How to ask a recruiter for update (copy/paste template)

Updated on January 28, 2023
How to ask a recruiter for update

А job interview could be quite nerve-wracking. And this explains why so many applicants prefer waiting for the employer to reach back to them.

However, a well-written follow-up wouldn’t hurt your chances of getting a job. In fact, it might communicate to the recruiter that you are hungry for the role.

But how to ask a recruiter for an update in the most non-intrusive way?

The best way to ask a recruiter if you are still being considered for the job would be through email (unless you were given other specific instructions) because it is not intrusive and the hiring manager could read it at their own leisure.

As long as you contact them after the date they mentioned they’d be in touch with you, you can easily follow up with the recruiter.

In this article, we take a closer look at the topic and elaborate on the steps you can take when composing your follow-up email.

Is it OK to ask a recruiter for an update?

It is 100% fine to ask a recruiter for an update as long as you do it in a polite manner within an appropriate timeframe – not too early after the interview but not too late as well. This way you won't embarrass yourself in front of the hiring manager and alienate them.

Sometimes, things don't go according to plan, so the decision can get announced a little late. So don’t rush to ask if you got the job right after the interview.

There are good reasons for you to ask about your job application status.

Firstly, it can be reassuring to get an answer, even if you didn’t get the job.

You may feel more at ease when you receive a straightforward answer, especially after having been through several interviews in a short period. It will help you switch your focus to other opportunities out there.

Secondly, a follow-up note can help you stay in the mind of the recruiter, in case they have a new opening.

By following up with your recruiter, you show your appreciation for the time they spent interviewing you and leave a positive impression about yourself at the same time.

And finally, it can move things along and remind the employer about you. In case you get an offer from a different company, you can still express your interest in the company.

You can mention that this position was the first on your list of priorities, and you are willing to know their verdict before accepting another offer.

Also, you shouldn't be discouraged if the interviewer gets back to you and explains that you are no longer considered for the role. This could be frustrating and even hurtful but it is important for you to move forward without self-doubt. In the meantime, why don't you check our extensive guide on how to prepare for your next job interview and ace it?

How long should you wait to follow up with a recruiter?

How long should you wait to follow up with a recruiter
You should wait on your follow-up for at least 5 work days. However, after the interview, the recruiter might have mentioned an approximate time when they will update you on their decision. 

Recruitment is a complicated process and can easily take more time than expected.

It often happens that recruiters say that they will call you back but forget to do so, therefore don’t hesitate to reach out yourself after a reasonable time.

However, some employers may mention that only those who have been offered the position will be notified.

This can be explained by the workload the hiring staff experience. Especially if the recruiter has a big pool of candidates, they simply might not have enough time and resources to update every applicant. In this situation, a follow-up might be perceived as a nuisance.

How to ask a recruiter for an update after an interview

When sending a follow-up email to your recruiter, it’s important to follow business email etiquette.

Follow these steps to write a simple, yet professional email that will help you get an update after your interview.

1. Start with a clear subject line

The subject line is the first part of your email that the recruiters will notice. Think of a clear subject line, that will express your intentions and at the same time will remind the recruiter about you.

Keep it short and straightforward. You need to make sure that your email won’t get lost in the ocean of other work-related emails.

However, you can also respond to the last email you’ve received from your contact person. This will save you some time figuring out a catchy subject line and get your email opened quickly.

2. Show your gratitude for the recruiter’s time and effort

Start your email with the name of the person you are addressing. If you are on first-name terms, you can open up your email with their first name.

However, if you want to stick to a more professional approach, or you aren’t sure if it’s appropriate to use their first name, stick to the title and surname (Mr./Ms. Smith).

Then, follow it up with a line that expresses your gratitude for the time and effort the recruiter has invested in your interview.

It’s important to keep it short. After seeing the subject line, the recruiter most likely knows why you are writing them.

3. Remind them about your interest in the job and the company

Next, reinstate your interest in the position and express that you are looking forward to hearing about the status of your candidacy.

