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Last updated on 2/17/23

Optimize Your Application

You have prepared everything with the greatest of care. There are a few details left to add – but by no means the least important!

How are you going to conclude your cover letter, meticulously check your whole application to make the best impression and prepare to send it off?

Invest Time in the End of Your Cover Letter

Finish your letter correctly to ensure it lives up to all the work you’ve put in up until now!

To Conclude, Let’s Meet

Be engaging and proactive, but respectful. Also, don’t be too direct, as the recruiter must not think you’re making the decision for them. One simple, effective sentence will be enough to demonstrate your motivation and hopefully, get an interview.

For example:

“I think my skills and experience are an excellent match with what you are seeking, and I am eager to discuss how I could help Company Name achieve its goals.”

Choose Your Letter Closing

You’ll show the recruiter that you understand your field’s professional norms, have good interpersonal skills and an ability to adapt to any work environment. Find appropriate wording to position yourself as a professional in front of another professional whose responsibilities and position you respect.

Ask yourself about the person you’re addressing and the company’s culture.

  • What is their position?

  • Are you writing to an HR director or a trainee? If you’re unsure, enter their name into Google or LinkedIn.

  • What business sector is the company in? The closing may be different depending on whether you’re applying to:

    • the HR director of a major bank

    • the CEO of a digital start-up

    • the communications manager for a trendy website

    • the recruitment manager of a supermarket chain

Avoid completely outdated closing statements. To play it safe, be formal, even if the recruiter is the same age or would hold a similar or lower level of authority than you within the company. A quickly forwarded email may appear too familiar to the recipient.

For example:

Common formal closings include “Sincerely,” and “Yours respectfully,”.

Prepare Your Email

Help the recruiter with their job and be their ally. They just want to find the best applicant(s) as quickly and efficiently as possible!

It's time to sharpen your attention to detail. It's all too easy to make a poor impression or for your email to get lost and end up not being read.

Your Email Address

Use an address with a professional format (e.g., firstname.lastname@gmail.com). Reading your email address, the recruiter knows who you are, since your first and last names appear in a readable way.

You don't want to distract recruiters or give them an overly casual impression by using an email address that has unprofessional references to your personal life or nicknames, such as "corgi4ever" or "mimi80."

Think of the image you want to give the recruiter.

Recipient’s Email Address

Copy the addresses given by your contact or the one included in the job posting. Making sure you have the correct addresses helps you avoid receiving a return to sender and having to start over. The recruiter may notice this and you could come across as a bit careless.

Be Specific in the Subject Line

The recruiter’s job will be a lot easier if you include useful information in the subject box. Given the numerous e-mails received every day, you must provide the key information so that your e-mail is routed correctly, catches their attention, and gets acted on in a timely manner. Using an informative subject line proves that you are an organized person who thinks about others.

Depending on the type of application you send, provide the following information:

  • The job posting reference: if you’re replying to a job posting directly on a job board, via LinkedIn or on the company’s “Jobs” page, use the “codename” of the job posting when applying (often made up of figures and letters). This will ensure that the recruiter can swiftly identify the position you’re applying for. 

  • The job title: copy the exact title used in the job posting. 

  • Your first and last names (especially if your email address doesn’t include your full name)

  • The name of the job event and the date you met (hence the importance of taking notes)

  • The name of the person who put you in touch (sometimes you can put them in copy too) 

Many professionals use automatic filters to route emails directly to particular folders (Customers, Applicants, Spam, etc.). It’s important to use the right keywords so that your email goes directly where “Applications” are meant to go.

To do this, use terms that make the sorting out process easier, such as:

  • Application

  • Applicant

  • Position

Recruiters may use these same keywords in order to filter through their emails and find your application again.

Other Details

  • "To the attention of": if the email address is generic (does not give the name of a person) or if you want to contact one person in particular, then you can specify to whom you are addressing this email by adding this line at the very beginning.

  • Choose an appropriate salutation: “Hello Name,” or “Dear Name,” will usually suffice.

