Step-by-Step Guide: How to Follow Up on a Job Application


The job market is a crowded place, especially for young adults. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the unemployment rate for 20-to-29-year-olds is 13.5%. That’s a lot of young professionals gunning for the same opportunities. You need every advantage possible.

The application follow-up is one way to gain an edge and give you peace of mind.

Step-by Step Guide: How to Follow Up on a Job Application

1. After you send off the application, lay low for 24 hours.

If someone responds via email and says, ‘Thanks for applying. We’ll be in touch if we need blah blah blah…’ then you know your resume/cover letter made it to the right place.

If you don’t hear a peep after 24 hours…

2. It’s time to take action.

If 100 people apply for the same job, the employer may not respond to each person and say ‘Thanks for applying. We got your stuff.’ No big deal. Maybe it’s just the way the company handles the hiring process.


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3. Find the email address of someone involved with hiring/HR and write:


My name is ______, and I recently applied for the position of _______. I want to make sure you received my application. If you can, please let me know.

Thanks very much.’

If no answer by email…

4. Call the front desk and say the same thing.

Be polite and don’t come across offended that no one responded to your application OR email. If the employer confirms he/she received your application, you’re golden. Now, you have two reasons to feel good:

- you don’t have to worry that your application got lost in the shuffle

- you’ve shown the employer that you know how to follow through

Do you think all 100 people will call/email to check on the status of their applications? No way. But you did, and now you look pretty sharp in the eyes of the employer. Doesn’t guarantee the position, but it can’t hurt.

5. If email and phone options don’t work, wait another day and call again.

If you still can’t reach anyone after the second call, then it’s time to ease up. The company may have internal issues, which could help decide if you even want to work there.

Above all, do not be timid

In the job market, you need to look out for yourself at all times. Never let this thought cross your mind:

‘I don’t want to call the company and check on my application because I would just be bothering them.’

Nonsense. Pure, unfiltered hogwash.

If you want the job, go for it. Let the employer know you exist, demand (in a nice way) that someone acknowledge your application. It’s not brown-nosing, and it’s not being overly aggressive.

It’s the smart play.

There are people who wait for the world to come to them. And there are those who go out and make things happen.

Which one are you?


How else can you gain an advantage in the application process?

Share below! 


© 2013, Danny Rubin


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