Once you’ve finished your application or your job interview, you probably feel tempted to wait and see what happens. However, by following up, you can tip the scales in your favour, and land yourself the job you’ve always wanted.
Why is this the case? Well, there are a few reasons. First, it gives you the chance to stand out more among the other potential candidates, while also giving you the opportunity to say any ideas you have, particularly if this is after the interview. Most importantly, it keeps you in touch with your hiring manager, and that’s something that they really appreciate. Truly a good lasting impression. What more could you want?
So how do I follow up?
Let’s start off with a quick definition of what following up actually is. There are two main types: the follow up after you have given in your resume and the one after the interview if you get to that stage. Usually in the form of an email or phone call, a follow-up is a way to check in on your potential employer and leave a summary of why you think you should get this job. It can also double as a thank you and shows that you’re willing to put in the effort to keep in touch.
There are slight differences between the two types, so here’s a guide for each one to clear things up.
Following up after the job application
Here’s how you should write your follow-up, whether it be an email or a phone call:
This should be done about a week after you sent in your job application. Any longer, and chances are, the hiring manager may have already forgotten about you. Also, remember to be sophisticated and use formal language. If you’re writing an email, you’d want to use proper grammar and spelling while following a professional structure. You want them to take you seriously after all. Your email shouldn’t have to be too long either. 150-300 words should be enough.
At times, you may not hear back from your hiring manager. They’re quite busy after all, and your email might’ve gotten lost with all the others. In that case, give it a week or two, and follow back up again, using a similar structure. While you might think you’re ’pestering’, it shows persistence on your part and not to mention your interest. However, if you’ve sent three follow-ups, and you still haven’t heard anything back, it’s probably time for you to call it quits.
Following up after the job interview
Here’s a slightly altered guide for after the interview. I recommend writing up an email, following this structure:
Start with a thank you and your appreciation for their time
If you wanted to say something in the interview, but didn’t get the chance to, this is a good time to write it down
Again, put emphasis on your qualifications and show your interest
Finish with your contact details
The follow-up email after the job interview doesn’t need to be too long. Perhaps slightly longer than the previous one if you want to discuss any ideas left unchecked. It should also be done within twenty-four hours of your job interview. Since your potential employer is going to interview many other candidates, it’s best not to hesitate and get lost in the numbers. Speaking of getting lost, one of the best ways to stand out is personalising your email. Refer to specific pieces of information that you talked about during the interview. You can start by saying, “I’m really interested in your plan to…” and, if you can, tie this back to why you think you’re the best candidate for the job.
If you really want to go all out, consider sending a handwritten thank you note. This serves as a physical reminder of your thought and care, and it also distinguishes you from the other candidates. I recommend doing this if you’ve applied for a company that values creativity.
You may be thinking, This all seems a bit too much though. I don’t want to seem pushy. I can understand that. You can definitely send too many follow-up emails. That’s why, it’s a good idea to ask your interviewer the best times to contact them again, so you’re both on the same page.
While a follow-up may not be the sole reason you get the job, it can certainly influence your chances. If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: don’t underestimate the follow-up. It may very well be your advantage over others.