FAQ: How and When To Check on an Application

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 15, 2021 | Published February 8, 2021

Updated March 15, 2021

Published February 8, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most candidates who have gone through the job application process are familiar with the waiting periods that come with the process. After you submit your application to a prospective employer, it takes time for hiring managers to review your application and respond. However, sometimes the wait can be extended or there could be reason to believe that they may not respond at all. That being said, after a reasonable amount of time has passed, it can be beneficial to check your application's status. In this article, we answer frequently asked questions about checking on applications, including how and when to do so.

Related: Ultimate Guide To Following Up: After Job Application, Interview and No Response

Taylor discusses the critical moments to follow up with an employer and how to construct a professional email when the time is right.

Why do candidates check on job applications?

When searching for a new career, candidates are typically quite eager to hear back from prospective employers, whether the role in question is particularly exciting for them or they're simply enthusiastic about starting a job in general. This means that the waiting time between submitting an application and hearing from hiring managers can be a challenge. Therefore, it is a common practice for candidates to check in on their job application status after some time has passed.

While most candidates know to follow up with hiring managers after an interview, checking in during the application process can also be beneficial. In the long run, checking in can help candidates get a better picture of hiring managers' timelines and remain proactive throughout the waiting process.

Should you check on an application?

Checking in on an application can actually help you stand out among the competition during the recruiting process. Reaching out and corresponding with a hiring manager can help them become more familiar with your name while sorting through a large applicant pool. Further, checking in can give you the chance to introduce yourself personally, which usually helps candidates make a positive first impression on hiring managers.

During the consideration process, many companies actually use screening software to hone in on candidates with the necessary experience for the role. This means that the screening software can sometimes accidentally discard applications without the exact keywords it's searching for. Therefore, checking in on your application status may encourage a hiring manager to go back and read your application, which may have otherwise been overlooked.

Related: How To Write Your Own Follow-up Letter (With Template and Example)

When should you check on an application?

It's important to give a hiring manager some time to review your application after you submit it. To be respectful of their time, wait one to three weeks after applying before checking on your status. In addition, it's a good idea to wait to contact a hiring manager until they confirm that they have received your application. Following this timeline can help you remain respectful while still being proactive in your job search.

It is important to note that this timeline doesn't always apply to all candidacy processes. Depending on the job title, industry, company size, applicant pool, the hiring manager's work schedule and other factors, your timeline may look different.

How can you check on an application?

There are a few different methods for checking on an application, including:

Checking on your application by email

If you submitted your application online, you could follow up by emailing a copy of your materials directly to the hiring manager. This gives them a chance to review your information themselves and can help you demonstrate your interest in the position. In the body of the email, you should write a brief message with details about your situation, including what role you applied for and when you sent your application.

Try to be polite, remain empathetic of their timeline and write in a friendly tone. It can also help to personalize your communications by addressing the hiring manager by name and explaining why you're interested in the role. Here is an example of an appropriate email to send:

Dear Mr. Jones,

I hope this message finds you well. On Tuesday, January 5, I submitted my application for the role of marketing manager at Independent Grocers, and I wanted to send you a copy of my materials directly as well. I would love the opportunity to discuss my social media management and copywriting skills as they relate to the position.

Thank you for your time and for considering my application. I look forward to connecting with you soon!

Best wishes,
Mary Suarez

Related: How To Write a Follow-Up Email

Checking on your application by phone

While checking on your application by phone is less common these days, a candidate who takes the time to schedule a phone call can make a great, personalized impression. It is typically best to schedule the phone call because following up unannounced by phone may fluster managers. After a hiring manager confirms that they received your application, you can ask to schedule a quick phone call to introduce yourself. If they oblige, you can use this time to speak with them directly—an opportunity most candidates don't get until they're called for an interview.

During the call, reiterate your interest in the position and highlight any relevant skills that would make you a good choice for the role. Take time to pause after your greeting to allow the hiring manager to respond before you explain what makes you a strong candidate. Pause again toward the end to give them time to let you know if they need any additional materials from you, and then close by thanking them for their time and consideration. Here is an example of a script you can follow when checking in via phone:

"Hi, Mr. Jones! My name is Mary Suarez, and I recently applied for the role of marketing manager at Independent Grocers. I wanted to confirm that you received my materials. I'm very excited about the role, as I'm passionate about both nutrition and storytelling. I'd love to send over some examples of my past work, and I wanted to know if you needed any additional information from me as well to get a better sense of my experience."

Related: Tips for Making a Follow-Up Call a Success

Checking on your application through a referral

If you personally know anyone with a connection to the organization you have applied for, asking them to make a referral for you can be a great strategy to help move your application along. Your connection may send an email or make a call on your behalf, and if the hiring manager trusts them, their word can go a long way in helping you check on your status.

When using this method, it is important to choose your connection carefully. You should trust that the person who refers you will speak of you highly and recommend you for the position. A few examples of good connections would be current employees, colleagues of yours, advisory board members or someone who has worked closely with the organization in the past.

Related: 23 Examples of Follow-up Email Subject Lines

Can you stand out while following up?

Checking in on your application can help you stand out as an applicant in most situations. During the application process, staying on top of timelines can demonstrate your enthusiasm for a role while simultaneously showing that you are driven. Additionally, checking in can put your name at the top of a hiring manager's mind—or at least their email inbox—which can help them learn who you are. This can make a tremendous difference when it's time for hiring managers to select potential candidates for interviews. To stand out even more when checking on your application, consider the following tips:

  • Do your research. When you check on your application, you'll want to have a basic idea of the company's background, what they do, their values and the products or services they offer. If you're able to mention specific details about the company during your email or phone call, you can show the hiring manager that you are a motivated candidate with great enthusiasm for the role.

  • Demonstrate your skills. Showing off your skills when checking on an application can make you stand out from other candidates. To do this, you can send a portfolio of your previous work along with your email or offer a consultation free of charge. Offering your skills to a hiring manager before they reach out to you for an interview can show that you are actively interested in contributing your skills to their organization.

  • Do the work for the hiring manager. Before checking on your application, think about how your skills would apply best to this role if you're hired. When checking in, tie your experience in with the role's needs in a straightforward and direct way that shows your relevant experience. Making this connection can be an effective way of getting the hiring manager's attention.

It's important to keep in mind that checking on your application is not a guarantee that you will receive an interview or job offer. Rather, it is simply a best practice that can make a good impression on a hiring manager. In the end, checking on your application in the right way can help you seem interested, educated and proactive, which are all qualities of an excellent employee.

Related: 9 Tips for Following up on the Status of a Job Application

When should you move on if you don't hear back?

Hiring managers are often busy with other work tasks, so it's best to wait one to two weeks after checking in to follow up again. Sometimes, emails can get lost, or hiring managers might forget to reply. Therefore, if your first email doesn't solicit a response from the hiring manager, you shouldn't move on just yet. So, while it's best not to check in too often, it's acceptable to reach out to the company's hiring manager twice.

Checking on your application one more time might help you receive a reply, especially if a particular role's application period is lengthier than most. If you don't receive a response two weeks after your second follow-up, it's safe for you to move on from the application and pursue other roles for which you may be better suited.

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