Waiting for an update can be challenging, especially if it’s for a job application. Many job applicants are eagerly waiting for that good news from recruiters.
However, not a lot of them know how to ask for updates.
According to experts, here are the best ways to ask a recruiter for an update:
HR Manager, Local Furniture Outlet
Email is one of the most effective mediums for applicants to follow up or ask for updates regarding their interviews.
Use a strong and carefully crafted subject line
To get updates through email, your email subject line needs to be strong and easily catch the interviewer’s attention or whoever said they would be in touch with you.
Subject lines need to be carefully crafted because it determines if your mail will be opened or read. The ideal approach to writing a strong subject line for a follow-up email is by preparing a reply to the email thread used to schedule the interview.
For example, if the subject line for the interview is “Interview on Monday by 8:00 AM”, you can seek updates by replying to the email with the subject line “Re: Interview on Monday at 8:00 AM”.
By furthering a conversation through the existing email thread while using the previous subject line, the chances that your email will be opened and read are higher.
Using the previous subject line creates clarity on what the email is about. It also indicates you are not cold-emailing them.
In the case where there is no existing email to follow-up, you can use strong subject lines such as:
- Interview status follow-up
- Job interview follow-up
State the reasons why you’re doing a follow-up without any unnecessary information
It is essential to keep the body of your follow-up letter concise to increase the chances that the contents will be read. Most HR managers generally prefer when emails are short and straight to the point.
This ensures that they don’t waste precious time giving you a reply. State the reasons why you are directly doing a follow-up without adding unnecessary information.
To write the body:
- Greet the recipient by their first name and emphasize your reasons for following up the interview to establish the status.
- Be direct when giving details of the interview process. This may include the position you interviewed for and the date.
- Don’t forget to establish your interest in the position while directly asking for an update.
It is very important to maintain a positive tone throughout your letter, regardless of how long you have waited for an update.
Thank the recipient and sign off with your first and last name. You can do a final review of the letter by correcting your spelling and grammar mistakes before finally sending it.
Headhunter | Career Coach | Founder, DG Recruit
Explain to the hiring manager that you’re currently entertaining multiple opportunities
As a headhunter, I coach candidates on smoothly managing the follow-up process with hiring managers and their HR/talent acquisition/internal recruitment teams by communicating clearly throughout the entire interview life cycle.
If you do it right, you will never burn any bridges and likely be able to organize each interview process cleverly to increase the desirability for your profile and candidacy.
Furthermore, you may even increase your market value and the number of offers received!
Top candidates call the shots in the interview process, especially in today’s job-abundant, candidate-scarce environment.
If you’re a top candidate, explain to the hiring manager and/or recruiter that you’re currently entertaining multiple opportunities and need to manage the time and your headspace appropriately to respect all the employers/companies you’re considering.
This achieves two things:
- It makes you sound really desirable.
- Set the stage for both a bidding war and buying you time to do all the interviews you need to come closer to a decision.
Of course, this advice is dependent on what you do and how niche/important/scarce your market/role is, which arguably most markets today are severely candidate-short, so you should be able to benefit from this phenomenon.
Candidates who work in niche fields are usually afforded quite a bit of power during the interview process since clients are desperate to hire.
An example of how to reach recruiters for updates can follow this structure:
Hi (First name),
- Set the stage
- State the intention of the reach out
- Status update
- What do you want or need to know/do?
- Conclude with Call-to-Action (CTA)
- Nicety, your name
This is what it looks like:
I hope you’re having a great Monday. I am eager to hear back on my candidacy for the X position at (your company).
I am currently being pushed to continue interviewing with three other companies this week.
However, my top choice is (your company), so I’d really like an update and/or make myself available as soon as possible to make time to speak with your team further and progress within the interview process.
I am very excited about your next-gen SaaS tool that I think can really change the landscape for healthcare, so it would be great to understand where I stand with my candidacy at (your company).
Can you please let me know when my work is for a good time for us to speak and catch up on the next steps?
