A week after the submission of my CV for an academic position, a person from the HR department answered me:

"Thank you very much for your application and your interest […] We are currently screening all incoming applications and will get back to you as soon as possible."

The position will be open for more than one candidate, and the application deadline is it within one month. Based on your experience, does this answer actually means that I'll have to wait and hope, or does it mean that they are considering other candidates first?

  • 5
    The email only indicates that you submitted an application. There is no other meaning. Jul 19, 2019 at 2:13
  • The fact that I submitted it is self-evident from the fact that I sent an explicit e-mail in the first place. From other people's experience (mine included), in some cases it might happen that the receiver never provides feedback/replies. But, in that case, it doesn't necessairly mean that they haven't received it.
    – jackb
    Jul 19, 2019 at 2:35
  • 3
    The fact that you submitted it is self-evident to you, but the fact that they received it is not. I would suggest that @AnonymousPhysicist is nearly right, and the only meaning to this message is that HR have received your application ;-)
    – Flyto
    Jul 19, 2019 at 19:07
  • I'm just a novice, and in some cases online I found conflicting opinions. I was seeking a (somehow) more authoritative opinions rather than some random website's nonesense :)
    – jackb
    Jul 19, 2019 at 19:17
  • 2
    @AnonymousPhysicist heh, true! But The distinction I made is a meaningful one, because emails can get lost in spam traps, and emails with attachments such as CVs are more prone to going missing than those without. Having an acknowledgement, automated or otherwise, is helpful
    – Flyto
    Jul 20, 2019 at 2:23

3 Answers 3


You have to wait for the closure date to be reached.

Others have the right to apply until that time, just because you applied early won’t give you an early result.

Once it has been closed then you will receive a reply, but that delay is not certain either - might be a week or two... or longer, you have to be patient.

If you have not received a reply after 2 weeks you might consider politely asking for an update.


They’re probably going over several candidates, I would wait and see. I’d imagine you received a template response to your application.

  • I sent this application via e-mail (generic HR email) and then I got the reply from a different address (person name and surname), so I sense it was a human reply. For other applications, I filled an online form, that provided me an immediate automated reply.
    – jackb
    Jul 19, 2019 at 1:31
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    Template does not necessarily mean non-human. I mean that you got the same email as a bunch of others
    – Spark
    Jul 19, 2019 at 5:02

This email means that HR have received your application. It is purely an acknowledgement, and you should not read anything else into it.

(You should, however, be pleased to get this acknowledgement, as many institutions don't respond at all unless somebody passes the first round)

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