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How to Follow up a Job Application

Nervous man in a suit

You slave away over your CV until you finally submit the perfect application for your dream job. But then there’s silence. Days and then weeks pass and you still haven’t heard a peep from your would-be employer.

The not-so-optimistic part of your brain says that you’ve missed out and you should continue scouring SEEK for other opportunities, but a little bit of you wonders if maybe there’s just been a delay in reading the applications and contacting candidates.

But how do you go about following up your application?

The best place to start is the job ad or the confirmation email you received when you submitted your application. One of these might provide a date when candidates will be notified of their application’s status. If this date hasn’t passed, hold off contacting the employer until it has – you don’t want to annoy the person who might be about to read your application.

How long it takes employers to respond to job applications can vary – some will contact you for an interview the day they receive your CV, others will take a month to reply to candidates. It’s not uncommon for employers to receive hundreds of applications so if you haven’t heard back about the job you applied for last week, don’t panic just yet.

But if it’s been a while since you sent off your CV and cover letter, or the notification date has passed, it may be appropriate to follow up.

A short email is probably the best way to find out where your awesome CV and cover letter are at. A quick message is best, possibly something along the lines of:

Dear [The Nicest Employer in the World],

I recently applied for the role of [Future Justice of the High Court of Australia], and wanted to confirm that my application was received.

I am very interested in the role and believe that my previous experience as [The World’s Best Paralegal] would make me a good fit for the position. I would look forward to discussing this with you further when interviews commence.

Kind regards,

[Awesome Candidate]

The email you send might be a bit different, but you get the idea. The key is to keep it brief, demonstrate your interest in the role, mention why you’re a good candidate (pick the most relevant work experience, achievement or training you’ve had), and ask about interviews.

If they are still reading applications, seeing your name in a follow up email will help the employer to keep an eye out for your CV. You can take a similar approach to following up when you haven’t heard back after an interview.

In most circumstances, multiple follow-up messages are probably not a good idea, unless the employer has asked you to follow them up again, or if you have received another job offer but would rather take a role with the organisation you’re waiting on.

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