How to Follow Up After Applying for a Job

following up after submitting applicationThere is a set routine for many job seekers. Submit an application, and wait for a call back. Submit an application, and wait for a call back. Submit an application, and wait for a call back. How is this pattern working for you? It works well for some, but for many, failing to actively following up is a huge missed opportunity.

Hiring managers are extremely busy, and applicant tracking systems are not always 100 percent effective, so applications CAN fall through the cracks. Proactively following up will not only help prevent this from happening, but it will also give you an opportunity to talk to and make a good initial impression with hiring manager before you interview. Here is some advice on how to follow up with hiring managers:

When to Reach Out 

The timeline for following up after submitting you application can be sensitive. You don’t want to be annoying by following up too soon, yet you want to maximize your outreach by timing it perfectly.

“Candidates should follow up within about 48-72 hours after submitting their cover letter and resume. You want to make sure you give the recruitment team enough time to review the applications they have received from the posting,” said Carrie Losch, Medix’s corporate recruiter. “If you call too soon, hiring managers will tell you they will review your resume and return a call if you are chosen for an interview. If you call to late, they may tell you that the role has been filled. With that in mind, 48-72 hours is a great time frame to land somewhere in between those two scenarios.”

How to Contact Hiring Managers

Email, phone, social media – there are several options for reaching out to hiring managers. But what works best?

“Connecting via LinkedIn has become a great way to reach out to managers. However, I would only do this post-application,” said Losch. “I also believe calling directly to speak to a manager or to leave a message is still very beneficial when trying to land that dream job.”

What to Ask

“Do you need additional information from me?”
Asking this question will open the door for hiring managers to take a second look at your application.

“Do you have any initial questions about my application?”
This question will give you the opportunity to verbally add to your resume or cover letter in case there are any gray areas that stood out to the hiring manager.

“What are the next steps in the recruiting process?”
Asking this will give you insight into the timeline and what to expect. You might also be able to gauge how interested the hiring manager is in interviewing you. For example, if the hiring manager definitely wants to interview you, he/she may just go ahead and schedule a time to meet. On the flip side, if the hiring manager doesn’t think you’re a fit, his/her answer might be very vague and wishy-washy. Every hiring manager and application process is different, so use your best judgment and don’t give up until you have a definite answer either way.

Following up after applying to positions can be nerve-wracking, but it’s a great opportunity for you to get your name in front of decision-makers. So change up your application routine, and make room for follow up!

Have additional advice? Leave us a comment!

29 thoughts on “How to Follow Up After Applying for a Job

    • Hi Deb,
      Online applications can be tricky; often times, it feels as though you’re sending your resume out into the dark, with little hope for response. If possible, I’d recommend finding a general company email or phone number to reach out to; they may be able to direct you to a hiring manager or other applicable role from there. Thank you for sharing!

  1. What if you are applying to a large organization such a hospital or corporation what are the best ways to reach out them? Is it OK to call and speak to an hr representative?

    • Hi Dorothy,
      Great question! First and foremost, it’s important to follow the application process as laid out by the company. After submitting your resume and application through their guidelines, pay attention to any deadlines or follow-up dates a representative or automated response may outline. If these dates come and go, it would not be inappropriate to follow up using listed contact information.

  2. Hello!

    Thank you so much for your post. I am currently searching for a job out of state. I am worried that my resume will be over looked, due to my out of state address. I applied for a job I am well qualified for and really want. I followed all of the requirements however on the application page it says “please no phone calls”.

    Should I call anyways just to get their attention and or should I not reach out at all? All I want is a phone interview…please help.

    • Hi Christina,
      Thank you for sharing! When in doubt, follow the instructions for application and follow-up as outlined by the employer. There should be other areas – such as within an application response field or in a cover letter – to address your willingness to relocate, but I would not go outside of their designated protocol.Always keep track of the dates for further communication that are outlined, and do you best to continue researching the company website, social media and other channels.

  3. Hi,

    So I applied on the weekend do you still wait the 48-72 hours from that date or do you count it from the weekdays when they most likely will be in to see it? Also there is a closing date that is right after the 48-72 HR time frame should I just wait till it closes or is it better to call before the closing date?

  4. I took your advice and called but no one answered! I left a message, but now I have no answers and feel even more in the dark.

    • Hi Kristin, thank you for sharing. It all depends on what point in the application process you are currently and the time frame at hand. When in doubt, remain patient and stick to any guidelines outlined by the potential employer. If a deadline passes, feel free to reach out again, possibly using a different medium.

