Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
I’m sure you have been in this position before. You spend hours crafting your resume and cover letter, looking for the right job, applying to it and then waiting, and waiting some more and wondering if you will ever hear back from the company or recruiter that seemed like a perfect fit for you and your skillset. Sometimes weeks go by with no response, so how do you politely check on your application status? The key is to be proactive about checking to see the hiring process taking too long and not giving up just yet! I’ve compiled some tips below on getting an update without being overbearing or bothering anyone to tell them what they already know- you applied!
A follow-up letter after sending out an application serves a lot of purposes. For one, you will be able to know the status of your application. Secondly, it shows your potential employer that you are interested in the job. Thirdly, it speaks so much of your professionalism.
When is the most appropriate time to follow up?
Experts agree that the ideal time to send a follow-up letter is after a week. Recruiting managers are constantly swamped with applications aside from their usual load of daily tasks. Following up after a week will allow them to sort out their duties and remind them of your intent to apply. Although it shows how interested you are in the job, it also offers some restraint not to be too pushy. However, if you are applying for a sales position, it is better to follow up within two to three days. The ability to follow up is one characteristic on the top of employers looking for salespersons.
Some job posts specifically mention a timeframe of when applicants will be contacted, like two weeks. If that time elapses, make a gentle follow up by sending a letter or calling the company.
Snail mail or email?
The follow-up letter you will send depends on the manner you send your application. A hand-written follow-up letter gives the impression that you are more detail-oriented. Therefore, career advisors lean on sending email follow-ups. The only danger is that it might go straight to the spam folder and get deleted. However, it has the advantage of being quickly filed electronically along with your application letter and CV.
What do you need to include in your follow-up letter?
It is crucial to keep your follow-up letter short and focused. Reiterate your interest in working with the company and the skills and experience that make you the right fit. You may also inquire more details about the hiring procedure and how you can help expedite the process by making yourself available at the time most convenient for the employer. It will also be good to mention if you will be in the area near the company’s location shortly and ask if it is possible to schedule an interview.
You can break up your letter in this way:
* Opening paragraph: Briefly state when you applied or sent your CV in response to what form of the job posting (print or online job ads).
* Second paragraph: Restate your skills and qualifications and how these traits make you the best person for the job. Express also your intention to discuss these characteristics through an interview.
* Third paragraph: End your follow-up letter by signifying your willingness to send further information if needed. Include your email address, phone number, and other means that you can be contacted and your availability.
Essential factors to consider when sending out a follow-up letter
*Address your email to the hiring manager or the person who will make the hiring decision. You should have the hiring manager’s name if you did your research when you sent your application letter. If you missed this part, find out the employer’s name by calling the company or researching their website.
*Keep a detailed record of the applications you sent and when you sent the application. A simple spreadsheet with company details, a brief job description, when you sent your application, the name of the employer, contact number, and address will help you keep track of all your applications.
*Proofread and edit your follow-up letter. A professionally written communication speaks volumes of your personality, characteristics, and attention to detail. A fresh pair of eyes to check your letter (or any official communication) is always advisable.
Other instances when you can send out a follow-up letter
Aside from keeping tabs on your application, you can also send a follow-up letter after a job interview. Career advisors view interview “thank you” letters as a positive step in the whole hiring process. For example, after talking with several applicants, a hiring manager might have short-listed candidates for the job. Sending out a thank-you note will keep your name fresh in the mind of the employer.
Send your thank-you note within 24 hours after the interview. According to surveys, 87% of hiring managers appreciate receiving emails. You may also send out a hand-written letter but refrain from calling or sending out a text message as employers see these methods of communication as impersonal.
Sad as it may, you might receive an email or letter from the hiring manager informing you that you didn’t qualify for the job. Sending out a thank-you letter will show your professionalism and open doors for other opportunities with the company. Don’t whine and question the hiring process; instead, mention your appreciation of being interviewed and your intention of working with the company should there be other opportunities in the future. The rejection might hurt your feelings, but it is not reason enough to “burn bridges”. Always keep an optimistic outlook as this will help you carry on in seeking better work opportunities.
You can use these tips to make sure you never miss a status update on your application. Have you tried any of these methods? Let us know in the comments below!