How to follow up a job application

One of the most frustrating parts of looking for a job is waiting to hear whether or not your application has been successful. In this article we explore a) the reasons why you should follow up your job application; b) how and when you should follow up a job application; c) what to say when following up a job application.

1. Should follow up a job application?

There are a number of valid reasons why you should follow up job applications. The main reasons are that it gives you the opportunity to check that your application has been received and considered. It also gives you the opportunity to receive feedback on unsuccessful applications, which could help you when applying in the future. Be careful though as you should not follow up every application. Some job adverts specify that ANY form of contact outside of submitting your application could be deemed as lobbying and will result in your job application being instantly rejected.

2. How long to wait to follow up a job application

Having made the decision to follow up on a job application how long should you wait to contact the employer? Some people recommend contacting the employer before or immediately after submitting your application. This demonstrates your enthusiasm and allows you to confirm that your application has been received and will be reviewed. However, some people think that this could come across as too pushy and reduce your chances of success. We would recommend making a decision based on the information contained in each job advertisement.

3. Who to contact when following up a job application

There are a number of people who it may be worth contacting when following up a job application. Any member of the Human Resources department may be able to provide you with the opportunity to impress and to ascertain information on your job application. In addition, it may be worth considering contacting the person to whom the role reports as they will probably have some involvement in the recruitment decision.

4. How to make contact when following up a job application

There are a number of ways that you can make contact in order to follow up a job application. These include:

a) Email or LinkedIn

If you have an email address then you might send a email message showing your enthusiasm for the role and requesting feedback on your application. You could also consider sending a message using LinkedIn (a professional network).

b) Telephone

If you have a phone number then you could consider calling the organisation. Before you do make sure that you have prepared what you want to say and remain professional and open to the possibility of rejection.

c) In-Person 

In some circumstances it is also acceptable to visit an organisation in person in order to gain feedback on your application. This is especially suitable if the organisation invited hand-delivered applications as part of the job advertisement. Again, make sure that you have prepared what you want to say and remain professional and open to the possibility of rejection. Make sure that you demonstrate your enthusiasm and knowledge, are dressed appropriately and engage with the organisation in a warm and professional manner.

5. What to say when following up your job application

It is important to ensure that you follow up on an job application in a positive way that will improve rather than reduce your chances of application success. In no circumstances should you harass or insult anyone during this process. If you are following up your job application in writing ensure that your message is concise, error-free, professional and friendly. For example:

Dear {Insert Title},

On X X 2015, I applied for the role of {Insert Job Title} as advertised on www.gozambiajobs.com.

As yet, I have not heard back from your organisation and would be obliged if confirm that my application was received?

I believe that as an experienced {Insert Profession} with qualifications in {Insert Qualifications} I would be able to contribute to the success of your organisation. If you would like me to resubmit my application or require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

{Insert Your Name}

{Insert Contact Details}

If you are intending to telephone or visit the organisation in person it may be a good idea to produce what is known as an “elevator pitch”. The elevator pitch is what you would say to someone to impress them enough to offer you a job or interview if you just had 30 seconds to talk to them.

6.  When to stop following up a job application

Eventually you will have to stop following up a job application but when should you stop?

We would suggest that:

a) if you have not heard back from an employer within 6 weeks of the application deadline, and/or

b) have not been able to contact them for further information after 3 attempts

then it it is time to stop following up on this job application and to focus your energies elsewhere.

Further Information

To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice

Search for Jobs

To search for the latest jobs in Zambia visit: www.gozambiajobs.com/jobs