Careers

This is how long you should wait to follow up after applying for a job

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Job hunting can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Checking on the status of a job application can both ease your anxiety and set you apart from the competition.

But how long should you wait after submitting your application before following up?

Staffing firm Accountemps surveyed more than 300 human resource managers and found that 36 percent say the best time for applicants to follow up is one to two weeks after submitting their resume. Twenty-nine percent said in less than one week, 25 percent said in two to three weeks, and 10 percent said in three weeks or more.

But while hiring mangers may have their own take on the best time to follow up, all 300 agreed that doing so is an essential part of the process.

"I think you have to find the fine line between appearing too eager and not interested enough," Accountemps district president Bill Driscoll tells CNBC Make It. "With all the applications that hiring managers might get, you certainly want to get your name in there and try to get it at the top of the pile."

While Driscoll says a follow-up email can help your chances of being called in for an interview, he does warn candidates against following up too soon. Checking in just a few days after submitting your resume can send the impression that you're pushy and not "respectful of a hiring manager's schedule, as they need time to sort through applications."

If your first follow-up email doesn't get a response from HR, Driscoll advises job seekers to check in one more time before moving on to another position.

"If you followed up by email and you don't hear back, I think it is OK to follow up one more time — but that should be the max," he says. "It can be one more chance to show that you're very interested."

The subject line of your email can also have an impact on whether or not it gets opened, according to Danny Rubin, email expert and author of "Wait, How Do I Write This Email?."

"Drop names/locations and make the connection right away," he tells CNBC Make It.

If you're applying to a position that was recommended to you by a friend or a colleague, be sure to include their name along with the position you're applying to in the subject line. Rubin suggests using a short and to-the-point format, like: "Co-worker of Shirley Applegate, interested in sales position."

If the job you're applying to was not recommended by a mutual contact, simply use the the subject line to clearly state the position you're interested in. It will help the hiring manager better identify the purpose of your email and up your chances of getting a response.

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