I really appreciate it. Thank you so much,
A note like this is short, sweet, and is asking for a response with a bit of a time-limitation that will compel the employer to take action and get back to you.
Keep in mind, in most career fields now, especially high-candidate-need roles. There is a significant shift of power to the candidate.
Fearlessly state your intention, transparently lay out your cards, timing, and financial needs, and do it diplomatically to respect everyone during the process.
Chairman and CEO, The Energists
Send a follow-up email within 24 hours of your interview
An email is better than a call because it provides your reply contact information in the message, and the recruiter can read it at their leisure.
While this isn’t asking for an update, I mention it as a first step because it establishes a pattern of continued interest and communication that can be helpful later.
In this initial email, you can also ask for a rough timeline of how long you should expect it to take to hear back, so you have a better idea of when they feel it’s appropriate for you to reach out for an update.
Reach out with a second email if you still haven’t heard back by their stated time
If you didn’t follow up right away (or didn’t get a definite answer on the timeline), it’s appropriate to send this email at least a week after your interview and no more than two weeks after.
Express your continued interest and include basic information like your name, when you interviewed, and the position(s) you were applying for—recruiters interact with many candidates so that this information will be helpful for them.
In the email, ask about your next steps and inquire for an update—this expresses confidence in your prospects and a proactive attitude toward the process, both of which will be taken as positive traits.
What not to do when following up with a recruiter:
- Don’t be aggressive, demanding, or rude. Most times, the recruiter is not intentionally blowing you off or ignoring you.
Either they don’t have information about the position yet, or, in the worst case, they forgot to reach out to you. The message should have the tone of a gentle nudge because you’re excited about the job prospect.
- Don’t email them more often than once per week. Communicating too frequently comes across as either needy or desperate, and both can turn the recruiter off and hurt your chances of getting the job.
The hiring process can move frustratingly slowly, and repeatedly contacting them won’t make it move any faster.
HR Business Partner, Spacelift
Stay confident and be patient
Job hunting is already stressful, but waiting for a callback or a follow-up makes it insufferable. It is crucial to stay confident and be patient, as recruiters have their plates full, and the last thing they want is to receive calls after calls about your interview.
If an appropriate amount of time has passed and you haven’t heard anything from the recruiter yet, especially if the deadline for a follow-up has not been set, it wouldn’t hurt to show a bit of initiative and send them an email.
Related: How to Follow up with a Recruiter
It’s better to reply to the ongoing thread with the recruiter as it increases the chance of being opened quickly.
Be polite and considerate of their time
You should keep in mind, such as being extra polite and considerate of their time. If your email reads as nagging, chances are the recruiter won’t be impressed with such straightforwardness.
Start the email with their full name, explain the purpose of the email, and ensure that you’re specific about the job you’re inquiring about.
You may state your credentials once again to remind them about your credibility and interest in the company, finish it off by being super polite, and thank them for their time.
It should look something like this:
I hope you’re doing well.
I’m writing to follow up on the status update regarding the (job title) position I interviewed for on (date).
The role seems like an excellent fit for me based on my background, and I’m excited to hear about the next steps. I’d appreciate any update on this matter.
Thanks in advance for your time.
Head of People, PhotoAiD
Use a concise and clear subject line that immediately catches their attention
You’re waiting anxiously for a reply from the recruiters, but they just won’t show a sign of life. You start to get a little nervous and want to follow up with them. That’s normal.
The first thing you should make sure to have down is a concise subject line that immediately jumps to their attention and makes the reason for your contact clear.
Perhaps the simplest method is to compose a new email using “Re:[previous interview subject line]” as the subject line. Say the recruiter contacted you with the subject line “Interview Invitation Monday noon” you can use the subject line “Re: Interview Invitation Monday noon.”
This makes the reason for your contact clear in the recruiter’s mind.
Follow-up with a short and polite email
All you have left to do is write a polite email that is straight to the point. In short, you just need to greet the recruiter, thank them for their time and interview, explain that you’re following up on it, reiterate your interest and excitement for this position, and ask whether there is any news or next steps about it.
