Sample Email and Letter to Follow Up on a Job Application

Tips to writing a follow-up letter to a job application: Send it promptly, be polite, keep it short, briefly reinforce your skills, carefully edit and proofread your letter, follow up again. Image is a woman sitting at a wooden desk, open laptop beginning to write her follow-up letter.

Image by Emilie Dunphy © The Balance 2019

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. 

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.

Advice on Writing a Follow-Up Letter

Send it 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.

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). 

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.

Sample 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.

Screenshot of a job application follow-up letter example
©TheBalance 2018

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)

Jane Doe
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
jdoe@abcd.com

September 1, 2018

George Wyatt
XYZ Company
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 jdoe@abcd.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your consideration.


Jane Doe

Follow-Up Letter Template

This template shows the format to use when writing your letter. Edit it to fit your personal circumstances.

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date

Name
Title
Organization
Address
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.

Sincerely,

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

Key Takeaways:

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.