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How to Follow-Up When You Haven’t Heard Back on Your Job Application

At StartWire, we believe you deserve to be treated well by your potential employers, regardless of whether you are selected for the job! This is why we offer a free way to get status updates on your job applications from over 7,000 companies.

We also think you should communicate with your potential employer to make sure that they’ve seen your application. This is why we recommend you follow-up with employers to confirm your application within two weeks. If you’ve received an interview, we also advocate for thoughtful thank you notes.

But what should you do if you don’t hear back from the employer at all after you’ve sent in your application, or if the feedback you receive simply says “you are no longer under consideration”?

We think it’s worth following up with every employer you apply to — at least once. Here’s our short guide on what to say and when in awkward situations:

If you’ve applied for a job and it’s been re-posted.

  • Don’t assume the employer isn’t interested. Instead, call HR or the hiring manager and summarize your skills: “I see you’ve re-listed the Director of Marketing position that I applied for in June. I’m (name) and I have over 10 years experience in the field. Would you like for me to submit my credentials again?”
  • When to do this: Within three days of the job being re-posted. (Note: All jobs on the StartWire site are less than two weeks old. Do not be alarmed if they are re-posted. Employers often re-post simply to receive fresh interest in the job listing while a search is under way.
  • When not to do this: If you’ve given up on the job, and have decided you are no longer interested.

If you’ve been told you are no longer “under consideration”:

  • What to say: Thank you for letting me know of your decision on my application. While disappointed, I remain interested in exploring other opportunities at your company especially as I am so impressed with your work in __________. I continue to feel that I could contribute in ________ department. What’s the best way to stay in touch? And in the interim, is there anything I can do for you to help increase awareness of your _____________ (insert product or service that organization is known for)?
  • When to do this: Within three days of receiving your rejection letter. Read our past articles to learn how to respond if you think you were seen as overqualified or under-qualified.
  • When not to do this: If you don’t like the company or feel that you wouldn’t want to work for them, either!

If you haven’t heard back after an interview:

  • What to say: Thanks again for your consideration for __________ position. I am writing to let you know that I remain interested. Please let me know if you have need of receiving any additional materials.
  • When to do this: Follow-up on your thank you note either two business days before the anticipated decision deadline or shortly after the deadline date has passed.
  • When not to do this: If you’ve followed up once by phone and e-mail, don’t follow-up again. You don’t want to be seen as a stalker or desperately needing this job. (Note: Apply for other jobs while you wait to hear back, too!)
    There’s one exception to this rule: If you receive another job offer, you can call and let them know you have the offer — and you can say, “I remain interested in your job, but need to let the organization that has extended me an offer know by ______ date. Can you tell me whether or not this fits into your hiring timeline for the position.” (If they really want you, they will often speed up the process, but don’t make up an offer just to make it happen.)

Do you have any questions or thoughts on these strategies? What’s worked for you? Share.



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