Polite professional phrasing for "bump"
December 10, 2015 6:38 AM   Subscribe

I sent an email to someone with questions about a job listing they posted. Their reply said that the position is still open, but they are on the road and would write back next week. I replied "Great – talk to you then!" It is now six days later. I want to say, hey, are you back yet? but without sounding badgering or unprofessional. What's a good way to say this? This person and business is not formal, so formality is not necessary, just politeness and professional-style respect.
posted by ignignokt to Writing & Language (21 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
"Following up" are the magic words here.
posted by The Michael The at 6:40 AM on December 10, 2015 [16 favorites]

Yes, definitely "follow-up" early next week if you don't hear from them.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:46 AM on December 10, 2015

Yep, "following up" is professionalese for "bump." If you phrase it something like "I wanted to follow up on this; are you available sometime next week (or whatever time frame) to talk about the position?" it sounds proactive and not badgery. Six days is a pretty good interval for this.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:48 AM on December 10, 2015 [7 favorites]

"Just wanted to follow up on my earlier email..."
posted by bondcliff at 6:48 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

In internal mails of this kind I often say "hi, have you had a chance to look at (thing) yet? thanks, Crocomancer"
posted by crocomancer at 7:04 AM on December 10, 2015

"Wanted to check back with you"
"Wanted to pick this back up!"
"Wanted to follow up on this"
"Wanted to circle back and see if you're available to chat"
posted by samthemander at 7:04 AM on December 10, 2015

I usually use something like, "I know you're busy, so I just wanted to push this up on your email stack in case it got buried."
posted by blurker at 7:14 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

touch base
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:02 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just checking in, any update on this?
posted by vignettist at 8:17 AM on December 10, 2015

I usually just forward the original email and type "Just following up on this!" but I tend to be business informal.
posted by Automocar at 8:26 AM on December 10, 2015

"hey, just checking on the status of" is my nudge of choice
posted by WesterbergHigh at 8:34 AM on December 10, 2015

I use "ping" as in "Just wanted to ping you on this."
posted by heresiarch at 8:37 AM on December 10, 2015

One thing to consider is phrasing it so it makes like you're fulfilling a pledge you (may or may not have actually) made to follow up. It's a small, perhaps niggling thing, but I think I do it because it makes me feel less like I'm pestering so much as closing the loop that I initiated.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:37 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Things I see commonly in my very professional workplace:
"Following up on this"
"Checking in with you on this"
"Pinging you on this" (mostly used in communications between tech people)
posted by erst at 9:10 AM on December 10, 2015

'Friendly ping' is my phrase of choice here, although as mentioned, I think it's used mostly by tech folks.
posted by Dilligas at 9:22 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Lots of good ideas in here for language. If you emailed them last week (11/30-12/4) and they said they would get back to you "next week", give them all of this week to respond and do not check back in again until at the soonest next Monday 12/14.
posted by amaire at 10:21 AM on December 10, 2015 [7 favorites]

My weapon of choice here is: 'Hey there, just giving this one a nudge up your inbox :-)'. It acknowledges that they're busy and you may not be the topmost thing on their list, but you need an answer.
posted by StephenF at 10:26 AM on December 10, 2015

By the way, you should expect that anything with job postings / replies will be super slow this time of year if you are in the US. Everybody's just thinking about finishing out the year and getting to the holidays. I would send a quick follow-up request this week, then check back on 1/4 with this person.
posted by raw sugar at 11:30 AM on December 10, 2015

Agree you should wait a bit longer to nudge them. Hiring always takes about 2-5X longer than advertised. They aren't likely to forget hiring, or decide to go forward with you solely because you reminded them of your application.
posted by politikitty at 1:43 PM on December 10, 2015

I usually say "sorry to chase you, just wanted to follow up". I like to acknowledge somehow that my request is but one of many and probably just slipped down the pile.
posted by kitten magic at 2:21 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

OK, I did decide to wait until today. And used "Hey, just following up on this. Hope your travels went well!" Part of the hump I was having trouble was saying just that without a specific request, but a specific request would be "please read my questions again" which is super awkward, so it's good to get confirmation from you guys that it's OK to skip that in this kind of communication.

I marked as "Best Answer" the ones that mentioned "follow up," but they were really all pretty good.
posted by ignignokt at 6:23 AM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

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