This is pretty much it. You just need to add a goodbye note and sign off.
An example would go like this:
“Hello [Name of Recruiter],
I hope you’re doing well.
I wanted to thank you once more for your time and our last interview meeting on [date]. I really enjoyed talking to you. I’m writing regarding the interview and recruitment process for the [position name] opening.
I’m still very interested and excited about this position and the chance to work for your organization. Could you tell me about any updates or next steps regarding this process?
Thank you very much once more.
Happy [day of the week],
Vice President, Sprout PH
After you apply for the position and you haven’t heard anything, here’s how to follow up in case you haven’t received any updates:
Get their contact details
Make sure that you have the contact information, whether a recruiter, someone in HR, or the hiring manager. Make sure you know the job title and the date you applied.
Here is the example:
“Hi (HR/Recruiter name),
I hope you are doing well! I applied for the (position) on (date) posted on your Facebook page.
I haven’t received any updates since, so I’m following up to see if there have been any updates on the role and make sure that you received my application and resume.
I’m very interested in this position and believe that my experience and skills would be an excellent match for this (position).
I have attached my resume and cover letter for your convenience.
I look forward to hearing from you soon and thank you for your consideration.”
“Hey (Hr/recruiter name),
Hope is all well. It’s been some time since our last interview, so I just wanted to follow up here and see if you had any updates.
I think my skills and experience in (old company) would be an excellent opportunity for this (insert role) position. Looking forward to hearing from you.”
Do not send multiple follow up email
HR and recruiters are bombarded with emails and resumes daily, so just let them know that you are interested. If you haven’t heard from them after 3-5 days of submitting your applications, contact does a follow-up.
Founder & Executive Director, Professionals In Transition®
A short e-mail or phone call is appropriate
Asking for an update from a Recruiter has to be done with sensitivity and grace. They are swamped, and you don’t want to be a pest.
Here are the things to consider:
- Recruiters work for the company, not for you.
- The hiring process often twists and turns, slowing the process down, things that you can’t control. Don’t get impatient.
- When you get in touch, be brief and to the point. A short e-mail or phone call is appropriate.
Thank you for allowing me to interview for the (Name of Position) with (Name of Company). I wanted to take the opportunity to check in and see how things are going.
The (Name of Position) is very exciting. Is there anything else you need from me?
Thanks again. You will hear from me shortly.
By ending with this sentence (Thanks again. You will hear from me shortly), you inform the Recruiter that you will be following through with a phone call. If you encounter their Administration Assistant when you call, you can say: “He/She is expecting my call.”
- Work through the Recruiter. Don’t bypass them by calling the company directly. Follow protocol and let the Recruiter do their job.
- I always recommend to folks that if you had a great Recruiter Driven job opportunity, don’t stop. Instead, go out and find another three opportunities.
That way, if the position does not work out, you already have three other opportunities “in the works.”
Ahren A. Tiller, Esq.
Founder and Supervising Attorney, Bankruptcy Law Center
Avoid generic follow-up emails
It should be something personalized and tailored. The key here is focusing on key topics that came up during the interview. If you haven’t addressed some key points, it’s the perfect opportunity to let the interviewer know your stand.
You need to understand that spotting generic follow-up emails isn’t new to the hiring managers. Therefore you should spend a lot of effort crafting your letter, and it must be tailored accordingly.
You need to offer something of value to the recruiter
Don’t focus on reiterating the same things you’ve mentioned during the interview. You need to offer something of value to the recruiter, like mentioning an organization you support that their company supports.
You can also share articles that they might like or be interested in. And at all costs, don’t ask anything in return. With it, you’re ensuring that you’re positioning yourself on top of their mind.
Don’t send an email or call the recruiter several times
Recruiters always expect to be bombarded with many applicants asking for an update, may it be through email or phone after an interview. But it doesn’t mean it’s okay to send an email or call them several times.
