Writing a follow-up email after applying for a job

You reviewed your resume, ensuring it was accurate and professionally presented. You wrote an incredible cover letter and jumped through every other job application hoop.

Then the weeks tick by, and you still haven’t heard anything back from the hiring company. When this happens, rather than writing the opportunity off and moving on, it can be worth contacting the recruiter or hiring manager a second time.

One popular method for following up with a business is to write an email. In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to go about writing a follow-up email after applying for a job, including two properly written examples. We’ll also cover a few etiquette and writing basics.

Why to send a follow-up email post job application 

In many cases, after a position has been posted and responded to, hiring managers don’t follow up with applicants right away. This could be due to the numbers of people applying or the application’s deadline date, which you should be conscious of when considering a follow-up email.

For you, the applicant, the lack of response can be extremely frustrating. You’re left waiting and wondering, often just hoping that your initial application went through in the first place. This is where a follow-up email can help. This gentle nudge reminds a recruiter or hiring manager of your interest in the position. It also shows that you’re not just somebody who sent an application on the off-chance of a result, but that your interest in the position and company is genuine. In this way particularly, a follow-up email can help your application stand out from possibly numerous other applicants.

When to send the email

Ideally, you should send your follow-up email two weeks after submitting your cover letter and resume. The goal is to allow enough time for those involved in the hiring process to have a chance to review your application. As mentioned above, a job listing might be left open for a predetermined period of time, so the recruiter or hiring manager may not move forward with candidates until that deadline has passed.

Be mindful of this. The last thing you want is for the subtext of your follow-up email to be: Get a move on!

A comically pensive woman sits in front of a blank computer screen and a blank piece of paper, holding a hand to her head.
It’s all about what to say and how to say it.

How to write your follow-up email

To write a follow-up email, you should include all of the following:

  1. Subject line: Since you’ll be sending this via email, include a subject that makes the intent of the email clear. Generally, you should include the title of the position you applied for, followed by your name and “application.”
  2. Salutation: When possible, greet the hiring manager by name. Use a formal greeting, such as Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name. If you aren’t sure who the recipient of the email is, you can leave this line off or swap it out for a professional salutation, such as Dear Hiring Manager:
  3. Short introduction: The first two lines of your email should include a nice greeting and a quick summation of why you are reaching out.
  4. Reiteration of skills: While you don’t need as many details about your experience as you did in your cover letter, quickly detail why you’re a good fit for the position. Try to accomplish this in one to two sentences.
  5. Formal ending: Finish your email with a reminder of your contact information and an offer to resend your resume or resubmit your application.
  6. Closing valediction: Complete your email with a professional closing valediction before your name.

Follow-up email examples

As you put together your follow-up email, use the following examples as a starting point. Keep in mind that if you plan to use these as templates, you’ll need to create your own copy that speaks to your specific situation.

Example 1

Subject Line: Project Manager Application – Marion Edwins

Dear Mrs. Keon,

I hope your week is going well. I am reaching out about a resume I submitted at the beginning of the month for your Project Manager position.

I am very interested in working at RingCentral, and I believe that my skills, especially my six years of experience as a project manager at FrontArena, would make me a great fit for your team.

Please let me know if you would like me to resend my resume or to provide any further information.

You can reach me at 777-777-7777 or [email protected].

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for your time.


Marion Edwins

Example 2

Subject Line: Customer Service Representative Application – Kade Jenway

Dear Hiring Manager:

I hope this finds you well. I am reaching out about a resume I submitted on February 1, 2022, for your Customer Service Representative position.

I am eager to join your team at RingCentral, and I believe that my existing experience as a customer service representative, paired with my strong interpersonal skills, would make me a perfect choice for this role.

Please let me know if you would like me to resend my resume or to provide any further information. You can reach me at 777-777-7777 or [email protected]

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,

Kade Jenway

Professional writing tips and tricks

When authoring a follow-up email, here are a few tips that can help you put your best foot forward. Use the following to help solidify your email before hitting send.

  • Don’t be shy: It can feel awkward to reach back out about a job but don’t feel hesitant about contacting the hiring manager a second time. Remember, the hiring manager has probably been inundated by applications. Your email will not feel off-putting and instead may be extremely helpful to the hiring manager as they attempt to narrow down their applicant pool. Don’t be afraid to be the person who stands out.
  • Keep the email concise: While you do want to reiterate your interest in the role and quickly touch on why you are a good fit for the position, make sure your email remains short and to the point. The goal is not to clutter the hiring manager’s inbox with more emails to be read, but rather to ensure that your application was received.
  • Use professional language: Avoid using slang, emoticons, or other informal language in your email. Write this email in the same way you would any business correspondence.
  • Review the email for errors: Similar to your cover letter, your follow-up email will help create the first impression someone has of you. For this reason, take the time to carefully review the email for spelling or grammatical errors. You can even have a friend or family member read the email once over to ensure easy readability.
  • Only include relevant contact information: When including your contact information, make sure the phone number and email address you put down are accurate and that you monitor them daily. One of the easiest ways to lose out on an opportunity is to not check your phone for days or to forget to check your email for a week.

A young woman flexes her imaginary muscles, which are symbolic of inner strength.
Powerful impression: Enthusiasm combined with confidence.

Sending an email versus calling to follow up

When following up about an application or resume submission, you may wonder whether or not it’s best to email the hiring manager or call them. In most cases, it’s better to follow up via email first. However, if you still don’t hear back from the hiring manager, and it’s possible to locate their number, it’s acceptable to follow up by phone.

After you have tried to follow up through an email and a phone call, if you still do not hear back about the position, it’s best to move your efforts forward to another application. While it can be disappointing to be left in the dark, there are often many reasons that can lead to a business’ radio silence. Taking these things personally is a terrible waste of time and energy. And if you can’t help but do that, a life well lived is the best way to get even.

Focus your energy on applying to new, exciting roles, and keep believing in yourself until others join in. They will.