Increase your chance of getting called back with these follow-up tips

Darrell Jones |
Darrell is Snagajob’s Manager of Content & Copywriting, where he enjoys writing and editing advice that helps workers and businesses align and succeed. His first hourly job was totally chill, bagging ice at an ice cube f-f-f-factory.

Following up on a job application can give you the inside track over your competition. 

It helps you stand out by letting the employer see just how determined you are, which also shows what a great employee you will make.

This sounds simple, but there are definitely some key things to keep in mind.

First, don’t give hiring managers a reason to stall your application.

Even in a workers’ job market, hiring managers receive many applications for every job they post. Going through those applications takes time. Some hiring managers save themselves time by automatically rejecting applications with typos. They might think that an applicant who makes mistakes on a job application will be careless on the job. 

So double-check your application, your online job profile, and your resume for typos and spelling mistakes. 

It's also smart to avoid using “text speak” abbreviations, shortcuts, and emojis in your job application and online profile. In the work environment, there are all kinds of people of different ages and backgrounds. So it’s a good idea to play it safe by avoiding very informal language that a hiring manager might feel is just not right for their workplace.

Also, vibe-check your email address before you apply. Does your email address say a lot about your personality, family, teams, or other personal interests? If so, consider signing up for an alternative email address just for job applications. We recommend an email address that’s as simple as just your first name and last name before the @, if that’s available.

Now to the heart of the matter: Plan on following up.

If a company says in their job posting not to follow up then definitely don't. But if they don't mention anything about it, make a plan to do so. Following up shows the hiring manager your interest and enthusiasm for the job, and makes you stand out as someone who is responsible and proactive. These are qualities that hiring managers value a lot! 

Just be sure to be considerate. Most businesses have busy times (in a restaurant that may be lunch or dinner, for retail that might be Friday night). Don’t call a hiring manager during the busiest part of their day. Doing that shows them you either lack an understanding of the business, or you aren’t very thoughtful. 

You have a few different options for following up. 

1) Email: Send a thoughtful, error-free email to the hiring manager. Make it easy for the hiring manager by writing just a few short, simple sentences re-iterating which job you applied for and that you’re definitely interested. 

2) Phone: Call up the hiring manager and express your enthusiasm for the job, and let that person know you would be delighted to have an interview when it’s convenient. However, this option isn’t for the faint of heart. Rehearse out loud, even leaving a voicemail message on a friend’s phone (this sounds silly, but it works!). Then check the voicemail message you’ve recorded before you call.

3) Visit: Go in and personally shake hands and make eye contact with the hiring manager. Be sure to come dressed like it’s interview day, equipped with extra information (for instance a copy of your resume and contact information for your references). If not, pick a different method to follow up.

Given your talent, and these trusted tips on keeping your application moving forward, you should be head and shoulders above others applying for the job. Go get ‘em!