How to Write a Follow-up Email After No Response (Examples Included)

By Mike Simpson

As a candidate, nothing is more frustrating than having what you think is an amazing interview and then… silence. While not hearing back from the hiring manager isn’t uncommon – as it happens to about 60 percent of job seekers – that doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying.

Luckily, there may be something you can do about it. By writing up a stellar follow-up email after no response, you might be able to get a status update.

So, if you’re tired of being left in the dark and want to use the right approach when reaching out, here’s what you need to know about following up by email after no response.

What Is a Follow-Up Email?

Alright, before we dig into how to write a follow-up email after no response, let’s take a step back for a quick second and discuss what a follow-up email is. Generally, it’s a brief email asking for more information about your status within the hiring process after you haven’t heard back in a reasonable amount of time.

Usually, the follow-up will contain a simple request for an update, though you can also use it to do more, like reaffirm your interest in the role. Additionally, it’s normal to express your appreciation for being considered, even if the hiring manager has dropped the ball and not reached out since meeting you.

Yes, it may seem silly that the communication burden falls on you. After all, aren’t companies worried about their candidate experience, particularly since about half of all job seekers working in high-demand industries have turned down offers because of poor recruitment practices?

The thing is, a lack of communication isn’t typically a personal slight. The hiring process may have been delayed for reasons outside of the hiring manager’s control, or they may have become overwhelmed by high-priority responsibilities.

It’s also true that some hiring managers would rather ghost you than deliver bad news. We know; it’s rude, but some hiring managers do it anyway.

Does that mean no response should be viewed as a rejection? No, it shouldn’t. Instead, it’s best to assume that it’s a sign of a delay, as that could very well be the case.

And that’s why you should send a follow-up email. It lets you reconnect and request an update in a polite, professional way while also showing you are still interested in the job. In fact, if you approach it correctly, the hiring manager may see you as a stronger candidate after, and that could be enough to tip you over the edge and secure you an offer. How awesome is that?

Details of a Follow-up Email After No Response

Before we dig into any examples, let’s talk about the various components you’ll find in a follow-up email after no response. Generally, the email will include a:

    • Subject Line
    • Personal Greeting
    • Update Request
    • Reaffirmation of Interest
    • Offer to Share More Information
    • Thank You
    • Professional Sign-Off

While that seems like a lot of parts, it actually isn’t. In most cases, just a few paragraphs will do the trick, as some of those points only require a single sentence to tackle.

Follow-up Email Etiquette

Here’s another incredibly critical point to cover before we get into how to write the follow-up email. When it comes to etiquette, the biggest thing to keep in mind is timing. While you should send a thank you email within 24 hours, a follow-up email after no response shouldn’t go out too soon.

Generally speaking, “no response” means either waiting for one of two things to happen. First, if you were given a decision date by the hiring manager, then you shouldn’t send out a follow-up email until the business day after that date passes. Anything before that is a bit too aggressive and may make you seem rude or impatient.

Now, if you weren’t given a date for the decision, then you usually want to wait between one and two weeks after your interview date. If you send a follow-up in that window, you won’t come across as pushy.

Otherwise, the most important things to keep in mind are to be brief and keep your tone professional. Going on a long diatribe isn’t a great move. After all, being busy is one reason why you may not have heard back, so sending a novella in your follow-up email may not get you a reply.

Additionally, you don’t want to come across as desperate or demanding when you request an update. Staying calm and straightforward is usually your best bet, along with being brief.

How to Write a Follow-up Email

We’ve gone over the major components of a follow-up email already, but now it’s time for a deep dive. Here’s a close look at how to write a follow-up email after no response.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Follow-up Emails

1. Subject Line

A subject line gives the recipient a clue about what the email discusses. When you write one for a follow-up email, you want to make sure it’s clear, straightforward, and short.

Technically, you have two options here. First, if you scheduled your interview via email, you may simply be able to reply to that message. That lets the hiring manager know that your email references that meeting.

Otherwise, go with something simple, like, “Following Up on [Job Title] Interview.” It’s succinct and leaves no doubt about what the email is for.

