Proper follow up is an integral piece of your job search, and how you execute can make or break your chances at snagging an interview, or even an offer. And while we live in the digital age where immediate information at our fingertips is the norm, it’s not quite the way the hiring process works. As such, your efforts in following up after an interview, and even submitting your resume, require a delicate balance of assertiveness and respect for your contact’s time.
An application, an invitation to interview, and even an offer letter can get held up in the HR system for any number of reasons, and it’s important to remember that when you find yourself still waiting for an “immediate response” on day three (or four, or sometimes 14).
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when following up with your contacts:
1. Follow up after an interview within 24 hours, ideally within the same day if it was an early meeting and you have enough time to respond before the close of business.
2. Ask for the opportunity to interview; don’t demand it. “I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications and the needs of the position in more depth,” sounds more tactful than “Please call me at your earliest convenience to setup and interview.”
3. If the application or job posting says “Please, no phone calls”, then respect the recruiter’s time and space by not calling them. HR folks are busy, and preferable application instructions such as this are denoted for a reason.
4. If after an interview the recruiter or hiring manager informs you that they will be in touch with you regarding next steps, give them 2-3 days to do so before feverishly following back up (even if they tell you “tomorrow”). This does not apply to your thank you note, which you should send within 24 hours. But as mentioned, the process can get held up for any number of reasons – it does not mean you are out of the running.
5. If a hiring manager doesn’t respond to your first attempt to reach out, it’s okay to follow up a second time several days to a week later. Do not allude to the fact that they did not answer you the first time, but instead use it as an opportunity to reaffirm your interest in the position and the company, and bring the conversation back around to why you’re a good fit for the role.
6. Ask for feedback when appropriate. If you weren’t extended an offer to proceed to the next round, and the hiring manager made it a point to let you know this, ask them if any additional feedback was provided.
7. Be respectful when following up on a resume submission. Recruiters receive sometimes 100s of submissions for each job positing, and simply don’t have the capacity to respond to each candidate individually. If they’re interested, they will get back to you. But if you do follow up, be professional, concise, and tactful, remind them which position you applied to, and reinforce your interest in the role and why you’re a good fit.
8. Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. Never respond to a rejection letter in a negative manner. In today’s market, reputation is everything, as people move around from company to company. And while hiring managers won’t always remember the candidates they come in contact with, they most certainly will remember the ones who rub them the wrong way.
Communication and reputation are just as much a part of your personal brand as your resume, your social media presence, and your LinkedIn. Each of these things defines your value and integrity as a job seeker, so bring your best game, but also be willing to play by the rules (most of the time).
Need help crafting an impactful follow up? Check out these 13 Customizable Email Marketing Scripts for reaching out, following up, and submitting your resume. They’re designed to save you time, and help you get the most return from your outreach efforts!