How to Follow up on a Job Application (Tips and Samples)

Done right, it could help you land an interview.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Follow Up Application

You’ve been on the lookout for the perfect job opening for months, saw one that seemed like a great match for your skills and experience, and painstakingly put together your résumé and cover letter… Only to submit your application materials and never hear back. What a bummer! So, what do you do?

As disappointed as you may be, there is no reason to abandon all hope yet!

In this article, we’ll be discussing the dos and don’ts of following up on your job application and looking at some sample follow-up emails that can help you write yours.

Why you should follow up on a job application

Even if your prospective employer has an excellent employer brand, appearing extremely professional across their website and social channels, things can still be a little different on the inside. Their processes or internal communication may be slower than you’d expect, or the occasional email or file may go missing.

So, before concluding that their silence indicates disinterest, make sure you follow up with them. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but it will also demonstrate a clear interest on your part, as well as proactivity and good communication ability. All of these can reflect favorably on you!

When to follow up on a job application

Occasionally, companies will indicate a specific date on the job listing, by which successful applicants can expect to hear back. Should you fail to hear back by that date, you can infer that your application has not made the cut.

If there is nothing along those lines on the listing, however, you will want to wait at least a week before sending your follow-up email. If the vacancy is fairly new (meaning the listing will remain active for another few weeks), you could also wait up to 10 working days before contacting the hiring manager.

Tips for following up on a job application

Before you get in touch with your prospective employer, bear in mind the following 10 points:

1. Allow enough time to pass

Allowing the hiring manager five working days to get back to you before contacting them is a reasonable minimum. That’s especially true if you’ve applied to work at a small business, as larger companies tend to attract more candidates and, therefore, have a greater load of résumés to sift through. (Meaning it’s good to give them more time!)

In most cases, you’ll want to wait between 5 and 10 working days before sending your follow-up email.

2. Ensure you’ve submitted all your materials

You definitely remember seeing the job posting. But did you actually apply as per the listing’s instructions?

For example, some job listings require you to use a specific subject line when sending in your application. Or they may require you to create a profile on the company’s careers page in order to apply.

Before contacting anybody to inquire into the status of your application, make sure that you’ve completed the steps just how you were expected to.

3. Decide if you’re calling or emailing them

In general, hiring managers prefer to be contacted via email. This gives them the chance to respond at a time that’s convenient for them, instead of having to drop what they’re doing to get on the phone with candidates. So, you will probably want to stick to emailing them.

Do, however, consider how much time has passed since you submitted your application, and whether there was any specific deadline mentioned on the job listing. If you’re worried about the vacancy closing before they’ve viewed your application (and you really, really care about this job), then a phone call may be the right choice.

4. Find the hiring manager’s contact details

Addressing the hiring manager by name, if possible, can build extra rapport with them, helping you stand out in their memory. So, take a look at the job listing, the company website or the company’s LinkedIn page to figure out who you need to be speaking to.

5. Turn to your network

Think about the people you know or are connected to online; does anyone work at the company you’re interested in joining? A point of contact within the company can put in a good word for you as well as help you find the contact details you’re looking for.

6. Look for inspiration online

When in doubt, Google it! There are countless email templates on the internet that can help you put together an attention-grabbing message.

If you scroll a bit further, you’ll find three follow-up email examples that have been created by our team for this very purpose.

7. Mention your own contact information

Whether it’s on the phone or through email, you’ll want to make sure that the person on the other end knows how to contact you. Before signing off, share your phone number and email address, double-checking that the information is accurate.

8. Use a GenAI or writing assistant tool

A generative AI tool like ChatGPT can help you quickly put together a first draft for your follow-up email. It can also give you some guidance on following up on your application over the phone.

Similarly, writing tools can help improve accuracy and readability. Just make sure to always add your own personal touch!

9. Resist the urge to “double email” them

Although double texting (the act of texting someone a second time before they’ve responded) is perfectly acceptable with loved ones, emailing the hiring manager several times is unlikely to get them to answer any faster. If anything, it may cause them not to respond at all.

10. Reflect on your experience

While you patiently wait for the hiring manager to get back to you, revisit your original email and look at your résumé and cover letter. Be honest with yourself: did you tailor your application materials as best as you could? Is there anything you can take away from this experience to improve your chances of landing a job in the near future?

How to write a follow-up email

On average, hiring managers tend to receive hundreds of applications per vacancy posted. As you can imagine, at a busy time like that, you want to grab their attention and keep your message short and sweet. To achieve this:

1. Use a clear subject line

A clear subject line (such as “Re: Copywriter Position”) will convey your interest in the position from the get-go. Make sure to mention the position title exactly as it appears on the listing to avoid creating confusion.

Much like the content of your email, you’ll want your subject line to be as short as possible; up to 50 characters, or between 4 and 7 words is a good length to aim for.


