This is a question probably older than time itself.
We tweak our resume, perfect our cover letter, and send it off in a pretty package to the hiring manager’s e-mail. But sometimes, it is almost as if our application is in Human Resources limbo. We wait days…then weeks…and we still haven’t received a response.
We may be scared to send a follow-up email, mainly because we do not want to annoy the hiring managers. However, there are many benefits to following up. Some benefits include demonstrating your interest in the position/organization, clarifying the decision timeline, and easing your mind that your application was received!
In this post, I will share how to follow up with an application without sounding pushy. Let’s open up your mail inbox and get started!
1. The Waiting Game
This article from The Muse, outlines the recommended timeline to follow up on a job application (I definitely recommend checking it out!). In summary, the Muse recommends about five and ten business days depending on if you are an external or referred candidate.
2. Who to contact
If you were referred by someone within your network to apply to the position, it is best to check in with that individual directly.
However, if you applied through a general “career” or “recruitment” e-mail, I would recommend searching online for a point of contact through their website. Most organizations list their employers contact information on their website. The best bet would be finding an individual within their Human Resources department or within the department the job application is in. Directly sending the individual a personalized e-mail will increase your chances of receiving a response.
3. LinkedIn Reminders
LinkedIn is a wonderful career platform that allows you to have an online resume. One little trick I recommend to applicants is to search up the hiring managers on LinkedIn and view their profile in public mode. LinkedIn will notify the user as soon as you view their profile on public mode. Cool, eh?!
I think this is beneficial in numerous ways.
a) It helps give a gentle reminder to the hiring manager about your application
b) It helps the hiring manager connect a face to the name
c) AND, it shows that you have an interest working for this organization
That being said, triple check to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete! Double check to make sure your contact information is up-to-date, and that you have an appropriate display picture.
4. Crafting the Follow-up Message
In short, balance is extremely important when crafting a follow-up message. For instance, you want to demonstrate your interest, but you want to avoid having the hiring managers thinking that you are impatient.
This is an example template of a follow-up e-mail that I have used numerous times:
” Hello (Hiring Manager’s Name/ Or just “Hiring Manager” if you are unsure),
On (DATE YOU SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION), I applied for the (TITLE OF THE POSITION) position with (NAME OF ORGANIZATION) through (SOURCE OF WHERE YOU APPLIED TO POSITION).
I just wanted to quickly inquire about your decision timeline for this position?
I am extremely interested in this opportunity and believe that my educational, and work experience, would make me a suitable candidate!
(LINKEDIN URL) “
Hiring managers are busy bees! In other words, it is best to keep your e-mail short and straight to the point!
So…what if they don’t respond back
After sending this follow-up message, and you still do not receive a response – it is best to just let the hiring process run its course. I would avoid sending any more than two messages to the hiring manager about a position! Sending anymore may come off as desperate, or that you are extremely impatient (and will give off the wrong impression to the organization you are trying to “woo”).
Unfortunately, some Human Resources department feel uncomfortable disclosing that they already shortlisted candidates and are currently in the process of interviewing. Therefore, you may not hear back from the organization until you get a regrets e-mail.
Hiring managers receive a ton of applications! Their main job is to find an applicant that is the best fit for the position and the organization. My rule of thumb is that for every ten applications you send out, you may only hear back from one or two. While it may be discouraging, do not let it burn out your flame! It’s a tough market, but you are tougher!! Hang in there!!