Tips for Following up on a Job Application

Man on a computer

I’ve heard from many people who have been in this situation: They’ve applied for a job, waited a week or two for a response, but haven’t heard anything. The job listing says, “No phone calls, please.” Is it OK to follow up? And if so, how soon?

One week is too soon, two weeks is more tenable.

That’s the advice from Ron Auerbach, resume writer, career coach, and educator and author of “Think Like an Interviewer: Your Job Hunting Guide to Success,” who says it is important to avoid creating the perception that you’re impatient or a pest.

“Either of those perceptions will hurt your chances rather than help! I would wait at least two weeks before you follow up,” Auerbach says. “This gives them enough time to sift through the applications. It also adjusts for their having other priorities and any emergencies that might have arisen. Patience is something you want to demonstrate.”

According to Auerbach, “no phone calls” usually means the company doesn’t want you to call to apply or discuss your interest. “But when it comes to following up, a phone call is perfectly fine,” he says, while noting that reaching someone by phone in these pandemic times can be tough. “But if you do have or can find a phone number, there is nothing wrong in calling and following up just to make sure they had received your application and inquiring as to when you might hear back.”

Reaching out with an email is also fine, Auerbach adds.

In fact, that is the approach career consultant Marvin Arts Jr., owner of #GetNoticed Resume Writing and More, LLC, recommends.

“You want to use an approach that is not perceived as pushy or rude,” Arts says. “Many recruiting departments and hiring managers are already inundated with filling openings and don’t have much time to answer many job seeker inquiries. Communicating via email allows you to be a little more descriptive with your inquiry and allows the reader to read your email during their downtime. A phone call does not have the same impact.”

If you’ve applied for a job but haven’t heard back, Arts suggests using a script like the following to reach out to a recruiting or hiring manager.

Subject: Following up on [Position Title] application

Hi, [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I hope all is well. I know these are busy times, and I can imagine the responses you have received for your vacancies. That said, I recently applied to the [position title] position and wanted to check in with you to see when you expect to decide on the next steps in the screening process.

I am excited about the opportunity to join [company name] and help [anything geared toward helping the team succeed] with your team.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any additional information I can provide as you continue to move toward the next steps in the hiring process.

I look forward to hearing from you,

[Your Name]

(Article written by Kathleen Furore)