If you haven’t already, create a professional email address. The hiring manager may not appreciate being contacted by a certain [email protected]. Use a variation of your full name instead.

2. Mind the structure of the email

A short to-the-point follow-up email should consist of the following parts:

  • Salutation, ideally addressing the recipient by name
  • Main body, consisting of two to three short paragraphs
  • Closing line or paragraph, including a call to action
  • Sign-off, followed by your full name

Sticking to this structure will ensure great readability and that you’re not including unnecessary information or deviating off topic.

3. Aim for a friendly tone throughout

Have you ever received a text message or email that “sounded” angry even if that wasn’t the sender’s intention?

It can be hard to understand a person’s (especially a stranger’s) tone through written text. Therefore, you might want to use an exclamation point here and there (do this sparingly!) and convey, indirectly, that you’re happily and patiently awaiting their response… Even if you’re secretly irritated by how long it’s taking.

If you’re not sure, ask a friend to read your email before sending it for a second opinion.

4. Be specific yet concise

Keeping the body of your email to 100 words, give or take, should suffice in explaining who you are and why you’re reaching out.

As each job listing can result in dozens upon dozens of applications, hiring managers will appreciate you showing respect for their time. By keeping your email short and clear, you’re demonstrating empathy and a reasonable mind. All of these are qualities they will appreciate in a prospective candidate.

5. Proofread your email

In the words of digital productivity coach and consultant Deb Lee, “When glaring errors are missed, it comes across as unprofessional and gives the impression that you don’t pay attention to details.”

It’s true, unfortunately; while spelling the hiring manager’s name wrong is not an end-of-the-world scenario, it can make you seem careless. Instead, you want to show that you’ve gone over your message a couple of times, and that you care about how effectively you communicate.

Besides reading through your email a few times, use a spellcheck tool, too.

Email follow-up examples

These follow-up email samples can help you get started with writing yours:

Graduate job follow-up email

Subject line: Following up on Junior Copywriter Application

Dear Miss Cruz,

I hope this email finds you well. Two weeks ago, I applied for the role of Junior Copywriter at ABC Creatives, an opportunity I am very excited about. I am writing to check in with you about your hiring timeline regarding the position.

If there is any other information that I can provide you with, please let me know!

I look forward to hearing from you,

Aida Thomas

Mid-level job follow-up email

Subject line: Regarding the Marketing Manager Position

Dear Mr Miller,

I recently applied for the Marketing Manager role at 123 Technologies and am now following up to enquire into your decision timeline.

Having recently completed a postgraduate diploma in leadership, and with five years’ experience in digital marketing, I wanted to express my strong interest in the position.

Please find my application materials attached to this email, for your convenience. Should you require any additional information, please contact me at [email protected]. I can also be reached by phone at (123) 123-1234.

Thank you again for your consideration.

Best regards,

Jonathan Sprouce

Internship position follow-up email

Subject line: Following up: UI/UX Intern Opportunity

Dear Ms Davids,

I hope all is well. Last week, I submitted an application for the UI/UX internship at XYZ Designs, an opportunity I was delighted to come across as I’m approaching the final year of my Web Design BA.

Please let me know if you require any additional information from me as you progress to the next stage of the hiring process. I would love the chance to discuss my background with you further!

Best regards,

Sophie Clemens

Phone script follow-up example

If you’re pressed for time and require a more immediate way of getting an answer, you could try to get the hiring manager on the phone instead of emailing them. Here is an example of what you might say:

Hiring manager: Good morning, this is Karen speaking.

You: Good morning, Karen. How are you? My name is Andrew Bell. I recently applied for the position of customer service representative at 123 Media. Could I have a quick chat with you about the position?

HM: Hi, Andrew. Sure, how can I help?

Y: I was wondering if you could tell me whether a decision has been made? And, if not, when could I expect to hear back from you? I am happy to provide some additional information regarding my work history and education should you need it.

HM: Yes, I can confirm that we have received your résumé. I apologize for the delay; I am a little behind on reviewing the applications! Why don’t you let me get back to you on that — by Monday, May 27, at the latest?

Y: That would be great, thank you. Have a great day, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Final thoughts

According to Glassdoor, over 60% of jobseekers never hear back from prospective employers after applying for a job. Although knowing that you’re on the same (overpopulated) boat as thousands of others doesn’t make the rejection easier, it can help to know that, sadly, ghosting is part of the hiring process.

Although some candidates will shrug it off and focus on the next opportunity, reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers can pay off. In some cases, you’ll be given an estimate as to when you can expect to hear back, or you may get an explanation as to why you haven’t been selected, should that be the case.

Can you think of any more tips on how to write a follow-up email? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

This article is a complete update of an earlier version originally published on May 14, 2015.