  5. I applied for a job via LinkedIn after 7 days i received an email from LinkedIn Job Team that my application was viewed. Should i wait for 48 – 72 hours to follow up?

    • Hi Petronella,
      Always follow an employers guidelines for follow-up before reaching out additionally. If their stated window of review ends and a reasonable time has passed, feel free to get in touch with your contact at the employer.

  6. I just applied to a job Friday night and was intending to call around Tuesday. However the job posted is open for a certain period only which is until October 11th and I applied on the first day it was posted, should I still call Tuesday?

    • Hello, so I’m from Florida and I applied to a job before the hurricane. Clearly I knew no one was going to be following up and the application period had ended. However I recently search and they opened up the same position again so I applied, but now on the portal it shows my two applications. Should I withdraw the first one? Or is it better for them to know I originally applied as well…

      • Hi Ellin, Thank you for joining the conversation! With the given circumstances, the best you can do is remain in contact with the employer via both the online submittal process and any direct contact (email and phone) you made have available.

    • Hi Alicia, Depending on the role, it couldn’t hurt to send a courtesy message to ensure that your information has been received by the employer. Beyond that, I would wait and see if any responses come based on the timeline defined by the employer.

  7. Some of the jobs I apply for have over 100 applicants. If I were a hiring manager, and all of the applicants called me, I think I would be quite annoyed. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Hey Emma! It’s true – every hiring process is a little different. I’d keep an eye out for any requests in the listing or from the organization; if they explicitly ask for “no phone calls” or other special requests, do your best to honor them. Otherwise, it never hurts to keep in contact with a potential employer within a reasonable time frame.

  8. Hi Andrew,
    I am using Zip. for job searching. Zip is letting me know when my application (resume) is viewed. I rarely send a Cover letter and did not send one with my most recent application. This job poster has viewed my resume for the fourth time on Saturday the 25th of Aug. I sent my resume to them Thursday 23rd. Should I send a cover letter to them or call? What should I write or say to them to let them to help strengthen their interest? Grateful for any help.

    • Hi Cindy! Great to hear that there’s been activity on your application. Sounds like it’s still early in the review process, as it’s only been a few days since you’ve applied. I would always stick to any time frame an employer has explicitly stated before reaching back out. If none has been given, I would give it a shot at least a week after submitting your information, either through a call or email making sure they’ve received your information and asking if they need any further application materials from you. Happy hunting!

  9. Hi,
    I applied for a position that is tailored right to my qualifications at a large beauty industry corporation. They have a few other positions that are well suited to me, and the application system allows more than one application. The system also offers the option of updating your cover letter and resume whenever you want, so a few days later I did. Upon receiving my initial submission, I received an auto reply with “Thank you for applying with _______. We will contact you if we need any further information.” But, when I try to reply with a thank you follow up, both the email they have listed for replies as well as the email they wrote to me at, bounce back to me with error messages. So….
    My 1st question is: Do I need to find another way to contact them?
    My 2nd question is: Is it bad that I updated my cover letter and resume a few days later?
    My 3rd question is: Would it be a bad idea to submit applications for the other jobs, even though they are very different rolls than the position I first applied for?

    • Thanks for joining the discussion, Denise! You’re most likely running into an automated email account set up by the employer for applications only. Many times, these are just routed through a system and will not respond to individual contact. You may want to find a phone number or other way to contact the employer. If you have the option to update within an application, feel free to do so! However, only make changes that are necessary, and point out any key changes to your interviewers to avoid any confusion. If any jobs fits what you’re looking for, it never hurts to apply!

  10. Hi, I had applied to a school two days ago via online and I was wondering when I should call them. Their closing date for submissions is this Friday, so I am wondering if I should wait until then to call or just call now?

    • Hi Amanda! While submission deadline may have passed, the response/selection deadline could differ. You could try to follow-up and confirm that they’ve received the submission, and let that conversation lead to follow-up questions about further check points along the process. Thanks for reading!

  11. Thanks for all the helpful info here! I applied to a subsidiary of a very large corporation (top five in the country) and while there were 380 or so applicants I had an internal reference, and a close friend of the VP of Operations send a personal email telling him about me and that I’d be a great addition. The posting hasn’t closed yet, but I don’t know if it’s overkill to make a phone call too as it’s a position I’m really interested in. I applied about three weeks ago. Any thoughts for me? Thank you!

    • Hi Dave! Thank you for sharing your story. If you hadn’t made any direct contact with an employer other than submitting an application online, a phone call would definitely be appropriate. Best of luck!

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