This way you won’t look like somebody who is desperate to get a job. They will know that you have a genuine interest in this particular company. Keep it brief and straight to the point.

4. Give more details about the interview you took

At this point, you can give some more details about the interview you are talking about.

Remember, human resource specialists can have several recruitment processes happening simultaneously. Therefore, you need to remind them about yourself.

State when exactly you were interviewed and for what position. You can add some small position-related details if needed.

5. Politely ask for an update or other details

Follow all of the above with a simple sentence saying that you would like to know the status of your application and whether you should contact them later.

Additionally, you can offer to send extra information, such as references from your previous jobs.

6. Close the email with your thanks and gratitude

Wrap up your follow-up email with a simple note of gratitude and don’t forget to add your name at the end.

Emails that end with a show of gratitude actually have a higher response rate.

7. Proofread your email

Before hitting that “send” button, read your email all over again. Pay attention to the tone it portrays, and make sure that your email doesn't have any typos or grammatical mistakes. Run it through spellcheck, if needed.

How to ask a recruiter for an update (sample email)

How to ask a recruiter for an update (sample email)

Following the structure above, here's a template that you can use as guidance when asking your recruiter for an update.

Hey [interviewer name],

Thank you for taking the time to meet and chat with me about the role. It was a pleasure meeting you and your team and learning more about the company’s [core values/innovative approach to doing business/helpful industry insights].

I’m very excited about the opportunity to join [company name]. With the details you’ve provided me about the job, I’m confident that I would enjoy it and that I could make a valuable contribution to the company with my skills and experience in [reference to the skill or qualification you possess and mentioned during the interview/in your CV].

I was also excited to learn that your company is planning to [something you discussed during the interview].

This made me think that in my last role as [current or last position] I had a chance to [an event that you think is related to the issue mentioned above], and I thought it might be helpful.

I’m thrilled to join such a team and please, let me know if there is anything else I can provide to help you make the hiring decision [if you received another job offer, follow up with more information].

Thank you and I am looking forward to hearing from you,

Best regards/All the best/Have a great week,

[Your full name]

How often should you ask a recruiter for an update?

Once you’ve contacted the recruiter after the date you’ve been told, wait for at least a week before sending another follow-up. Ideally, you should ask when it will be appropriate to contact them the next time. That way you demonstrate convenience and mindfulness of their work.

Sometimes, even after multiple follow-up attempts, job applicants can find themselves stuck in a situation where the recruiter keeps the response on hold.

“We will get back to you shortly” or “You can expect the update soon” are very standard phrases that can be used in this situation.

If this is your case, stick to that and look for other open positions in the meantime. You don’t want to lose out on other opportunities, especially if this position doesn’t work out.

How do you ask a recruiter for an update when you have another offer?

If you receive another offer, it’s appropriate to ask for an update from your recruiter. That way, you demonstrate your existing interest in the position.

Furthermore, it gives your employer one last chance to consider your application and offer you the position before you accept the other one.

To ask a recruiter for an update you need to politely inform them that you have been offered another opportunity, but you would like to hear their decision before accepting the offer.

If the company hasn’t followed up even after your notice, you might consider taking another offer. If you do so, make sure to update the recruiter once you’ve accepted the job.

My thoughts on asking a recruiter for an update after a job interview

The most important thing that you need to remember is to remain polite and respectful at all times.

In any case, asking for an update after a job interview is perfectly fine and you should definitely do it after a few work days or so unless you were given other instructions by the hiring manager.

The best that you could happen is you’d get a reply, the worst would be being ghosted by the recruiter.

In all cases, you will be able to move forward which is far better than ruminating about whether you got the job or not.

Written by:
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galin office topics square
co-founder / office worker
Galin has been an office worker for 8+ years. He has dealt will all kinds of situations at work, so he knows a thing or two about management, co-worker relationships, and productivity. Galin specializes in digital marketing and dabbles in web development.

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