  • Add an accompanying message: without repeating your cover letter, you can summarize why you are writing and what you are enclosing with the email. Be brief and precise. For example, if you are applying for a post as a developer in a small- to medium-size business:

Dear X,

I am sending you my application for the “X developer” position advertised on your “Openings” page. Please find my résumé along with a cover letter attached. 

Thank you for your time and attention.


  • State explicitly what you are enclosing with the email (e.g., your résumé, past achievements or a link to your ePortfolio or LinkedIn profile).

  • Convert each attachment into a PDF. This will make it easier to open and forward files with any type of tool, as the formatting will not change.

  • Pick a reasonable time to send your application. Sending it in the middle of the night risks disturbing the recruiter and may send out the wrong signal. Send it early or late in the day. The best times to read emails are when there are fewer phone calls and appointments!

Follow Up on Your Application

You’ve put a great deal of time and effort into applying. Now, you wait! Ideally, you’re hoping for an interview and a job, but if not, you’d like to get a timely response.

What Happens to Your Application?

If the company uses an ATS, you will often receive an automatic notification email confirming receipt of your application. A recruiter might also  personally contact you by email or phone within 24 to 48 hrs. This usually indicates one of the following:

  • The recruiter is short of candidates and is afraid of losing you.

  • Recruitment is already well underway and several candidates have been shortlisted. The quality of your résumé can’t be denied, and the recruiter wants to get you on board!

  • You have had an initial contact, you know each other or the person who is recommending you has been very effective!

You can usually expect your application to be processed within two weeks. After that, it’s almost certain that you were not selected for an interview. But all is not lost! The recruitment process – contacting the applicants and then meeting them – takes time, and it’s not uncommon for multiple rounds of selections to be held.

No Reply?

There may be multiple reasons your application hasn’t gotten a reply just yet:

  • The recruiter is running behind or has other more urgent tasks.

  • The company decided to broaden the scope of the posting if it has gotten too few applications.

  • Or the company decided to put recruitment on hold for organizational or budgetary reasons.

How to Follow Up on Your Application

1. After One Week

Follow it up with an informal email. Send your application again by using "Forward" and adding a short, polite message of 3-4 lines max. 😊

For example:

Dear X,

I sent you my application for the XXXXX position on (date). I am contacting you to see if you received it. I remain, of course, at your disposition for any further information and look forward to meeting you.

Thanks very much in advance.


(Your name)

(phone number))

2. After Two Seeks

It is generally acceptable to follow up by email one more time after two weeks have passed. If you do not receive a response after this, it’s safe to assume that you have been ghosted–an inconsiderate but unfortunately increasingly common occurrence in hiring.

Didn't Get an Interview?

If the person you’re speaking with tells you that your application has not been accepted, stay calm and positive! Ask one or two questions to find out why your application didn't go through. For example: "If possible, I’d like to know what wasn’t suitable so I can improve my future applications. What advice can you give me? Thank you very much for your time."

However, it is more likely that a recruiter or hiring manager will take the time to give you feedback once you’re further along in the interview process. At this early stage, normally if you are informed that you have not been selected at all, it will be via an automated message sent out by the ATS the company uses.

Out of 100 applications submitted, only around 20 or 30 generate phone interviews, and maybe 10 of them lead to interviews in person. This is going to depend on several factors, including:

  • the quality of your résumé and cover letter.

  • the type of job you’re looking for. Some are very sought-after, others less so.

  • the employment market in your area.

  • your own self-confidence. (Yes, this can make a difference!)

  • the number of applications you’ve submitted. The more visible you are in job boards, professional networks, etc., the more chance you have of getting noticed! 

It's important to keep your application tracking file up to date. That way, when a recruiter gets back to you, you’ll have all the information on hand – even a month after you sent in your application!

Let's Recap!

You’ve invested a great deal of time and energy into preparing your résumé and cover letter. Be equally vigilant right down to the last detail!

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