How to Follow Up on a Job Application (Email Templates Included)

By Mike Simpson

How to follow up on a job application; it’s something all job seekers wonder about. After all, once you find your dream opportunity, you don’t want it to slip through your fingers. So, it’s only normal to try and figure out what you can do to get the hiring manager’s attention and land the position.

But how do you follow up on a job application properly? And what happens if you get it wrong?

If you’re trying to figure out how to follow up on a job application, here’s what you need to know.

Following Up on a Job Application

Alright, before we dig into how to follow up on a job application, let’s take a second to talk about what following up means and why it matters.

In the simplest sense, following up involves touching base with the hiring manager. You’re reaching out to let them know that you’re interested in the position and would like to learn more about the status of your application.

Typically, you send a follow-up email for job opportunities. It’s the polite, professional approach that doesn’t intrude on the hiring manager’s day.

Does sending a follow-up message matter? Yes, it certainly can.

A well-written job application follow-up email can be a difference-maker. It may bring your application to the hiring manager’s attention. Plus, you can use it as an opportunity to highlight your enthusiasm for the role and why you’d make a great candidate. Under the best of circumstances, your follow-up email could ultimately land you an interview.

But a poorly-crafted email can also send you straight to the discard pile. Using the wrong tone, being demanding, or even sending the message at the wrong time doesn’t reflect well on you as a professional. If the hiring manager isn’t happy about the email, they may remove you from contention.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should panic. After all, you’re here, and we’re going to give you a strategy that helps you get it right.

Details of a Job Application Follow-Up Email

If you want to create a winning follow-up email after applying for a job, you need to use the proper approach. One of the easiest places to start is with the email format.

Most follow-up emails include a:

    • Subject Line
    • Personal Greeting
    • Expression of Interest
    • Request for an Update
    • Relevant Details
    • Thank You
    • Sign Off

That seems like a lot of ground to cover. However, it actually isn’t. Usually, your message will be just a couple of paragraphs, each featuring only a few sentences.

Follow-Up Email Etiquette

Okay, here is another critical topic that we need to cover: follow-up email etiquette. By adhering to etiquette norms, you increase your odds of coming across as polite and professional. In the end, that should be your goal, which is why you want to nail this part.

So, what are the follow-up etiquette rules?

First, don’t send out a follow-up email too soon. If you shuttle one off too quickly, you might come across as impatient, aggressive, or disrespectful of the hiring manager’s time. That’s no good.

So, how long should you wait? Well, 36 percent of hiring managers say that one to two weeks after submitting a resume is the best timeframe. However, there are exceptions.

If the job ad has a closing date, the answer to the “when to follow up on a job application” question is one to two weeks after that day passes. In those cases, hiring managers might not review any of the resumes until they stop accepting applications. As a result, you’ll want to give them enough time after the closing date to actually check out the candidates before you reach out.

If the job ad explicitly says not to follow up, don’t. In that case, reaching out does one of two things. One, it may make it seem like you can’t follow directions. Two, it might give the hiring manager the impression that you don’t think the rules apply to you. Both of those are horrible and can easily cost you the job.

Okay, but should you call after applying for a job? What about stop by the hiring manager’s office in person?

Generally, the answer to both of those questions is “no.” More often than not, you want to send a follow-up email after applying, not reach out over the phone or in person.

The only exception may be if you have a strong connection with the hiring manager and they called you to ask you to apply for the job. If that happened, then calling them to let them know might be okay. Still, an email would also do the trick.

What about the tone of the email? Well, the most important thing is to make sure you aren’t being pushy, forceful, or demanding. Acting like you’re owed a response isn’t going to work in your favor, so focus on staying poised, humble, and appreciative.

Finally, keep your message brief. Hiring managers are busy people, and they aren’t going to read through an essay’s worth of information. Embrace brevity. Stay focused. That way, you’re message won’t seem like a burden.

How to Write a Follow-Up Email After a Job Application

We’ve already done an overview of what your email needs to cover. But if you’d appreciate a deeper dive, we’ve got you covered. Here is a step-by-step guide for writing a job application follow-up email.

Step-by-Step Guide for How to Write an Application Follow-Up Email

1. Subject Line

Did you know that the average worker has 199 unopened emails in their inbox at any given point in time? It’s true.

Why does that matter? Well, it shows that professionals don’t open messages that they don’t think are essential.

If your email subject line isn’t clear, the hiring manager may not assume that your email is important. Once that happens, the odds of them going back and opening it later are likely pretty slim.

Go with something simple, like “Following Up on [Job Title] Application.” It’s concise and straightforward, making it abundantly clear what you’re email is about.

2. Personal Greeting

Before you hop into your email, start with a simple greeting. Why you don’t actually have to lead off with “Hello,” do make sure to put the hiring manager’s name in there.

