It’s frustrating to send in a job application and not hear back from the company. When that happens, you have two options as an applicant: continue waiting or send a follow-up letter.
What's the best way to follow-up? If you choose to send a follow-up, you’ll need to walk a fine line. While you want to remind the hiring manager of your interest and qualifications, you do not want that person to feel hounded.
Remember that job interviews are about fit, to a certain extent—if the hiring manager doesn’t want to work with you, you won’t get the job. Pursuing them with endless follow-ups won’t help make your case.
Get tips on how to send a follow-up letter that strikes that perfect balance below, plus review a sample note and template to help you write your own persuasive message.
How to Write a Follow-Up Email
Be polite. Avoid accusing the employer of forgetting your application or ignoring you. Assume the best—that the hiring manager is simply busy and has not yet had time to read your application or respond to you. Be extremely polite throughout the letter.
Keep it short. The employer is likely very busy and has many applications to read through. Therefore, don’t add to his or her workload with a long letter. Get right to the point, explaining who you are and why you are writing.
Reinforce your skills (briefly). While your letter should be short, it's a good idea to briefly reiterate one or two things that make you stand out as a candidate. Emphasize why you are right for the job and/or the company.
You can also use the letter to express your enthusiasm for the position or company.
Carefully edit and proofread your letter. This letter is a chance for you to make a first (or second) impression on the employer. Make sure it is professional and polished and in proper business letter format. Read through the letter carefully before sending it. Triple-check for typos (and in particular, make sure to spell the recipient's name, and the company's name, correctly).
When to Follow-Up
Send your email or letter promptly. Wait a week or two after sending your job application. If you don’t hear back by then, consider sending a letter. Keep in mind that it will take at least a couple of days for the letter to get to the company. If you are in a rush, consider following up in a different way. You can also send an email or make a phone call.
Follow up again. If another week or so passes after sending your letter and you still haven’t heard back, you can send another. At that point, you might also follow up in a different way, such as a phone call or email, if you sent a letter the first time.
Follow-Up Letter Template
This is a job application follow-up letter example. Download the follow-up letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Sample Follow-Up Letter
Use the sample letter below as a template for your own letter. Be sure to personalize the letter to fit the particular job and company.
Sample Follow-Up Letter to a Job Application (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
March 11, 2021
87 Delaware Road
Hatfield, CA 08065
Dear Mr. Wyatt,
I submitted a letter of application and a resume earlier this month for the programmer position advertised in the Times Union. To date, I have not heard from your office. I would like to confirm receipt of my application and reiterate my interest in the job.
I am very interested in working at XYZ Company, and I believe my skills and experience would be an ideal match for this position. In particular, my five years as an award-winning programmer at ABC Company make me a strong fit for this position and company.
Please let me know if you need any further materials from me.
I can be reached at (555) 555-5555 or jane.doe@.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Follow-Up Letter Format Guidelines
This template shows the format to use when writing your letter. Edit it to fit your personal circumstances.
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Use the first paragraph to thank the hiring manager for considering your application. Mention your interest in the job and how enthusiastic you are about it.
The second paragraph of your follow-up letter should include the reasons you are an excellent candidate for the job. List specific skills that relate to the job you applied for. The more detailed you are, the more the hiring manager will know about your qualifications.
The third paragraph (optional) can be used to mention anything else you'd like to bring to the attention of the employer. This gives you another chance to make a good impression, especially if you remembered something that may help your case for getting hired that you didn't include in your cover letter.
In your closing paragraph, reiterate your appreciation for being considered for the job and let the reader know you are looking forward to hearing from him or her soon.
Your Signature (for hard copy letter)
Sending an Email Follow-Up Message
If you're sending your follow-up message via email, list your name and the title of the job you applied for in the subject of the message. Your contact information should be listed in your signature. Here is an example of an email subject line for your follow-up:
Subject: Jane Doe - Programmer Position
Here's an example of an email signature:
More Follow-Up Examples
Here are more examples of follow-up emails and letters to send after applying for a job or after you’ve interviewed.
- Email Follow-Up Template
- Resume Follow-Up Email
- Interview Follow-Up Email
- Email Interview Thank You Note With Follow-Up Information
- Follow-Up and Thank You for an Interview
- Follow-Up Letter After a Job Interview
- Influence Letter for After a Job Interview
- Phone Interview Follow-Up Email Message
Follow Up Carefully: It’s fine to reach out to the organization, but don’t overdo it.
Reiterate Your Qualifications: Use your follow-up letter to remind the hiring manager why you’re an excellent candidate for the job.
Include the Details: Be sure to include your contact information to make it easy for the company to get back in touch.