Student Success Blog For Educators


May 11, 2015

How To Follow Up On A Job Application

As many of our blog readers know, our goal at Portfolium is to help you stand out from the crowd. So far, we’ve covered how to approach a job search, how to put together an awesome resume and make it stand out from the rest of the pile and also, how to walk away from a career fair with more than just free swag.


Now, let’s cover what you might do after you’ve taken that leap of faith and actually submitted an application. The waiting game sucks, we know. But the good news is there’s something you can do about it.


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It’s as simple as sending a follow-up email. It’s nothing revolutionary, yet it’s commonly underutilized or misused, as so many people fear coming off as “overbearing” or "desperate."  Those who do opt to send a follow-up email tend to compose very dry content that looks a little more like a "reminder" email than anything else:


"Hello _______,

I am writing to you to follow-up on my application for _______ at ________. Please let me know if you'll be needing anything else from me.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.



(Might as well say, "Hey, have you had a chance to look over my resume yet? Am I getting the job?)


We totally understand. Although communicating through email is super efficient, it can also be painfully awkward. Especially when reaching out to employers--there’s a very fine line between showing interest and coming off as annoyingly ingenuous and/or desperate.

So, how do you convey your interest for the position, encourage them to look over your resume AND prove your qualifications ALL in one email? Great question. Staying true to our philosophy over at Portfolium, we recommend that you get creative. Here are a few pointers to do so:


1. Choose an interesting “subject line.”


Although the typical “Following Up On My Application” subject line gets your point across, it won’t necessarily captivate a recruiter’s attention. Chances are, they have more than one email sitting in their inbox with that same exact subject line. Adding your name won't help, either. Remember, at this point in the game, they can't even put a face to your name.


Instead, get their attention with something that involves THEM. Brittany Berger, an experienced content manager and blogger, recommends directly mentioning the company's name in the subject line and including another piece of eye-catching information. For example, "Excited about [Company Name]'s future". Follow Step 2 to learn how to add meaning to your unique subject line...


2. Make the email about them, not you.


We know what you’re thinking and you’re right, it kind of is all about you. After all, YOU are trying to get YOURself a job. But as we mentioned in our eBook, company’s want to see how YOU and YOUR skills, experiences and passions are relevant to THEM, and what THEY need.


Take a few minutes to do some research before you put together an email. One awesome hack is to Google the company’s name using the “News” filter. Or, simply see what they’ve been up to by looking at their social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.). This will show the company that you’re genuinely interested in their work. Brittany Berger suggests looking at:


1. Any recent news press release about the company
2. A piece of news that is relevant to their industry
3. A response to a blog post written by their people


Use this content to connect your qualities to their's and explain why/how it motivated you to apply for their job!


3. Thank them.


This one is pretty self-explanatory. Thank them for taking the time to read your email!


To find out what all of this might look like tied together, we highly recommend that you check out Sidekick's awesome email template. 


How long should you wait before sending a follow up email?


This is a tough question to answer because it all depends on the company and the position they’re looking to hire for. If you’re responding to a job post in March that won’t be filled until the summer, chances are, the process will be a little slower. However, that’s not always the case. Some companies like to have things finalized months in advance. As a general rule, wait at least a week or two to inquire.


Well that pretty much does it! I leave you with two last awesome resources that will undoubtedly change your life forever: HubSpot's "Ultimate Guide On How To Write a Follow Up Email." It's a comprehensive tool that really dives into sales techniques and provides templates for how to follow up after an interview! And how to Bounce Back From Job Rejection, it's unpleasant but it can still be a learning experience!


Anymore questions? Feel free to reach out to us at


Make sure to check out our post about a webinar that can teach you how to write the best job application of your life!


Thanks for reading and best of luck!


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