Job application follow-up e-mail: template and sample

Not receiving feedback after applying for a job can be frustrating. Nevertheless, you should allow the company sufficient time to review your application. After all, there can be many reasons why the application has not yet been processed or you have not yet been informed of a decision. By sending a follow-up e-mail, you can remind the recruiter of your application and possibly speed up the decision-making process. However, there are a few points to keep in mind.

Asking about your application status – how it works

Depending on the company, the process of applying for a job can take different lengths of time: from two weeks to two months. The length of the process usually depends on the company’s size and personnel. In smaller companies it usually takes less time because responsibilities are less widely distributed than in larger companies. Nevertheless, it can always be the case that applications are left unprocessed due to urgent orders or for other reasons. If you ask about your application, you should not ignore these possibilities.

Why haven't you received any feedback yet?

  • The application deadline has not yet been reached
  • The responsible employees are ill or on vacation
  • The responsible employees are busy with more urgent tasks
  • More candidates have applied for the position than expected
  • The selection of candidates takes more time than planned
  • The decision of the preferred candidate is still pending
  • Due to internal decisions within the company, the position will not be filled after all

When you should ask

Sending a job application follow-up e-mail requires a certain amount of intuition and correctly choosing the right time. Basically, there is no guideline here. Determining the ideal time after which to ask questions about an application status depends on numerous factors, which you as an applicant usually cannot influence as you don't know about internal company processes and what the situation is. Therefore, you should inquire about the status of your application as soon as you think this makes sense, but at the earliest one to two weeks after you have applied. This also underlines your interest, which can be a positive signal for employers.

During a survey by the company Accountemps in 2017, HR managers were asked how long applicants should wait to make a job application follow-up e-mail or phone call. The result: 43 percent of personnel managers recommend that applicants ask about the status one to two weeks after it is sent.

All results of the survey: When should candidates ask about their application?

  • Less than a week: 19%
  • 1-2 weeks: 43%
  • 2-3 weeks: 30%
  • 3 weeks or more: 8%
  • Applicants should not ask for their application: 0%

This also shows that the request is usually not negatively perceived. You should therefore not shy away from it under any circumstances, as long as you do not ask repeatedly. If you do not receive an answer to your e-mail, you can try by telephone. In most cases, you will be connected to the person in charge when you are asked a friendly question about your application. The Personnel management is responsible for the recruitment of new employees.

Sending an application status e-mail: dos and don'ts

Sending a follow-up e-mail after a job application can allow you to earn points with the recruiter if you follow a few rules. Stick to the following guidelines when you write your message:

Dos

Don’ts

Always be friendly and polite when enquiring about your application status without any implication of criticism.

Do not put pressure on the recruiter.

Allow at least one to two weeks for small companies before you follow up.

Do not make enquiries either shortly before or after the application deadline.

Enquire about the next steps in the application process.

Do not address the issue of salary. At the beginning of the application process you should not ask about compensation or benefits.

Express your interest in the position in an unobtrusive way.

 

Job application follow-up e-mail: sample and formula

There are a few recommendations you should follow when formulating your e-mail. What are these?

  1. Be polite: To convey a professional impression, a polite greeting is obligatory. Address the HR manager by name. Thank them if, for example, you have received an acknowledgement of receipt.
  2. Keep it short: Describe your concern as briefly and precisely as possible. In this way, the personnel manager can quickly understand and deal with it.
  3. Formulate a precise subject line: The subject line should contain the position for which you have applied and your name. This makes it easier for the recruiter to assess your e-mail.
  4. Make your interest clear: If you have a strong interest in the job, it’s in your interest to ask about the application. Remind your potential employer why you would be the best person to fill the position. Don't go too far, however.
  5. Ask a question: Formulate a specific request, for example in the form of a question. When can you expect feedback? How will the application process proceed?
  6. Signal that you are available for an interview: You can indicate in your e-mail when you would be available for an on-site interview. As a general rule, you should be open to making contact.
  7. Check the e-mail: You have the opportunity to make a positive impression not only through your application documents but also through your e-mail. The text should therefore be free of errors; always check the grammar and spelling at the end. In addition, make sure that you have correctly named the addressee before sending the mail.

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Job application follow-up e-mail sample

E-mail templates can help you gather ideas for possible formulations, however; you will always need to adapt the e-mail to the job you are applying for. You can use these two suggestions as samples:

Example 1

Dear Mr/Ms X,

Thank you very much for your confirmation of [DD.MM.YYYY].

I am keenly aware that a qualitative application process takes time. Nevertheless, I would like to inquire as to when I can expect feedback on my application. I am still very interested in working as a [job title] in your company.

Should you have any questions regarding my application documents, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail or telephone at [mobile phone number].

I am looking forward to your feedback.

Yours sincerely,

Applicant XYZ

Example 2

Dear Mr/Ms Z,

Thank you very much for your friendly mail on [DD.MM.YYYY].

Some weeks have passed since the application deadline and therefore I would like to inquire about when and how the selection process will continue.

Since I am still interested in the position as [job title] in your company, I would be very appreciative of some feedback in the near future. If you have any questions regarding my application documents, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail or by phone at [cell phone number].

Yours sincerely,

Applicant XYZ

How to follow up on a job application – by e-mail or by phone?

Another way to inquire about your application status is by telephone. What is the difference between e-mail and telephone?

E-mail

Telephone

You don’t know when or by whom the e-mail will be read

The communication is quick and direct

The message can be carefully considered

The phone is often more personal than e-mail

The recipient has enough time to provide a qualified answer

There is the possibility of a spontaneous interview

The recipient could forget to answer the e-mail

The recipient could be in a meeting or out of office

In addition, many HR professionals are active on professional social media platforms, such as Xing or LinkedIn. Here, too, a query is possible. In principle, the same standards apply as for an e-mail. The advantage: if the contact person clicks on your profile, you may be able to score points right away, provided that your page is designed seriously and attractively.

Sending an application status e-mail after an interview

How do you find out about the current status of the application process after the interview? Has a decision already been made? With a few simple measures, you can make life easier for yourself and maintain a positive impression on the HR manager.

  • Ask for the names of your contact persons and their function in the company, e.g. when you are invited to an interview.
  • Ask your interviewers for a business card.
  • At the end of the interview ask about the rest of the process.
  • After the interview, thank them once again by e-mail – this will demonstrate your interest in working with them.

If, despite everything, some time has passed since the interview, you have a right to ask further questions. Always remain friendly and polite, and do not exert pressure or make accusations. Express your interest and ask the recruiter when a decision is likely to be made.

If you already have another job offer and therefore have to make a decision, describe your situation objectively: point out, for example, that the notice period with your current employer is about to expire or the presence of an offer from another company that you would accept as an alternative. Warning: if you mention that you have several other options, it may seem as if the position with this company is not important to you.

Tip

Don’t stop applying! Even if you think you have found the right job for you, don't stop looking for alternatives.

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