You’ve submitted a killer resume and cover letter and… radio silence. Waiting for a reply from your dream company can be nerve-wracking, but you don’t have to sit passively. It’s time to get off your laurels and follow up!

We’ll show you how to follow up on a job application the right way. Your goal is to remind a hiring manager about yourself and reiterate your interest in the role. At the same time, it’s crucial to avoid appearing pushy and annoying.

When to send a follow up email after an application

Following up on a job application too early only harms your chances of getting a job. Hiring managers need some time to review all applications, so you’ll need some patience.

Wait for one or two weeks after submitting your resume, the hiring manager survey suggests. Then, it’s perfectly fine to follow up on a job application. Moreover, all human resources managers interviewed encourage candidates to do it! Most of them name email as the best way to communicate with a potential employer.

Stay on top of your follow-ups
Spark email can remind you when it's time to follow up on your application

Now, let’s write that perfect follow up email.

How to follow up on a job application:

1. Get the hiring manager’s contact details

If you’ve applied for a job via email, you already have the address to which to write. Otherwise, you’ll need to conduct some research.

Check the job offer for the contact information. The company’s website is another place where you’re likely to find a hiring manager’s email.

2. Use a clear subject line or write to the existing thread

If you’ve previously sent your resume via email, just find this message, hit “Reply” and write your follow up to the existing thread. This provides a recipient with a context as they can see your original message and recall you faster.

If you’re emailing a hiring manager for the first time, write a clear subject line: “Following up on the [Job title] application.”

3. Include a polite salutation

Greet a hiring manager by their name. Depending on the level of formality in their company or industry, your salutation can range from “Dear” to “Hi.” 

If you couldn’t find a hiring manager’s name, a generic salutation “Greetings” is appropriate. Yet, we encourage you to do some research and find out their name.

4. Remind them who you are

At the start of your email, mention when you sent your resume and what position you applied for. 

5. Reiterate why you’re a perfect fit

Mention that you’re still excited about the opportunity to work with them. Briefly remind a potential employer why you’re a good fit for the job. 

If you have any additional questions about the role, it’s fine to ask them here.

6. Close your email friendly and politely

Mention that you’re ready to provide any additional information and would be happy to meet them. 

Make sure you don’t sound pushy and demanding. It’s fine to ask if there are any updates on their decision timeline. But it’s better to avoid questions like “When will you get back to me?” as they sound too blunt.

End your email with polite sign-offs like “Best regards” or “Sincerely” followed by your full name.

7. Proofread and edit

Double-check the recipient’s name and make sure grammar and spelling are perfect. Pay attention to the tone of your message: Your goal is to be confident, polite, and friendly rather than desperate or obtrusive. 

Productivity tip: When you send someone an email, set a follow up reminder in Spark. For example, when you submit a resume, and a week passed without a reply, Spark reminds you to follow up.

Follow up email after application: A sample to use

Let’s put all the advice together and have some practice. Here’s how your follow up email after application can look like:

Subject: Following up on the [Job title] application

Hi [Hiring manager’s name],

Earlier this month, I applied for the [Job title] position at [Company name] and I’m wondering if you could share your decision timeline.

I’m still excited about the position and I believe my [skills/knowledge/experience relevant to the role] can help your company [value you can bring/goal you can help them achieve].

Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. I look forward to hearing from you.

[Your name]

This brief and friendly email reminds a hiring manager who you are why they should consider your application. Give it a try!

After sending your job application follow up email, have some patience and wait for a while. If another week passed without a reply, it’s fine to send a follow up once again. Just write to the existing thread and keep it short.

No reply after the second email? More follow ups won’t help. It’s better to move on in your job search. All in all, it’s a recruiter’s job to provide feedback and update candidates on their applications. If a company can’t even reply to your message, things are unlikely to go better once you work there.