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How to follow up on a job application

You have probably found a job that suits you perfectly. You have even applied for the job and now all that remains is for you to get a reply from the company. What should you do while waiting for the company’s reply? Should you wait until they reply? Can you follow-up with the company and ask them for the status of your application? When should you start following-up on your application? The answers to all your questions are given below. This will tell you how to follow up on a job application.

The first question is should you follow up or wait for the organization to respond. Executives are busy people who receive hundreds of applications. They may not have the time to send a reply to each application. They may only inform the persons who are shortlisted for selection.So, there is nothing wrong in following up to find out where you stand.

There are some interesting results from a survey[i] of HR managers on follow-up of applications. As per this survey, 43% of respondents said that they expected candidates to follow-up one to two weeks after sending their application. None of the respondents said that candidates should not follow-up. This goes to show that HR managers expect candidates to follow-up, and you can start following up a week after sending your application.

The same survey said that 46% respondents preferred e-mail as the best way for applicants to follow-up on a job application. 38% expected applicants to make a telephonic call. This shows that the non-intrusive way of sending emails is the best way to follow-up.

If you have sent a job application and want to follow-up on it, here are some pointers that will help you do it professionally.

1) Check the job posting first

The first thing you need to do before even thinking of following-up is to check the job posting. Some companies make things clear in the job posting or on their website. You may see a notice like‘if you are selected, we will tell you. If you don’t hear from us, it means you are not selected’. If the company has posted something like this, it means they don’t want you to follow-up. This is the reason you need to go through the job posting and the company website carefully.

Some job postings may talk about the follow-up. They may specifically state that you should give them 15 days’ time to process your application. If this is mentioned, then you should not follow-up before the specified number of days. They may also let you know the preferred mode of following-up.

In case the job is already filled up, a company may withdraw the posting. They may also post an update on their website. Some companies also use their social media websites to post updates on job applications. This is why you need to visit the company website and social media pages frequently to check for updates. Don’t start the follow–up process before checking all these.

2) Try an informal follow-up

If you know someone working in the company or are connected to a company executive on social media, you can try an informal follow-up. Company employees may be able to tell you what the status is. This will help you know the best time to follow-up.

3) Follow-up after a week or two

Don’t follow-up before a week has passed. It would be too early. You can wait for at least ten days before your follow-up. The best way to follow-up is by sending an email. Calling on the phone or dropping into the office may be considered an intrusive way of follow-up. You can send an e-mail to the same ID where you sent the application. If you have the email ID of the HR manager, you can mark a copy. Don’t mark copies to the top executive of the companies, just because you have their email ids. This is a definite no-no!

You can send a follow-up email using the following template:


I had applied for the job of <job title> on <date>. I know you are very busy,and I am sorry to intrude on you. I would appreciate if you can please let me know if you have seen my application. If you need any other details from me, I would be happy to provide the same. Please do let me know the status of my application at your convenience.

Warm Regards,

You can skip lines about “how well suited you are for the job” or “how much you are looking forward to working for them”. Everyone feels that he/she is well suited for the job. What you have to say about your eligibility is already available in the application. Stating it again will not help you in any way. Let the email be short and simple.

4) Don’t pester the HR department

Send a follow-up email once. Don’t spam their mailbox by sending e-mails continuously. Don’t send messages on mobile phones or through social media. That can irritate the HR Manager. One follow-up is more than sufficient. If you don’t get a reply to your email, you can make a phone call to find out what happened. If they don’t respond to your phone call,then it means you are not selected, or the company is taking its own time to process applications. In either case, you can stop following up and start looking for another job. Don’t get dejected or discouraged. Move on with your job quest and try to find a new position to apply.

Following-up on a job application is an art. It needs to be done subtly, without being a nuisance. Using the tips provided here can help you follow-up in the best way.