Career HubChevron Bread crumb separator

How to follow up on a job application [email template]

You found what seems like the perfect new job opportunity for you, and spent hours tailoring your resume, writing the perfect cover letter, and fully updating your LinkedIn profile. After crafting the best application possible, you hit submit…and…crickets.

Unfortunately, it's all too common nowadays for prospective employers to ‘ghost,' or just never reply at all to applicants for a job. And for job seekers, this isn't just frustrating — it's confusing, too. Should you let it go or reach back out? Learning how to follow up on a job application is absolutely essential to knowing exactly how to navigate this awkward portion of the hiring process.

When To Follow Up On Your Job Application

Wait — Should You Follow Up?

First, review the actual job posting and application page to see if the company specifically asked potential hires not to follow up on applications. This is something certain companies include in the ‘fine print' of their policies on application pages. If you spot that type of verbiage, you shouldn't follow up unless you've already personally spoken with a recruiter or hiring manager.

That said, there are lots of circumstances where following up on job applications is perfectly acceptable and helpful! To help break things down, we spoke with Chloe Belangia, who is an Executive Recruiter, career coach,  and Founder of the Young Professional Career Connects group on LinkedIn. Her group helps over 10,000 members support each other in the job search, application process, and hiring process. Chloe has incredible insights to share with job seekers from the recruiting side of the hiring process on an appropriate (and impressive) job application follow-up email.

Chloe recommends following up in two main scenarios:

  • You have a personal or past relationship with the hiring manager for this particular position
  • You've applied to a small or medium sized organization where emailing the recruiter will be well-received

Throughout the application and job search process, it's tempting to play a numbers game. We feel like the more applications we submit, the better the chances are we'll land something. But the best way to land the perfect role for you is to be selective and specific. Chloe explains how this applies when you write a follow-up message: “Don't follow up to every job out there, only the top opportunities you're ready to go above and beyond for.”

The good news? A recent study found that 100% of hiring managers encourage application follow-ups. Translation — as long as you follow up the right way and leave a positive impression, it'll help your chances of landing an interview for a job opening that interests you.

Give Grace and Follow Up After An Appropriate Window Of Time Has Passed

You'll always want to wait at least a few days (business days if you applied toward the end of the week) before following up on an application. Most hiring managers recommend waiting about one to two weeks to follow up.

Always pay attention to the information provided by the companies you apply to, as well. Chloe explains that “if an organization offers you a specific timeline of when you'll hear back and you don't by that deadline, you should follow up as soon as the deadline passes.”

If there is no specific timeline provided, Chloe's personal recommendation “is to follow up 5-7 days after applying.” This gives the hiring manager ample time to review your job application, briefly remind the hiring team who you are and why you're a strong candidate, is prompt enough that the role may not have been filled, and shows your initiative and continued interest in the company.

How To Follow Up On A Job Application

According to Chloe, the way you follow up after you applied for a job really should depend on several factors:

  1. The size and scale of the company
  2. Your relationship with the recruiter and/or hiring manager of the position
  3. The availability of that hiring manager's contact details

You'll have the best chance, according to Chloe, of following up and receiving a response when you're applying to a small or midsize company, leveraging LinkedIn and the LinkedIn message feature, and respecting the hiring manager's time. Chloe shared the insight that “one short follow-up is plenty,” so keep track of your follow-ups so everything's organized and simple for you.

Teal's free Job Search Tracker will help you track your applications and follow-ups almost effortlessly.

Use Teal’s Free Job Tracker to help you organize and manage your job search.
Use Teal’s Free Job Tracker to help you organize and manage your job search.

Leverage Your LinkedIn Network

Chances are, someone in your LinkedIn network may have a connection with the hiring manager for the role. Send the hiring manager a connection request and a polite, authentic note — or, if you don't have any shared connections, consider upgrading to LinkedIn Premium, which lets you message anyone even if you aren't connected. Make sure to optimize your LinkedIn to be expand your network.

A great way to check your LinkedIn profile is to download Teal’s Free Chrome Extension which includes an automated LinkedIn Review. Once you install the extension, just go to your profile page and click on the Teal logo. You’ll see a list of recommendations on how best to optimize your profile and can make updates as needed.

Teal’s Free LinkedIn Review Chrome Extension.
Teal’s Free LinkedIn Review Chrome Extension.

Seek Out Referrals When Possible

Especially at larger companies, Chloe says, “referrals from folks within a company's walls can make all the difference during this process. Having an insider vouch for your qualifications plays to the natural bias of a hiring team to prefer someone familiar and trusted.”

As an Executive Recruiter, Chloe highly recommends messaging people in (or related to) your preferred department at the company. Ask for a few minutes of their time for an informational interview — you can even offer to treat them to a cup of coffee (a digital Starbucks or Dunkin gift card goes a long way for remote conversations).

Chloe recommends “using this time to ask genuine questions about this person's career journey, experience at this company, and advice for someone with your background. End the conversation by respectfully asking about this company's referral program. Whenever it's available, receiving a referral will help your application and offer a monetary bonus to the individual who referred you — a true win/win!”

And of course, if you already know someone who works at this company, making this request for a chat and possible referral will be even easier. You'll be surprised how receptive people are to helping you get your foot in the door, especially if you're genuine, kind, and respectful of their time throughout the process.

