Your job search follow-up stinks! Here’s how to fix it

Your job search follow up stinks. Here's how to fix it


Your job search follow up stinks. Here's how to fix it

Your job search follow up stinks. Here’s how to fix it

In my experience, job-search follow-up is deplorable! It’s the weakest part of the job-search process. Follow-up at the minimum means sending thank you notes, but most people don’t even do that!

Job seekers: Thank you notes and follow-up communications are not optional, they are required.

Great follow-up can put you ahead of other candidates because:

  • It shows persistence.
  • It allows you to expand, reinforce or clarify something discussed in an interview.
  • Good manners are always valued.
  • It prevents companies from forgetting about you.
  • It reinforces that you want the job.

Not following up is risky because some hiring managers will dismiss an applicant who does not send a post-interview thank you note, saying it indicates poor follow-through and a lack of interest in the position. Also, other candidates will follow up, so you could lose the opportunity to compete for the job.

Here’s how to do world-class follow-up:

  • Send a note within 24 hours while it’s still fresh in your mind — and while you are fresh in the interviewer or hiring manager’s mind.
  • Address a note to each individual person you met.
  • Spell everyone’s name correctly, including the company’s.
  • Start by thanking them for the opportunity to meet, and acknowledge that they took time out of their day to do so.
  • Next, note why you think you’d be a good fit for the role. No more than three reasons. Bullet points are optimal as well. This is an opportunity to elaborate on why you are a great fit, in writing, beyond your initial cover letter and interview.
  • In your close, hit these three points: Express your interest, commit to following up with them again within a specified timeframe, and thank them, again, for their time and consideration.

Here’s what you do after the thank you note:

  • In your next communication, begin with a pleasantry, followed by a sentence explaining where you left off during your last exchange. For example, “You had indicated to me that you’d be making your final decision during the week of <date >, and I just wanted to follow up to see where you are in that decision.”
  • Include something of value in your follow-up instead of being perceived as nagging. Perhaps you just completed some training, closed a big deal, or finished a major project. Highlight those things. If you are volunteering or taking outside courses while unemployed, talk about it.
  • Close with the next follow-up you will initiate. Don’t ask them to call you back. Instead, let them know that, “I’ll follow up again within a few days, but in case you need to reach me, here is the best contact number: XXX-XXX-XXXX.”


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