You need to follow rules of thumb not to hurt your chances of getting hired. And reaching out too often is not one of those as it will only annoy the hiring manager.
A follow-up should be sent according to what the interviewer has set. If you’re instructed to wait after a week, sending a follow-up in a day or two would not be wise.
Human Resources and Marketing Manager, Speaking Nerd
Be professional and don’t make a bad impression
Asking a recruiter for an update can help you express that you are genuinely interested in the job and increase your likelihood of getting hired.
Additionally, it can also bring calm to your restless mind that constantly wonders whether you’ll get hired or not.
But when asking for an update from a recruiter, it is imperative to be formal, impressive, and professional so as not to make a bad impression and reduce your chances of succeeding.
Prefer to follow up emails over follow up calls
Email is the best platform for professional interactions. So, it is better to prefer follow-up emails over follow-up calls.
Using the email platform will give an impression of your professional acumen. Additionally, you should also ensure that you are to the point in your email and ask for updates without being too demanding.
The example illustrated below will help you understand the right way to write follow-up emails.
Don’t appear desperate
There is a difference between being curious and being desperate. You should focus on exhibiting your curiosity to know the results but refrain from appearing desperate.
Recruiters often consider desperate candidates impatient, which is a trait that they don’t like much. So, you should try to be balanced in your email and not exhibit desperation.
Don’t mention missed deadlines
It is best not to mention missed deadlines in the follow-up email. If your potential recruiter could not update you within the stipulated time, the chances are that he might be occupied with other things.
Under such circumstances, you mentioning the missed deadlines may be taken on the wrong note. So, you try to ask without saying the missed deadlines.
Sample email asking about updates:
“Dear Ruby (Hiring Manager’s name),
I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to check in and ask about the status of the job role I applied for. I was interviewed for (let’s say software engineer) on (mention date and time). I’m interested and looking forward to hearing from you soon.”
This is how you can ask about the updates clearly, concisely, and promisingly.
Architectural Draftsman, AC Design Solutions
There are several explanations for why a recruiter may not have contacted you. They could be waiting for a response from the employer, working out the terms of your offer, or simply having a particularly hectic week.
Whatever the reason, if they indicated they’d contact you by a specific date and that date has gone, it’s acceptable to contact them and inquire about the job status.
It’s alright to follow up if they didn’t set you a deadline; however, we recommend waiting a week or two before doing so. Here’s how to do it with poise and confidence.
Make it clear that you’re interested, but don’t be pushy
Maintain a light and welcoming tone while concentrating on the following stages. You must approach the recruiter with excitement rather than desperation.
The most important piece of advice is to avoid calling. Recruiters are frequently overworked, and they don’t appreciate calls that aren’t scheduled.
Furthermore, sending an email makes it easier for them to follow up when they have time. Do you want to make a lasting impression? Mention a particular part of the interview. This will help refresh the recruiter’s memory and boost the chances of a response.
This is how your email should look:
I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far! I just wanted to send you a quick email to say how much I liked seeing everyone at [business] last week, particularly how much I enjoyed discussing [X project] with you.
I’m very interested in the position and believe it will be a good fit. Is there any new information about the job?
Mention any changes related to your application
Have you recently received an award for a class project or received word that you’ll be graduating summa cum laude?
Congratulations! That’s fantastic news, and it’s something you should include in your follow-up email.
When you contact the recruiter to let them know you’d like to revise your application, make sure to note this. It’s a great way to start an email, and it might help you land the job.
Christopher Liew, CFA
Creator, Wealth Awesome
Don’t make phone calls to the employer too frequently
As much as possible, don’t annoy the recruiter by making phone calls frequently to follow up on your application respectively. You have to understand that the hiring process for a particular position can consequently take as much as 36 days.
Aside from that, a hiring officer manages applications for different positions simultaneously, which makes the entire hiring process quite lengthy.
