You spent hours preparing your job application. You updated your resume and pored over your cover letter. You were sure the employer would soon be in touch to invite you for interview, but you've heard nothing. What should you do now?
Hearing nothing back after applying for a job is a common situation. Hiring managers often have huge numbers of applications to sort through, which can lead to a delay. For the first couple of weeks after the job application deadline passes, you should probably be patient. However, if more time goes by and you still haven't heard anything, then you might ask yourself whether you should send a follow-up email to find out what happened to your application.
Once a couple of weeks have passed since the application deadline, the answer to the question "Should I send a follow-up email?" is almost certainly yes. The worst that can happen is the employer ignores your email, in which case you can assume you are not going to get the job and move on with your job search. On the other hand, a thoughtfully worded follow-up email could prompt the employer to either let you know you have been unsuccessful, possibly with some useful feedback about your application, or even persuade the employer to dig out your application and consider you for the role.
The way you word your follow-up email is important. The best approach is to keep the follow-up email brief and to the point. Politely ask whether the employer has received your application and when you can expect to hear back. Avoid expressing any anger or irritation about not having received a response. Although you might think it is disrespectful for the organization to not acknowledge your application, expressing this feeling can only damage your chances of getting the job.
You should also follow up after an interview. A day or two after the interview, send a simple note to thank the employer for the opportunity, and let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them. Sending a thank you note is not only polite, it also keeps you in the employer's mind, so they are more likely to consider you for the job. In the interview, you should ask when the hiring decision to be made. A few days after this date passes, send another follow-up email to ask about the status of your application.
Sending a polite, concise follow-up email shows the employer you can take the initiative and that you are not afraid to be assertive. These are both desirable characteristics in most employers' eyes. In your follow-up email, include your contact details, so the employer can easily get in touch with you.
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