If you’ve ever had to look for a job, odds are you would’ve sent application after application, hoping to hear from recruiters or hiring managers. “Good news, we would like to invite you for an interview!” or “Good news, you’ve been shortlisted!” are just the cherries on top of an application sundae, but no one ever talks about the other side of it.

That’s the cold shoulder. The zero calls, texts, or emails weeks after. These days, it’s called ‘ghosting’, where all forms of communication are cut off without any explanation. If you were to talk to a person in front of you and they didn’t respond, it would be like talking to a ghost, hence the term.

When applicants are ghosted or ignored without any reason or communication, it can make them feel like they’ve wasted their time applying for a role in your company. This causes a negative perception of your business, and you’ve just lost a potential customer or talent. 

While employers may have more important things to do than reply to applicants, acknowledging them will leave a good impression of your company. It paints a picture of a company that’s capable, positive, and establishes connections for the future.

What Is An Application Acknowledgement Email?

As the name implies, it’s a reply sent by hiring managers or recruiters to applicants acknowledging their job applications. Moreover, it serves as an update on a candidate’s application status, like whether or not they will be moving on to the next phase.

The reply can take on a formal and professional tone or a casual and friendly manner, but essentially, it’s the equivalent of “We’ve received your order!” on food delivery apps. Like how we converse with people in real life, your acknowledgement email should carry the same language.

Once a candidate has sent their application, the ideal timeframe to reply to them should be within 24-48 hours. Whether it’s an automated reply or personally written during your lunch break, it’s helpful for candidates to know that their application made it into your hands. Even if you can’t reply instantly, sending one within the week still means a lot.

3 Steps To Write An Application Acknowledgement Email (With Templates)

Once the applications trickle in, it’s time to write your thank you note! Get started writing your application acknowledgement email with these three quick pointers:

1) Address the email to the candidate

Reply to the same email address the application originated from. Use an informative subject line that summarises the contents of the email clearly to ensure they open it and don’t regard it as spam.

2) The status of their application

Is their application still being processed, approved, or rejected? Let them know, and don’t forget to thank them for applying. As an option, you can provide context about the position or application to add value to your words.

3) Closing the email

End your email with your contact information should the applicant have further questions. Lastly, thank them for their time, and close the email with a polite sign-off.

To help candidates feel valued and to add a touch of personalisation, include these details:

In the email, use a tone that best represents your company culture to help applicants feel welcomed. It can be formal, casual, relaxed, or even include meaningful quotes that tie back to the company’s culture.

Here are some letter of acknowledgement samples you can refer to to kick-start your streamlining!

Sample 1:

Subject line: We’ve received your application at {Company’s Name}!

Hi {Candidate’s Name},

Thank you for applying for the position of {Job Title} with us at {Company’s Name}!

We have received your {application/resume/portfolio}, and our hiring team are currently reviewing all applications within {mention timeframe}. If you are shortlisted as a candidate, you will receive a {call/email} from us on the next steps of the process.

Thank you for applying, and we wish you all the best!

Best regards,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

Sample 2

Subject line: Thank you for applying with {Company’s Name}

Dear {Candidate’s Name},

Thank you for taking the time to apply for the role of {Job Title}. We appreciate your interest in {Company’s Name}.

We are currently in the process of accepting applications for this position. We will begin taking interviews {mention timeframe}. If you are selected for an interview, our human resources department will be in contact with you by {estimated date}.

Thank you,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

Sample 3

Subject line: We’re reviewing your application!

Greetings, {Candidate’s Name}!

My name is {Recruiter’s Name} and on behalf of {Company’s Name}, we would like to thank you for applying with {Company’s Name} as a {Job Title}.

We have formally received your application and will review it in the next few days. If you are shortlisted as a candidate, we will reach out to you personally regarding the next steps of your exciting journey with us!

Once again, we thank you for applying and taking the time to apply for this position. We appreciate your interest in {Company’s Name} and wish you all the best in your application.

Sincerely,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

Sample 4

Subject line: Your application to {Company’s Name}

Hello {Candidate’s Name},

We have received your application for the position of {Job Title}. The recruitment process will take {timeframe} and we will notify you if you have been selected.

You can read more about us on our company’s career page, or follow us on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to get the latest updates.

If you have any questions, please contact me at {recruiter’s telephone number/email}.

Best Regards,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

3 Personalised And Creative Application Acknowledgement Emails

What makes your company unique? Is it the meeting rooms named after fruits? Star Wars quotes on the walls and a company-wide celebration on May the 4th? Don’t be afraid to show your company’s personality and character with creative acknowledgement emails too.

Sample 1

Subject line: Hooray, we received your application to {Company’s Name}!

Hi {Candidate’s Name}, we’re thrilled that you’d like to join us here at {Company’s Name!} We received your application for {Job Title} and rest assured, we’re processing all applications as quickly as our eyeballs can.

We will be in touch in {timeframe} if we would like to schedule an interview with you. Unfortunately, the days are short and applicants many, so we won’t be able to meet everyone. Nevertheless, you will still hear from us if you have been shortlisted or not.

All the best, and let’s keep in touch!

Sincerely,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

Sample 2

Subject line: Thank you for applying to {Company’s Name}

Dear {Candidate’s Name},

My name is {Recruiter’s Name} and on behalf of {Company’s Name}, I am writing this email to acknowledge that we have received your application for the position of {Job Title}.