Send one e-mail weekly
You can send a follow-up e-mail once a week respectively. This will allow you to develop a good relationship with the company. However, you need to remind yourself that you don’t need to sell yourself again in the e-mail consequently.
Don’t sound too desperate to get the job instantly. Instead, you can ask relevant questions about the duties and responsibilities you need to fulfill with the role you want with the company.
You can also ask questions about the employee training and development programs that might exist in the company.
Don’t blame the hiring officer for making you wait for the status of your application
It’s pretty unprofessional to accuse the hiring officer of being incompetent because they make you wait considerably for your application status.
Doing so will make you sound desperate and impatient consequently. This will make the hiring officer believe that you have a negative personality, making you become disqualified from the position.
Instead, you have to thank the hiring officer for the job opportunity and affirm your interest in continuing your application with the company, even if you have to wait patiently for the results.
Hiring Manager | Founder, Fluent in Finance
The average process to interview candidates takes about 2 to 3 weeks, so you should reach out by week three if you do not hear back. There can often be delays in the interview process due to a temporary hiring freeze or hiring managers out of the office.
Reach out and keep it business casual
The best way is to reach out and keep it business casual. You want to thank the interviewers for their time and mention that you wanted to follow up with the timeframe of the interview process due to your interest in the position.
This showcases that you are thankful for their time and interested in the position.
“Greetings! Once again, I want to thank you for taking the time to interview me.
I am very interested in this position and wanted to follow up on the next steps in this interview process and perhaps when a decision may be made. Thank you for your time!”
Hiring Executive | CEO, BestNeighborhood
Show your continued interest
As long as you do it right, there’s no harm in following up with a recruiter for an update on your application’s status.
Ideally, you want to show them that your interest in the position hasn’t waned over time and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.
Your enthusiasm is a good signal for recruiters, as it shows them that you’re willing to challenge yourself and learn.
Here is a sample follow-up mail:
“Dear [Hiring manager’s name],
I hope all is well. I have written this email to check in and see if there’s an update on the status for the [job title] position I interviewed for on [date of interview].
I’m still very interested in this role and look forward to hearing back from you.
Founder & CEO, Select Software Reviews
Be on the point and relevant
As a business owner trying to recruit candidates, it can sometimes come in the way of day-to-day operations.
During these times, I have received some messages from prospective candidates that I felt were relevant and to the point.
Here they are:
“Hey Phil, I hope you are well. I enjoyed talking with you last week, especially about the Patriots. I would like to know when a decision will be made on my candidacy. Thanks and have a great day!”
“Hello Phil, I hope you’re well. I recently applied for an opening at SSR, and I felt that the application process was seamless. I was able to enter all my details and the short video easily.
I’d also like to know when I’ll hear back from you—looking forward to it. Thanks!”
“Hi Phil, I’m Lisa. I came across a really fantastic job opening at SSR. I felt that the job description was a perfect fit for who I am and what I want to do with my time.
Some of the questions were creative and brought the best out of me. I’m very much looking forward to hearing back from you. Have a wonderful week ahead!”
As time goes by, many people wonder if the recruiter has come up with any updates on them. They always seem to be in a frenzy and anxiety, waiting to hear from the recruiter after submitting their resumes online.
So as a new candidate that recently applied for a job, you want to ask the recruiter for an update. Or, as a candidate waiting to hear from them for a while now, you want to check in with the recruiter.
Here is how you ask the recruiter for an update:
Sample 1: If the recruiter has not responded to you yet
I know that you are probably extremely busy right now, with so many new candidates being submitted to you daily. I’m sure that you are pretty swamped too.
So I just wanted to follow up and see how things are coming along quickly. I’m just curious if there have been any developments in my situation or if you have had a chance to review my resume.
Thank you in advance for your time, and have a good day!”
This is an example of the first scenario, where the recruiter has not responded to you yet.
As this candidate was waiting for a response from the recruiter, they decided to send another email and ask for an update.
Sample 2: Sending another email to ask for an update
I hope you are doing well. I know you are probably very busy reviewing resumes and connecting with candidates so they can move forward from the hiring process.
