Follow-up Application Letters

  | James Innes

Many people will diligently prepare an application for a job, submit their CV and cover letter, and sit back, waiting for a response. However, following-up on an application can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview and, ultimately, a job.

Putting together a compelling job application takes time, effort and hard work. So having put so much energy into making an application, what’s a bit more work in following-up with the recruiter. The worse than can happen – you find out your application has been unsuccessful. On the other hand, an employer may well be impressed by your enthusiasm, and want to meet you in person.

Writing a follow-up letter is quick and easy, and can help you underline your interest in working for that employer.

Follow-up letters are, of course, more suited to advert responses than speculative approaches. A speculative application is, by its very nature, a hit and miss affair. There is no evidence that a company has a specific vacancy to fill. Most respondents won’t bother responding to a speculative letter, and you shouldn’t waste time and effort chasing them up. It was a long shot and it didn’t work out.

However, advert-response letters are different, and you should follow-up on each and every one of them – although do leave a couple of weeks from when you sent the original letter, or a week from the closing date quoted in the advert (if one is given).

The letter should be short, professional and polite, reminding them of your application, with a few key sales points copied from your original cover letter. Make sure you conclude your letter with a simple call to action, such as “I would be more than happy to resubmit my application if necessary. Please do not hesitate to contact me on 07700 900 159 so as to arrange this”.

An alternative approach to sending a follow-up letter is to call the recruiter directly. However, this could be a double-edged sword.  While some recruiters would regard this approach as proactive, it is equally likely to be regarded by others as aggressive. The reason they have not responded to your application yet might be that they are simply too busy or are still working through the process. By hassling them directly, you run the risk of annoying them, prompting them to move your $ {cv} to the “reject pile” – the very opposite of what you want.

Instead better to send a quick follow-up letter to your initial job application, with a few key messages and an appropriate call to action. That way you show interest and intent, without raising hackles.

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