Our company has been growing steadfastly since {year} and we hope you will be able to join our ranks soon. Aside from {company benefits}, we provide numerous opportunities for employees to grow their skills, knowledge, and personality.

We are currently processing applications and it may take some time to get back to you. Thus, we would appreciate your kind patience on this matter. We will contact you via {email/phone} once we receive an update regarding your application.

Thank you for your time and interest, and we hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

Sample 3

Subject line: Greetings, from {Company’s Name}

Greetings, {Candidate’s Name},

We are pleased to have received your application for {Job Title}. It must not have been an easy journey, navigating through mazes of code and defeating pesky viruses.

On behalf of {Company’s Name}, we are delegating great resources to process your application the soonest we can. If you are the Chosen One, you will be summoned to speak with us within {timeframe}. If it is not your time yet to wear the crown, you will be notified as well. 

We thank you for your patience, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Best,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

7 Automated Email Tools For Faster Replies

For busy recruiters and hiring managers, it can be time-consuming to manually reply each applicant, day in and day out. Fortunately, that’s where automation comes in.

Regardless if you’re a small mom-and-pop shop or a multinational conglomerate, automated emails can work wonders in streamlining your hiring process through Applicant Tracking Software (ATS).

Here are several tools you can use, depending on the email complexity needed and the volume of applications you typically receive.

1) Gmail/Microsoft Outlook

Price range: Free.

2) Mailchimp

Price range: USD 0/month – USD 299/month.

3) HubSpot

Price range: USD 45/month – USD 3,600/month.

4) Salesforce

Price range: USD 25/month – USD 300/month.

5) Reply.io

Price range: USD 60/month – USD 90/month.

6) Workable

Price range: USD 129/month – USD 559/month.

7) Lever

Price range: Upon request.

Besides this, an email guideline tailored solely to career applicants will come in handy to keep everyone on track. Here, the hiring process and timeline are clearly outlined, from the first “Thank you for applying!” to how to reply to an angry “Why didn’t I get the job?” email.

Why Send An Application Acknowledgement Email?

Maybe an applicant has a medical background and is applying for a position in the cryptocurrency field. Or perhaps their Adobe Lightroom skills are not yet on par with what you’re looking for. Even if they aren’t shortlisted or meet the requirements, acknowledging their efforts won’t hurt. Why?

  1. It shows respect for your candidates: A reply indicates your respect for their time and effort. At the same time, this will help the applicant plan accordingly if they need to continue looking for employment. Plus, they might not be a good fit now, but could be down the road!
  2. Your company gains reputation: Keeping them informed of their application status (reviewing, accepted, rejected) is something many candidates appreciate and will view your company and its hiring process positively.
  3. Everyone is well-informed on the hiring process: Tying back to the experience of it all, being transparent about your hiring process will be useful during onboarding. Once you acknowledge that an applicant is being considered, this gives them better initiative and an opportunity to prepare themselves for the next steps.

A generic “Thank you for applying” email can come across as less warm and friendly, compared to those which are genuinely earnest and appreciative. Emails of the latter types foster healthier relationships between the applicant and recruiter/company, leaving a positive experience all around.

As busy as you are, try not to ignore applicants too. Instead, something that might help would be to insert a disclaimer when advertising your vacancy. It can be as simple as:

“If your experience meets the requirements of our company, we will contact you. If you receive no feedback, it means that currently there are no available vacancies for you.”

Based on this, potential applicants will know what to expect if they don’t hear from you at all!

Sample Application Email For Accepted And Rejected Candidates

Accepted Candidates

Subject line: Your application with {Company’s Name}

Dear {Candidate’s Name},

Thank you for applying for the position of {Job Title} with us at {Company’s Name}. After studying your resume and background, we’re delighted to inform you that we would like to meet you and get to know you better!

We would like to invite you to an interview {at our office/via Skype} so that we can get to know each other better and learn more about the role. The interview will take {timeframe} and will entail {details of the interview}.

Please let us know which of the following dates and times work best for you.

Looking forward to meeting you!

Best Regards,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

Rejected Candidates

Subject line: Your application with {Company’s Name}

Dear {Candidate’s Name},

Thank you for applying for the position of {Job Title} with us at {Company’s Name}. We sincerely thank you for your valuable time and effort.

After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that we will not be moving forward with your application right now. {Optional context why}

Once again, we thank you for your time and we greatly appreciate your application. We wish you all the best in your job search!

Best Regards,

{Recruiter’s Name}
{Signature}

How Application Acknowledgement Emails Affect Company Branding

As much as businesses need talents, abundant opportunities in the job market also mean that candidates get their pick of the litter too. And one thing 95% of job seekers consider is the company’s reputation.

From the details of a job ad to the letter of offer or rejection, every step of the hiring process impacts the employer branding and the overall experience for candidates, who are often the company’s very customers too.

For instance, if a candidate encounters a negative experience with a recruiter during their interview, they would be less likely to recommend their peers to apply. The same goes when their applications are ghosted without even the courtesy of a reply!

Building and maintaining a strong, positive brand presence from start to finish solidifies a business’ image in the eyes of talents and consumers, capable of attracting talented candidates. Plus, when internal employees are happy and part of an impactful experience, they’d be just as open to referring talents.