Write a Follow-Up Job Search Email

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Throughout your job search, there will be many times when you'll need to send a follow-up response. For example, when:

  • You receive an email from a recruiter or hiring manager who wants to speak with you on the phone.
  • The hiring manager sends you an email request for an in-person job interview.
  • A recruiter who has your resume wants more information, such as a list of references, your portfolio, or an answer to a particular job-related question.
  • The hiring manager invites you back for a second interview.
  • A networking contact wants your resume so he or she can pass it along to another professional networking contact.

When writing your follow-up email, keep the Four Rules of the Road for Job Search Letters in mind as you follow these steps.

How to Write a Follow-Up Email for Your Job Search

  1. With the sender's email open, click Reply so that a copy of his email to you appears in the body of your email.
  2. Revise the subject line to include your name. For example, if the recruiter's subject line was "Your resume on XYZ site," adjust the subject line on your reply to say "Re: Phil Miller's resume on XYZ site" or "From Phil Miller re: Your resume on XYZ site."
  3. Type your response above—not below—the recruiter's message to you.
  4. Follow the recruiter's lead as to how you should address him. For instance, if he signed his email "John," it's okay to type "Dear John" in your response. If he signed his email "John Anderson," you should type "Dear Mr. Anderson."
  5. In the opening paragraph, thank the recruiter for his email. Then respond to the request he made in his email (for example, he may have asked for more information, your resume, or a time to interview you by phone).
  6. The next paragraph is your final paragraph in the email. It should start on a new line with a space after the previous paragraph. Show interest in the next step in the hiring process without being pushy. Also, provide a phone number where you can be contacted.
  7. On the next line, close your email with a sign-off such as "Regards," "Sincerely," or "Again, thank you!" On the following line, type your full name, email address, and phone number. If you have an auto signature, be sure it's appropriate for your job search. If in doubt, turn your auto signature off and type your name and contact info manually.
  8. Proofread and send your follow-up email to a friend to read before you send it to the recruiter. Once you get the green light that your response is appropriately friendly, concise, and grammatically correct, send your email to the recruiter.

Sample follow-up emails and hardcopy letters to recruiters and hiring managers

« Back to: Write a Cover Letter, Follow-Up Email, or Thank You Note