MIKE'S TIP: If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, try to find it. Use LinkedIn, the company’s website, and other resources to figure it out. If you come up dry, try a job title. Something like “IT Department Manager” is better than “To Whom It May Concern” any day of the week.

3. Expression of Interest

At this point, you have no idea if the hiring manager has seen your resume or not. Since that’s the case, it doesn’t hurt to lead off by expressing your interest in the position.

Let the hiring manager know you were excited to learn about the opportunity and to have a chance to submit your application. You don’t have to go into detail; a simple statement is usually enough.

4. Request for an Update

After you’ve showcased your interest, let the hiring manager know you’re hoping to get an update on the status of your application. Make sure to include pertinent details – like the position title, department, and job location – to ensure they know what opening you’re referencing.

5. Relevant Details

Once you make the request, it’s time for a little flare. Let them know why you think you’d be a great fit for the role, highlighting a few key skills or credentials that align with the job description.

6. Thank You

Whenever you send an email to a hiring manager, always showcase your appreciation. It’s a small gesture, but it can make a big impact, so add a quick sentence that thanks them for their time.

7. Sign Off

Now that it’s time to sign off, choose a professional closing. Options like “Sincerely,” “Thank You,” and “Best Regards” tend to work well. They’re polite and aren’t overly familiar, ensuring you don’t accidentally cross a line.

After that, add your name, email address, and phone number. Once you’ve done that, you’re done.

Job Application Follow-Up Email Mistakes to Avoid

We’ve mentioned before that a mistake can cost you the job. So, what do you need to avoid?

Usually, the biggest mistake you can make is using the wrong tone. If you come across as pushy or entitled, you are hurting your chances of getting the job.

The same goes for imposing a deadline for their reply. Drawing a line in the sand is never a good idea. It comes across as a threat, and it won’t be taken well.

Similarly, seeming desperate doesn’t work in your favor. Even if you really, really want the job, stay composed and controlled at all times.

Finally, make sure you say “thank you” somewhere in your message. It lets the hiring manager know that you appreciate them and that matters.

Follow-Up Email After Your Job Application Samples

Now that you know how to create a message, it’s time for some job application follow-up email samples. You can use these examples as handy templates or sources of inspiration, helping you stay on target.

Each of the samples below uses a slightly different approach, so choose the one that best matches your situation and style.

1. The Super Simple Follow-Up Email After Applying

Subject: [Job Title] Application Follow-Up

Mr. John Doe:

When I learned about the [job title] opportunity with [company name], I was thrilled to submit my resume for consideration. I believe my expertise with [relevant skills] and my experience with [project, duty, or responsibility] would make me an asset to your team.

While I certainly understanding that hiring decisions take time, I wanted to reach out and see if a decision timeline was available. If you need any additional information from me, I will provide it gladly. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to learning more about any next steps.

Best Regards,

[Your Name and Contact Information]

2. Slightly Expanded Follow-Up Email

Subject: Following Up on [Job Title] Application

Mrs. Jane Doe:

Last week, I was excited to find the [job title] opportunity with [company name], as I feel the position is an excellent match for my skills and experience. I submitted my resume for your consideration on [date applied] and am reaching out to request an update regarding the hiring process timeline.

Based on my experience with [project, duty, or responsibility], where I was able to [achievement], I believe that I could provide [company name] with exceptional value. Additionally, my expertise with [relevant skills] make me well-equipped to handle [main responsibility listed in the job description].

Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide to supplement my application. I appreciate your time and consideration, and look forward to hearing from you regarding this exceptional opportunity.


[Your Name and Contact Information]

3. When You Didn’t Receive Automated Confirmation After Submitting Your Resume

Subject: Application Follow-Up for [Job Title] Position

Department Manager:

When I found the [job title] opening with [company name], I was thrilled at the prospect of being able to apply for the position. I have long admired [company name] for [aspect of the company you admire], and couldn’t pass up a chance to become part of such an amazing team.

After submitting my application on [application date], I did not receive an automated confirmation that my resume was accepted by your system. As a result, I wanted to confirm that my application had been received, as well as request an update regarding the opportunity.

I am confident that my experience with [project, duty, or responsibility] and expertise with [relevant skills] would allow me to bring a significant amount of value to your team. If you need any further materials from me, please let me know, and I will send them over immediately.

Thank you for considering me for the position. I look forward to hearing from you regarding this exciting opportunity.

Thank You,

[Your Name and Contact Information]

Putting It All Together

At this point, you should not just know how to follow up on a job application but also how to make sure you do it the best way possible. Use the tips and samples above to your advantage. That way, you can increase your odds of getting an update, landing an interview, and, ultimately, securing a career-boosting job opportunity.

Good luck!

About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at 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.