We also have a communication template located within Teal’s Job Tracker to assist you in asking for a referral.

Use the communication templates within Teal’s Job Tracker to inquire about referrals for jobs you’re excited about.
Use the communication templates within Teal’s Job Tracker to inquire about referrals for jobs you’re excited about.

Write An Email Checking On Your Application Status

Step 1: Write A Clear email Subject Line

The subject line of a follow up serves a purpose. Obviously, you want the hiring manager to see and open your email. Be as clear as possible in the subject line of your job application follow up email message to make that happen.

Here's an example of a good, clear subject line for this type of email:

Following Up On Application for [JOB TITLE] Role: [YOUR NAME]

Adding your name and the role title makes it easy for the recruiter to search and pull up the email later as needed. Remember, the easier you can make it to answer you and check out your application, the better a hiring manager will respond!

Step 2: Craft A Short and Sweet Email With All The Important Information

The overall tone of your email should be humble yet confident. I know, this balance sounds…well, counterintuitive. You don't want to sound cocky, but you also want to demonstrate how you're the best fit for this role and why you, not other candidates, deserve the job offer for this job listing.

To capture that tone, Chloe recommends being “specific, direct, and keeping things short and sweet.” This email shouldn't be overly flowery or too long. Instead, make things easy and skimmable.

According to Chloe, you should:

  • Briefly explain who you are
  • Reiterate the exact job you applied for and outline specific skills noted in the job description (and pro tip from Chloe: link to the job posting you applied for!)
  • Re-express your interest in the position
  • Inquire about when you may be able to connect with the hiring manager to discuss further

You can also re-attach your resume and cover letter to the email if you'd like. Of course, they should already have them on file, but this gives them quick access right in your email as they're reading through it.

At the end of your job application follow up email, make sure to show gratitude for the hiring manager. Appreciation goes a long way!

Within Teal's Job Tracker are email templates to use as a starting point for a follow up email after applying for a job. Make sure to tailor it to the specific role.

Use communication templates within Teal’s Job Tracker to follow up after applying for a job.
Use communication templates within Teal’s Job Tracker to follow up after applying for a job.

Swipeable Sample Application Follow-Up Emails

Below, we've crafted two follow up email examples you can use as inspiration to help you write application follow-up emails for a job you recently applied for. One is more direct — it's how you should follow up on an application when you haven't heard back. The second is one Chloe provided based on her tips above regarding informational interviews and referral requests.

#1: Following Up Directly About An Application You've Submitted

Hello [HIRING MANAGER'S NAME],

A few weeks ago, I applied for the [POSITION TITLE + HYPERLINK TO THE APPLICATION] role at [COMPANY NAME]. I'm very excited about this opportunity, so I wanted to reach out, introduce myself, and see if you have any details about the decision timeline moving forward or the next stage in the process.

I'm a [YOUR CURRENT JOB TITLE] at [YOUR CURRENT COMPANY NAME] who's [INSERT TRAITS OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU WANT TO HIGHLIGHT] over the last [X] years.

In particular, I'm interested in [COMPANY NAME] because [INSERT SPECIFIC REASONS WHY YOU'RE INTERESTED + BELIEVE YOU'D BE A GOOD FIT].

Please let me know if you have any questions about my application or require further information from me. I look forward to hearing from you soon and learning more about the timeline of a hiring decision. I can't wait to hopefully share some of my ideas on [INSERT CHALLENGE OR GOAL RELATED TO YOUR DESIRED JOB TITLE].

Best/Kind regards/Thank you,

YOUR NAME

YOUR PHONE NUMBER

YOUR LINKEDIN ACCOUNT LINK

#2: Informational Interview Request (i.e., on LinkedIn) For A Potential Referral

Hi [NAME],

I came across your profile after discovering an open [POSITION TITLE] role at [COMPANY NAME].

I would love the chance to ask you a few questions about your experience in [INDUSTRY] and whether my qualifications align with expectations for the [POSITION TITLE] role.

Would you be open to hopping on a quick phone call or zoom call over the next few weeks? I'd love to send over a Starbucks gift card, too, for our virtual coffee chat!

Thank you,

YOUR NAME

Before sending your job application follow up email outlining your interest in the position, make sure to proofread carefully to avoid any grammatical errors. You want this email to leave a good impression in the hiring manager's inbox and prove yourself as a strong candidate to a potential employer for the job listing.

Hopefully, you feel more prepared than ever to follow up on your job applications like a professional. But of course, following up starts with keeping track of where you've applied (and when you applied). Teal's Job Tracker Tool makes this process simple — it's a convenient and free Chrome extension you can add your jobs to with just a few clicks.

Start bookmarking jobs that interest you to Teal’s Job Tracker.

Teal’s Chrome Extension allows you to easily bookmark jobs from a job board and save them to your Job Tracker.‍
Teal’s Chrome Extension allows you to easily bookmark jobs from a job board and save them to your Job Tracker.

Resume Ad 3
Teal LinkedIn Profile Analysis
Teal Resume Builder Ad
Kaitlin Marks

Kaitlin Marks

Kaitlin Marks is a freelance writer and content strategist. She's passionate about empowering women to feel their best. When she’s not working on her laptop, you can find her snuggling her little rescue puppy, Peanut, or reading a good book at the beach.

We help you find
the career dream.