Finding a Job

How to Follow Up on a Job Application

March 22, 2021

This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach.


After applying for a job, you might opt to contact the hiring manager to follow up on your application. Although this step is not required, following up can convey your interest in the position and help you stand out from other candidates. In this article, we discuss how, when and why to follow up on a job application.

What is a job application follow-up?

A job application follow-up is an email you send or a phone call you make to check in after submitting your resume and cover letter. A successful job application follow-up can encourage the hiring manager to pay closer attention to your resume, give your application additional consideration or contact you for an interview.

Related: Follow-Up Email Examples For After the Interview

How to follow up after applying for a job

To make your follow-up successful, consider your message and the timing carefully. Use the following guidelines as you determine what to say when following up on a job application:

  1. Wait two weeks.
  2. Be brief and clear.
  3. Confirm your interest.
  4. Reiterate your top qualifications.
  5. Express your gratitude.

1. Wait two weeks

After applying for a job that excites you, it is natural to want to move the hiring process forward immediately. However, it is recommended to wait two weeks after submitting your resume before following up on your application. Allowing for two weeks to pass before taking this step lets the hiring team accept and process applications, which increases the chance they will have useful information to share with you about the interview process.

2. Be brief and clear

When following up with a potential employer, keep your communications as short and concise as possible. You have already submitted your application, and your follow-up serves as an opportunity to remind the hiring team that you are an excellent candidate for the job. Try to keep your email to three brief paragraphs or your phone call to less than three minutes.

3. Confirm your interest

Your job application follow-up should begin with a confirmation of your interest in the position. Start with a statement about your application for the position, and clarify that you still have a strong interest in the job.

4. Reiterate your top qualifications

After confirming your interest in the job, briefly reiterate your primary qualifications for the role. Focus on your most noteworthy skills, certifications or experience so that you can efficiently position yourself as a strong candidate.

5. Express your gratitude

End your follow-up by thanking the hiring manager for their time and attention. You can carefully prompt them to take the next step in the hiring process, which may be checking your references or scheduling an interview. Provide your contact information so the hiring manager can easily communicate with you when necessary.

Job application follow-up tips

Keep these four tips in mind to create a positive impression when you follow up on your job application:

Contact the hiring manager

When following up on your job application, always contact the hiring manager rather than the human resources department. Since the manager takes responsibility for finding the right candidate, making a good impression is much more important than checking in with the HR department.

Opt for email when possible

Hiring managers typically prefer receiving follow-up emails instead of phone calls. Communicating by email allows hiring managers to track your conversation and lets them respond to you when they have information to share or when it is convenient to do so.

Time your call right

If you choose to call, plan to phone the hiring manager during the afternoon rather than the morning, as workloads are often slower later in the day. Schedule your follow-up call toward the end of the day to increase your chance of making a positive and memorable impression.

Know when not to follow up

Some employers request candidates to refrain from contacting the hiring manager after applying. Check for this language in the job listing before following up, as calling or emailing the hiring manager in this situation could hurt your application or decrease your chance of getting an interview.

Job application follow-up examples

Reading through a sample job application follow-up can help you create a useful script to follow. Use these email and phone call examples to compose your job application follow-up.

Sample job application follow-up email

Dear Ms. Smith,

On July 1, I submitted a cover letter and resume for the web designer position advertised on Bright Company’s website. As of July 15, I have not received further communication from your office. I want to confirm that you received my application and restate my interest in this position.

I remain enthusiastic about working for Bright Company, and I think my graphic design and computer programming skills would be an excellent match for this web designer role. My three years of experience working as a junior designer for renowned A-Z Solutions have equipped me for this position and make me a strong candidate for this job with Bright Company.

Please contact me if you need additional references or other materials from me. I look forward to discussing this role with you further.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Hannah Lee
hannah.lee@email.com
212-555-0876

Sample job application follow-up call

“Hello, Mrs. Smith. My name is Hannah Lee. I applied for the web designer position posted on Bright Company’s website on July 1. I am calling to confirm that you received my application and reiterate my interest in the position. I continue to be enthusiastic about working for Bright Company. I think my three years of web design experience with A-Z Solutions makes me an excellent candidate for this position. Please contact me at 212-555-087 or hannah.lee@email.com if you need additional information to process my application__. 

I look forward to discussing this role with you. Thank you again for your consideration.”

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