There’s nothing quite like reading a job listing and feeling that this could be the perfect job for you. So, you apply to the position, send a thank-you email…and then crickets.
Unfortunately, this can (and does) happen a whole lot when you’re job searching. The hiring process can drag on for weeks (and sometimes months). If you really want to know if you’re in the running for the job, you should follow up on your job application. Of course, you want to follow up without coming across as pushy during a time when many hiring managers already have their hands full. But there are steps you can take to follow up on your job application without ruining your chances of landing a new job. Before you fire off an email or take time to call, double-check and make sure that following up is the right thing to do.
Reread the Listing
Before you do anything, give the job description a thorough reread. Pay attention to dates or timelines that may be included in the posting, since companies often mention when the application window closes. Once you apply, you wouldn’t want to follow up prior to that date. Instead, use the opportunity to keep applying for other positions!”
In some scenarios, the job listing might state that applicants not call or email for their status. If that’s the case, you should abide by the employer’s wishes and refrain from reaching out. Although it can be frustrating to wait it out, you shouldn’t follow up—even though you really want to. If you ignore the request, the recruiter will think you either did not read the job listing carefully or that you don’t follow directions well.
Time It Right
How long should you wait to call after submitting a job application? While you might want to follow up on a job application just a few days after submitting it, you should probably wait a little longer. Unless the job posting specifically states the application closing window, in which case that gives you a target date for follow-up, waiting about a week or two before following up on applications is a good rule of thumb. In general, this gives the hiring team enough time on their end to review received applications.”
Pick the Right Day
If there are two days to avoid following up with someone, they are Mondays and Fridays. Monday is often a busy transition day as people move back into work mode. As for Friday, if the person doesn’t see your email, it may get buried under a weekend’s worth of emails. Ideally, stick with Tuesday through Thursday for following up on job applications.
Just because you sent in your application or spoke with the hiring manager doesn’t mean that you’re bosom buddies. Being overly personal or casual is a mistake. Recruiters and hiring managers are friendly, and it is their job to talk to several people about a position. They don’t, however, have time to become personal friends with everyone they interview. Even if your initial interaction was excellent, be professional and respect personal boundaries when following up on job applications.
Find the Right Email Address
If you reach out by email, if at all possible you’ll want to send your email directly to the hiring manager—rather than to a general “email@example.com” email address—when following up on job applications. If you’re lucky, the address will be posted on the original job listing, but if not, finding the email may require a bit more detective work.
Try navigating to the company’s page on LinkedIn and clicking on “People.” From here, you can search for the hiring manager (or someone with a comparable title if you’re not sure of the name) and see if they have their email address on their profile.
It’s a good idea to know what you’re going to say before following up on a job application. So, whether you opt to call the hiring manager, draft an email, or send a LinkedIn message, try to keep your contact as brief as possible, as hiring managers and recruiters are likely receiving emails and notes from dozens of other candidates as well. Your email or note should express two key things: your continued interest in the job and a question about when candidates can expect to hear about next steps.
Let Them Know You’re in Demand
If the company has expressed interest in you as a candidate for the job, but you haven’t heard anything since that initial contact, you can try to speed up the process by letting them know that other companies are interested in you—if and only if that’s true.
Don’t use any sort of threatening language, and be careful that you don’t come off as egotistical. But subtly letting them know you’re in demand can be a smart tactic, as it may encourage companies to look at you more seriously and move things along in the process.
While you may feel like you’re being bothersome, knowing how to follow up on a job application could be the difference between getting interviews and not making any progress. Following up is an expected part of the application process, so be proactive about getting the job you want!