates who demonstrate excitement about the potential opportunity. But don’t seem too eager or overwhelming, as that can come across as desperate.
3. Express Your Value
In your follow-up email or phone call, briefly explain your greatest strengths and the value you would bring to the company. Ideally, the strengths you mention should also be found in the job description.
While you want to express the value you’d bring to the job, you shouldn’t resend your resume unless they follow up asking for it. Sending your resume without a prompt for it can seem a bit pushy.
4. Pose a Question
You could ask the same question as the other candidates — when can I expect a response? But that won’t make you stand out.
Instead, ask something related to the job or organization. If you saw in the job description that they use a specific tool, find a way to bring it into conversation through a question. Even if you know the answer, posing a question can encourage a response from the Hiring Manager.
5. Include a Call to Action
Ending your email with a call to action (CTA) is another way to elicit a response when following up about a job application. Before you sign off your email to the Hiring Manager, ask them to schedule a meeting or call you.
You can do this a few different ways, like:
- It would be wonderful to meet the team next week.
- I would love to continue this discussion. Please call or email me to schedule a time that works for you.
- Sending over my portfolio, as discussed in the job description. I would love to go over my work with you and your team.
Email Templates for Following Up on a Job Application
When crafting your follow-up email, be sure to include:
- Your name
- The position you applied for
- Your referral’s name (if applicable)
- Why you’re interested
- Your qualifications
- Gratitude for the opportunity
When reaching out to specific roles like Recruiters and Hiring Managers, or trying to get noticed in the company’s general inbox, use these templates.
If a third-party Recruiter or Headhunter posted the position, use this template.
Subject line: I would love to learn more about the [Position Title] job
I see that you recruit for [Company Name]. I applied for their [Position Title] opening on [date] and was wondering if a hiring decision has been made.
[Company Name] sounds like a great company to work for, but also, the [Position Title] aligns well with my skills, especially [skill].
I would love to continue this discussion. Please call or email me to schedule a time that works for you.
This email template works when you have the Hiring Manager’s name and email address.
Subject line: Follow-up: [Name] application for [Position Title]
I applied for [Company Name’s] open [Position Title] job two weeks ago. Since you were looking to fill the role urgently, I was wondering if you already made a hiring decision or if you needed any additional information for my application.
I believe I would make a great addition to the [Company Name] team because my [quality or strength] aligns well with the company’s core value of [value]. This role fits my career goals and I can bring my [qualification or skill] to this role.
Thank you for reviewing my application! Please keep in touch as you work through the hiring process.
General Email Address
Use this template when you don’t have the Hiring Manager’s email address and are contacting a company’s information email address.
Subject line: Did you receive my [Position Title] application?
Hi [Company Name] team,
My former colleague, [Connection’s Name], recommended that I apply for your open [Position Title] position. I sent through my application on [date] and wanted to check on its status.
As mentioned in the job description, you’re looking for a [quality] individual with [skill] skills. I believe my experience in [previous/current role] and my ability to [strength] prove that I am your ideal candidate. Working with the [department] team in their efforts would be a pleasure.
Thank you for your consideration! I look forward to hearing from your team soon.
Tips for Following Up on a Job Application By Phone
Many jobs today prefer to be contacted via email so the recipient can respond in their own time. However, some brick-and-mortar businesses may prefer phone calls. When following up on a job application by phone, it’s important to:
- Call during business hours, preferably after lunch
- Speak clearly
- Be polite and professional
- Spell names or email addresses aloud
Not sure what to say? Use our scripts below when following up on a job application by phone.
Hello, my name is [Name]. I’m calling in regard to the [Job Title] position. May I please speak with the Hiring Manager for this opening?
Wait for the other person to respond.
I applied for the [Job Title] role on [date]. Do you know if you filled the position or received my application?
Wait for the other person to respond.
Oh, great! I’m glad to hear that the position is still open. I’m very interested in this role for [Company Name] and would love to be considered.
Wait for the other person to respond.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thanks again, and have a great day! Goodbye, [Hiring Manager’s Name].
Hello, my name is [Name]. I’m calling in regard to the [Job Title] position.
I applied for the [Job Title] role on [date].
I was wondering if you made a decision or if you needed any additional information for my application.
Can you call me back at [your phone number]. If email is better, you can reach me at [your email address].
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you!
How Long Should You Wait To Follow Up On a Job Application?
Waiting for a response on a job application can make even just a couple of days drag on, making you want to follow up ASAP. However, you should wait two weeks to follow up on a job application.
One exception to the two-week rule would be if the job description stated that the position needed to be filled urgently. If so, you may reach out at the one-week mark.
For tips on how to follow up after an interview, check out our post on crafting that perfect thank you email.
Need help preparing for an interview? Let Robertson College’s Workforce team help!