How to write a “thank you for applying” email

Searching for a job can be an arduous and time-consuming process. According to the career site Zippia, job seekers have to submit an average of 21 to 80 applications to get one job offer. The application process alone can be daunting for each applicant, and that doesn’t even take the interviews into account — or the stress that goes into preparing for them.

Organizations searching for the right candidate face similar challenges. The same study by Zippia found that each open job attracts about 250 applicants. That’s a lot of résumés to screen and review, and the number is even higher for sought-after positions at desirable companies. It’s no wonder HR professionals invest so much in applicant tracking systems.

While there’s a lot of work to be done on the employer’s end throughout the screening and hiring processes, it’s important for HR departments to validate the work that potential hires put into their applications by sending a “thank you for applying” email to every applicant. Here are the elements of writing an effective one.

Why it’s important to send a “thank you for applying” email

Given the number of jobs each applicant typically applies for, a confirmation email may not give them much comfort — or they may not even notice it. Regardless, HR departments that take the time to send these emails achieve a number of objectives, including the following.

Confirm receipt

First and foremost, the email confirms for the candidate that they successfully submitted their application. After all, submission portals can sometimes malfunction, and emails can get stuck in outboxes. The “thank you for applying” email removes doubt and lets them know you received their application.

Streamline communication

A well-written confirmation email will detail next steps as well as the timeframe for an application review. This can encourage applicants to wait patiently for updates rather than inundate your HR team’s inbox before someone has a chance to review the résumé.

Establish a relationship

The majority of applicants may not be right for a job they applied for — but they could be a fit for another position in the future. The confirmation email is a great way to start a relationship between candidates and recruiters.

Maintain company reputation

A company’s reputation relies in large part on the way it treats its employees. Sending an application reply email is a great way to communicate the care and attention your organization pays to all team members, including prospective ones.

How to write a “thank you for applying” email

Writing a “thank you for applying” email is a lot like writing a standard “thank you” letter, but there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Have a clear subject line

If you don’t fully and quickly communicate what your email is about, it can easily get lost in the shuffle of your applicants’ inboxes (especially if they’re applying for multiple positions). At the very least, include a generic (but clear) subject line like, “Thank you for applying” or “We have received your application.” Consider being more specific and including the title of the position they applied for and your company name in the subject line, such as, “Jotform has received your Project Manager application.”

Be concise

Keep your email short and to the point. Format it so that it’s easy to scan too. Try to limit paragraphs to three sentences or less and bold keywords such as job titles or important dates (like the application review timeline).

Include important information

If possible, include the name and title of the HR professional who will be reviewing the application. Even when you’re sending an automated email, this detail helps personalize communications and can start fruitful conversations. Here are some other key elements to include:

  • A greeting and the applicant’s name
  • Acknowledgement of receipt
  • Appreciation for applying
  • Timeline of the hiring process, such as when you want to have the position filled, and when you expect to review this particular application
  • A closing statement, often wishing the applicant luck on their job search

Use brand-appropriate voice, tone, and content

Sending a “thank you for applying” email doesn’t just bolster your organization’s reputation — it can also further communicate your brand. Though the email’s tone should be professional, companies known for having a creative culture can use more lively language or aesthetics in the email. The message is an opportunity to provide insight into company culture as well as other job openings that might be a good fit for the applicant based on the position they applied for.

How to automate a “thank you for applying” email with Jotform

Given the high volume of candidates who will likely apply to each job opening, it’s important for HR departments to automate the reply email process to ensure they go out promptly, without hampering productivity.

Services like robust online form builder Jotform can help with automation. Jotform offers more than 10,000 customizable templates, including job application forms that are easy to incorporate into automated approval workflows.

Jotform’s platform makes it easy to draft effective “thank you for applying” emails with customizable fields (like recipient names and job positions) that can automatically populate with the applicant’s specific information. You can set up each email to automatically send upon receipt of an application, so HR teams will never have to manually write and send the message. This also guarantees applicants will receive confirmation in a timely manner.

The job search is as hard for candidates as it is for the recruiters who hire them. Taking the time to craft a thoughtful email thanking each applicant for their submission is a kind and professional way to acknowledge receipt and build the foundation for a good relationship with the candidate who eventually gets the job.

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