Did you have a chance to look over my resume? I would love to know your thoughts and opinions and your feedback if you did.
If you haven’t, I would like to know if there is any way I can make my resume stand out in a good way and look for any updates you have on my situation.
Thank you very much; I appreciate it.”
VP of Marketing, Level
Send quick links to new work
To make yourself stand out in a recruiter follow-up email, you can send links to any work you’ve completed since submitting your application.
That might make you stand out from the crowd because it’s something the recruiter can view quickly to get a sense of who you are and what you do.
Also, it gives them the opportunity to quickly share that with the hiring manager so that they can get feedback if needed. You’re simply giving them a quick way to discover more about you and what makes you shine as a candidate.
Here’s a sample email:
“Hi [recruiter or hiring manager’s name],
I’m checking in about an application for [insert the role title] that I sent on [date you sent the application]. I’d love to know how the process is coming along and see if I can provide more info.
Here’s [explain what the sample is] that I completed [when] as another work sample. (Include one detail or anecdote about the sample: why you did it or what the results were).
It would be an honor to bring my talents to the team! Please let me know any questions.
Thanks so much,
Marketing and Communications Manager, ProxyRack
Follow up again after the initial follow-up
Don’t quiet up if you don’t hear back from the interviewer after the initial follow-up within two weeks (unless it was mentioned that this would be the case).
At this time, I strongly advise you to contact the company. And if you can’t reach the proper person, ask everyone you do reach if the position has been filled (they’ll most likely know).
Send a last, courteous email if you don’t feel comfortable phoning.
Here’s an illustration:
I interviewed with you for the Marketing Executive position a few weeks ago, and I’m just checking in to see if a decision has been made.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do or send to help move things along. I eagerly await your response.
Maintain your composure whether you receive good or bad news
Maintain your composure once more! You don’t want to destroy any bridges, and there could be a variety of perfectly reasonable reasons why they haven’t responded.
Regrettably, not all recruiters will respond to job applicants. It isn’t right, yet it happens. If this is the case, go on, pick yourself up, and consider whether you would want to work for a company like that in the first place.
If they contact you, it is critical that you respond (whether good or bad news).
Managing Director, Paul Card Recruitment
Either email or phone call to contact your consultant
How to ask a recruiter for an update as a candidate depends on its reason. If you are looking for an update on a vacancy you have been put forward for, you can expect to be in contact on a weekly basis, and picking up the phone is the best way to contact your consultant.
If you are looking for an update on the state of the current market and which job vacancies may be suitable for you, this would most likely be a monthly update, and either email or phone call would be best.
The most important thing to remember when receiving updates from your consultant is setting levels of expectation.
At the end of each call, don’t be afraid to ask when to expect your next update or even when would be best for you to make the call. It is essential to agree on the next step at a time that is feasible by both parties.
Leaving this step out could mean that your schedules are filled throughout the week. Your free time may not align, leading to back and forth missed calls and emails.
Drawing out the application process much longer than needed and potentially costing you an interview.
Marketing Director, Yorkshire Fabric Shop
Send a professional email
It’s okay to send a professional email inquiring on the status of your application if you’ve applied for a job and haven’t heard back after two weeks. Make your own follow-up message using this sample email message as a template.
Following up on a job application email sample:
Subject: Marketing Coordinator Application Follow-up
“Hello/Dear/Good Morning/Afternoon Ms. XYZ,
I’m writing to follow up on my application for the Marketing Coordinator position with Your Company, which I submitted on May 7th, and express my want to speak with the hiring team about this position.
As stated in the job description, you’re looking for a proactive self-starter with excellent communication skills, and I hope this follow-up demonstrates both.
I also have three years of marketing experience and am enthusiastic about the job being done at Your Company. It would be a joy for me to give a hand to the marketing team.
Thank you for taking the time to look over my resume. I understand how much time and effort it takes. I eagerly await your response!
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