There’s nothing more painful during a job search than the waiting game. You’ve sent through an application, double-checked it sent properly and now you sit patiently waiting to hear the verdict. But what are you meant to do when you get no response at all? At what point is it appropriate to send a follow-up email?

Something to keep in mind

Whilst you might currently have the time to sit and stew over whether you’re getting a response, not everyone has that luxury. Recruiters and hiring managers are generally super busy which means they might take longer than you’re expecting to get back to you. The process of bringing on a new team member can be long and complicated depending on how many people are involved and how much paperwork is required. Try to be patient and most of all stay polite in your communications.

If you’ve submitted a CV

Depending on whether you approached the company directly for a job or submitted an application for an advertised role. Unfortunately, if it’s the former you’re basically at the mercy of the HR manager and realistically they’re not obliged to respond to you.

However, if you sent in an application for an advertised role then it is generally acceptable to follow up 5–10 business days after you submitted your application. This should be a quick email stating that you’re very much interested in the role and wondering if they have a timeframe for when applicants can expect a response.

If you’ve talked on the phone

If the employer has called you it is generally acceptable to follow up the same day or following day. You want to thank them for their time, show your eagerness for the role and confirm any next steps that you discussed over the phone. This is a great way to keep yourself in the forefront of the employer's mind. You can use this example from The Muse:

Hi [interviewer name],

Thank you so much for meeting with me today. It was such a pleasure to learn more about the team and position, and I’m very excited about the opportunity to join [company name] and help [bring in new clients / develop world-class content/anything else awesome you would be doing] with your team.

I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information. Best regards,
[Your name]

If you’ve had an interview

Just like the phone call, an in-person interview should be followed up the same day or following day. Let them know you are interested in the role, thank them for their time and go over any details they expressed to you concerning next steps. You can use a similar version of the template in the previous point.

If you’ve received an email

Once they reply to your follow-up email it’s important to give them enough time to complete any processes. If it gets to the point where they have taken significantly longer that they say they would get back to you, this could be the stage where you send another email. However, be sure that you’re not getting to the stage of being a nag!

There is one key situation where you should definitely give the employer an update — if you get another (better) job offer while you’re waiting that you’re planning to take then it is polite to let the employer know that you no longer wish to be considered.

We hope you find these tips useful during your job search. If there’s any other job-related advice you’d like to know feel free to send us a Facebook message and we’ll make it happen!