How to Follow Up After Submitting a Resume

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You have submitted a job application or sent your resume to a company you'd love to interview with, but you haven't heard back. What should you do next?

While you’re playing the waiting game, you have two options. You can either be patient, assuming the employer will contact you if they are interested, or you can choose to follow up with the hiring manager.

Should You Follow Up?

If you don't hear from the hiring manager within two weeks, it may be worth following up. Most experts agree that following up in a courteous, professional way will help you stand out from the competition. After all, if you were an employer, wouldn’t you prefer candidates who were enthused about the job?

Just don’t persevere past the point of professionalism. Repeated follow-ups won’t improve your chances of getting the interview—in fact, they may work against you. Remember that employers are looking for candidates who will be pleasant to work with, as well as qualified for the job.

How to Follow Up on Your Resume

resume followup infographic
The Balance

It may be easiest to follow up via email—for both you and for the employer. Follow-up emails give the hiring team a record of the correspondence and an opportunity to reply at a convenient time.

If no email address is listed, you can try sending a hard-copy letter or calling the company. If no email address or phone number is listed, or the posting says not to contact the employer, follow their instructions and wait to (hopefully) hear back.

Send an Email to Follow Up

When sending a follow-up email message, put the title of the position you applied for and your name in the subject line, so the hiring manager can see at a glance what the email is in reference to. Begin your email with a polite salutation, using the hiring manager’s name.

If you are unsure of the hiring manager's gender, you can use their first and last name. Your signature should include a business-letter closing, after thanking the employer for their consideration.

Resume Follow-Up Email Example

Subject: Programmer—Jane Smith

Dear Mr. Cho,

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 ZYX Corp, 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 Abcde.com make me a strong fit for this position and company.

Please let me know if you need any further materials from me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your consideration.

Regards,

Jane Smith

Jane.Smith@email.com
914-555-3421

Write a Follow-Up Letter

If you are writing a paper letter to follow up with the hiring manager, follow standard business-letter format. Start with the hiring manager’s name, title, and company address. Be sure to include the date, and then begin your letter with a professional salutation and the hiring manager’s name.

Finish your letter by expressing your appreciation, using an appropriate closing, and including your signature and contact information.

Resume Follow-Up Letter Example

Jane Smith
23 Maple St
Irving, NY 10706
Jane.Smith@email.com
914-555-3421

December 2, 2020

Timothy Cho
Hiring Manager
ZYX Corp
10 Main Street
Northville, NY 10708

Dear Mr. Cho,

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 ZYX Corp, 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 Abcde.com 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 (914) 555-3421 or Jane.Smith@email.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jane Smith (signature for hard copy letter)

Jane Smith

Make a Follow-Up Phone Call

  • Choose the right time. When following up with a phone call, try early or late in the day, because people are less likely to be in meetings then. Try calling once or twice before leaving a brief message with your name and the job title you applied for.
  • Stay on message. If you reach the hiring manager, be brief and to the point. Let them know your name and what position you applied for, then explain why you’d be a good fit for the position. Highlight your specific skills and qualifications and explain why they’d be an asset to the company.
  • Say thank you. Thank the employer for their consideration, and say you’d be happy to clarify any information on your resume. Leave your phone number, so it’s handy for them to call you back.

Examples of What to Say

In your follow-up, it’s important to be as courteous and professional as possible. Any contact you have with the hiring manager has the potential to enhance—or harm—your chances of moving along in the hiring process. Let the employer know how interested you are in the position and how eager you are to meet for an interview.

Be sure to thank them for reviewing your resume and application materials. You can also ask questions about what to expect as the company moves toward a decision.

You can take the opportunity to add or clarify any information about qualifications you would like to highlight or briefly share new information that adds to your candidacy. If you are applying for an out-of-town position and you plan to visit the company’s location, mention the time frame, and ask if it’s possible to arrange an interview during your visit.

Some of the things you could say include:

  • What are the next steps in the recruiting process?
  • Will all candidates be contacted?
  • Do you need any additional information about my candidacy?
  • How many candidates are you going to interview?
  • I’m pleased to let you know that I graduated cum laude from XYZ College in May and am looking forward to meeting with you to share what I can offer ABC Industries.
  • I wanted to let you know that my article on the implications of social media marketing for millennials was recently published in the Harvard Business Review.
  • I’ll be traveling to Milwaukee on May 15 and staying for a week, ahead of our move in July, and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you then.

Article Sources

  1. CareerBuilder. “Should You Follow Up After Every Job Application?” Accessed Nov. 16, 2020.

  2. Glassdoor. “The Rules for Following Up After a Job Interview.” Accessed Nov. 15, 2020.