2. Personal Greeting

While you might be tempted to hop directly into the core message, don’t. Instead, start with a personal greeting that includes the hiring manager’s name.

You can open with a salutation like “hello” or “hi,” though that isn’t technically necessary. Simply using their name is enough, too, so you can go that route if the other options feel too familiar or casual.

3. Update Request

With a follow-up email, it’s best to get to the point right away. Your opening sentence should make it clear that you’re following up in your interview and that you are requesting an update.

When you ask for an update, make sure you add some details. At a minimum, list the job title. In some cases, you may also want to include the date of your interview or the company name.

4. Reaffirmation of Interest

It never hurts to let the hiring manager know that you’re still interested in the job. This is especially true if it’s been a while since you’ve interviewed, as the hiring manager won’t know if your perspective on the position has changed or if you’ve accepted a role elsewhere.

5. Offer to Share More Information

This is another step that never hurts to cover. By letting the hiring manager know you’re happy to share more details, they’ll know you’re ready to further the conversation.

6. Thank You

Whenever you’re in the middle of a hiring process, expressing your appreciation during every communication is a good idea. It keeps the tone positive and makes you seem gracious for any updates you receive.

7. Professional Sign-Off

Use a simple closing, like “Sincerely,” “Best Regards,” or “Thank You.” Those are professional and appropriate for the situation, ensuring you set the right tone.

Then, add your name and contact information, and you’re done.

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Follow-up Emails After No Response

Part of figuring out to write a follow-up email after no response is understanding common mistakes people make and how to avoid them. Even small faux pas can come with serious consequences, making it vitally important that you sidestep them whenever possible.

Usually, the biggest mistakes you need to avoid when crafting a follow-up email involve tone. You don’t want to seem pushy or demanding and also don’t want to come across as desperate. Instead, your goal should be to come across as professional and concise, as that generally works in your favor.

Otherwise, make sure your subject line is incredibly clear and that you get to the point right away. Wasting the hiring manager’s time with a confusing subject line and a cumbersome message won’t win you any fans, to say the least.

Also, not saying “thank you” somewhere in the email is a big no-no. Always sprinkle in some appreciation for good measure, even if you’re frustrated that you haven’t heard back.

Follow-up Email After No Response Samples

Alright, now it’s time for some follow-up email after no response examples. Here are a few that you can use to help guide you when it’s time for you to write a message.

1. (Very) Short and Sweet

Subject: Following Up on [Job Title] Interview

Email:

Hello Mrs. Jane Doe,

I wanted to quickly follow-up and see if there are any updates on the [Job Title] position I interviewed for on [interview date]. I’m very excited about this opportunity and look forward to learning about any next steps. If you need any more information from me, please let me know, and I’ll happily provide it. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your Name and Contact Information]

2. Concise with One Extra Detail

Subject: [Job Title] Interview Follow-up

Email:

Hi Mr. John Doe,

I’m reaching out to see if there has been a decision on the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. The role seemed like an excellent fit for my skills, and I was particularly impressed by [detail from the interview], further increasing my interest in the role.

If you need additional information for me or have any questions, I am more than happy to help. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing back from you regarding any next steps and genuinely appreciate being considered for this exciting position.

Thank You,

[Your Name and Contact Information]

3. Brief with Some Tidbits

Subject: [Job Title] Interview Status

Email:

Mrs. Jane Doe,

I wanted to follow-up and request a status update on the [Job Title] position at [Company Name] that I interviewed for on [interview date]. I feel my skills would be an excellent fit, particularly for the handling [project, responsibility, or duty mentioned during the interview].

If you would like more information about my experience in [job area] or need assistance contacting my references, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you for your consideration, and I genuinely look forward to hearing back from you regarding the position.

Best Regards,

[Your Name and Contact Information]

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, writing a follow-up email after no response doesn’t have to be a challenge. Take advantage of the tips above so that you can create a simple, focused message that gives you a chance to get the details you need.

Just make sure to not be overzealous and send it too early. By timing it right, you ensure you continue to make a great impression while making your request. And, in the end, that’s what matters.

Good luck!

About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.