How to Follow Up on Job Applications

Looking for a way to make your application stand out? Anxious to let an employer know you’re seriously interested in working for their company? Trying to stay active without pestering? A professional follow-up is the key!

How to Follow Up
A follow-up email should be simple and light—let the employer know your name and the date you submitted your application, test, or resume, and indicate that you wanted to follow up to make sure that information was received. You might also take a sentence or two to briefly outline your strongest qualifications and why you would be a great fit for this particular company. Be sure to reiterate your contact information (in case that was lost or incorrect for some reason), and close by saying you’re very interested in the position and hope to hear from them soon. If the employer originally requested your resume, be sure to include it with your follow-up email—just in case. Finally, as with any of your correspondence, be sure to carefully proofread for any grammar or wording errors!

When to Follow Up
Generally speaking, if you haven’t heard back from an employer within 10 days of applying, it’s safe to send a quick follow-up email. If you don’t hear back within another 10 days, feel free to send another short note to reinforce your interest. If you still don’t hear back after two follow-ups, you might consider calling the office to confirm you are using the correct contact information and confirm your application has been received. If you know the company is looking to fill this position ASAP, you can cut this time frame down to 4-7 days.  Be sure to carefully track whom you have applied with and the date you submitted your application, as this will allow you to stay on top of your follow-up emails and maintain an organized job search.

Why Follow Up
Many of the employers you have applied to have hundreds of applicants per week, so it’s easy to lose track of who’s still left to be contacted! It’s generally safe to assume that the company is just running a bit behind and is sorting through all the resumes they have received. Don’t take it personally! Look at following up as an opportunity. Following up gives you an excellent chance to stand out from the other applicants. Following up lets the employer know you are committed and seriously interested in working for their company. Following up is the best way to keep your resume on top of the pile, so to speak.

Remember, a professional follow-up is the key to unlocking your door to a successful job search!

- Alison Dean
CS Graduate Support


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