Sample Letter to Follow Up on a Job Application
It’s frustrating to send in a job application and not hear back from the company. What can you do? Well, you basically have two options: continue waiting, or send a follow-up letter.
If you choose to send a follow-up, you’ll be walking a fine line: you want to remind the hiring manager of your interest and qualifications, without making them 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.
Stalking them won’t help make your case.
Below, you’ll find tips on sending a follow-up letter that strikes that perfect balance, plus a sample 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, make a phone call, or even visit the office in person.
Be polite. Avoid accusing the employer of forgetting your application or ignoring you. Assume the best – that they are simply very busy and have 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 very 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, you should briefly reiterate one or two things that make you stand out as a job candidate. Emphasize why you are right for the job, and/or the 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.
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.
Sample Follow-Up Letter to a Job Application
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.
Mr. George Wyatt
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Follow-Up Letter Template
This template shows the format to use when writing your letter. Edit it to fit your personal circumstances.
Your City, State, ZIP Code
Your Phone Number
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 why 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 that 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 thejob and let the reader know you are looking forward to hearing from him or her soon.
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 job title in the subject of the message. Your contact information should be listed in your signature. For example:
Subject: Jane Doe - Programmer Position
Read More: How to Follow Up | Follow Up Letter Samples
(Hard copy: sender address and contact info at top. Your address and the date can be left-justified, or centered.)
Your Street Address
City, State Zip Code
Month Day, Year
Mr./Ms./Dr. FirstName LastName
Name of Organization
Street or P.O. Box Address
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. LastName:
Opening paragraph: State why you are writing; how you learned of the organization or position, and basic information about yourself.
2nd paragraph: Tell why you are interested in the employer or type of work the employer does (Simply stating that you are interested does not tell why, and can sound like a form letter). Demonstrate that you know enough about the employer or position to relate your background to the employer or position. Mention specific qualifications which make you a good fit for the employer’s needs. (Focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you.) This is an opportunity to explain in more detail relevant items in your resume. Refer to the fact that your resume is enclosed. Mention other enclosures if such are required to apply for a position.
3rd paragraph: Indicate that you would like the opportunity to interview for a position or to talk with the employer to learn more about their opportunities or hiring plans. State what you will do to follow up, such as telephone the employer within two weeks. If you will be in the employer’s location and could offer to schedule a visit, indicate when. State that you would be glad to provide the employer with any additional information needed. Thank the employer for her/his consideration.
(Your handwritten signature [on hard copy])
Your name typed
(In case of email, your full contact info appears below your printed name [instead of at the top, as for hard copy], and of course there is no handwritten signature)
Enclosure(s) (refers to resume, etc.)
(Note: the contents of your letter might best be arranged into four paragraphs. Consider what you need to say and use good writing style. See the following examples for variations in organization and layout.)