Why (and how) to follow up on your job application

Once you have spent hours crafting your latest application, proof-read it multiple times and finally uploaded it, it can be easy to think, ‘that’s it – job done’. However, taking the next step and following up on your application can help you stand out in three important ways:

It demonstrates your enthusiasm and interest in the company.
It gives you another chance to sell yourself.
It reminds busy employers and recruiters to look at your application when they may be inundated with CVs.

“Job seekers should know that tenacity is often noted and usually rewarded,” says Adam Hatch, a hiring manager and career expert at ResumeGenius.com. “Going the extra mile, especially with an immediate ‘thank you’ follow-up after an interview, is quickly becoming standard etiquette in job searches.”

Tips for following up on a job application

First, check the job listing and see if there are any guidelines the company want you to follow or if there are any indications of when a good time would be to follow up.

If nothing is stated, consider what is reasonable – a broad guide would be aiming to follow up within 3-7 days.

Contact the right person. Research online or call the HR/Talent department to find out exactly who is in charge of the recruitment process – this is the person you need to impress.

If you’re following up by phone, be ready and prepared to undergo a brief screening interview. Have some good questions and answers prepared.

When following up by email, try not to be too dry or formulaic. Be creative and show your personality. Above all, make sure your message does not sound like it has been simply copied and pasted from another email.

Utilise your subject line and use it to get noticed. If you’re emailing after an interview, thank the person by name in the subject line. If you’ve never spoken to the person before, pique their interest and try something like ‘update on my application’ or ‘anything else you need?’

If you’re emailing after your first application, talk about the company and how you can be of benefit to them. Research online for any recent company news or press releases and prove your interest. Again, avoid looking too dry – show your personality.

Use LinkedIn. Ask to connect with the recruiter and send them a direct message in lieu of a phone call or email.

Don’t overdo it and send multiple follow-ups (this could put employers off) and be professional! Whether you choose to send an email, use LinkedIn or make a phone call, it is essential to be professional and courteous. Avoid being pushy or demanding and remember to thank the person for their time.

Consider making contact before you send your CV, by ringing up and asking for more information and use your application as the follow-up. They will be expecting it and be more likely to take notice.