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how to: following up after the job application or interview
jessica howes, talent sourcer
Following up after submitting a job application or completing an interview is an essential step in the job search process. Recruiters are often wowed by how many interviewees let this critical opportunity pass them by. A personal yet professional follow-up demonstrates initiative, enthusiasm, and persistence, which may, in the end, be what sets you apart from the competition.
After applying or finishing a job interview, many people feel like the ball is now in the interviewer’s court. They don’t want to seem like a pest, so they let days and weeks go by without ever touching base with the person that interviewed them. Instead of coming off as cool or casual, these interviewees seem aloof or disinterested. It’s incredibly important to seize the moment and send a brief thank-you note or email inquiring about the next steps.
You’re not risking anything; you only stand to gain experience, professional contacts, and (hopefully) employment. Read on for our how-to guide on following up after a job application or interview.
The Auto-Response Email: How to Reply
Often, when you submit an application online, you will receive an automatically generated email that says something along the lines of, “thank you for applying!” Be warned; this is not a personal email, so don’t bother replying to it. If you do, a human will likely never see your response.
Instead, be proactive and find a recruiter at the company you applied to on LinkedIn. Send a brief but friendly private message following up on your application and inquire about any next steps or additional information you can provide. You’ve now opened the door to direct communication with a hiring professional.
Also, while you’re on LinkedIn, you may as well connect with other HR representatives at companies that interest you. It’s not required, but sending them a short hello may inspire some connections and even get you an in-person interview! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
At The End of the Interview: Ask About Next Steps
At the end of your interview, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask what kind of next steps you can expect, or what the timeline looks like regarding the hiring process. This will give you great insight into when or if you will hear back from the company and whether they might request additional information from you. Also, inquiring about the next steps at the end of the interview will help you prepare for whatever comes next and shows interviewers that you are determined and forward-thinking.
Following Up After the Interview
There are many ways to follow-up after an interview. Below, we’ve outlined a few best practices. Following this step-by-step course is the tried-and-true method for securing a second interview.
Email a Thank-You Note
With modern technology, it takes hardly more than a few seconds to type out a brief thank-you note. Email is an excellent professional tool to use when following-up. Don’t worry about making an effort to send your thank-you via snail mail. By the time it gets to the recruiter, he or she could have already forgotten who you are, or the position could have been filled.
Instead, use email to send a personal yet professional “thank you” letting the interviewer know that you appreciated his or her time and are excited to hear back from the company. You can also say something along the lines of, “if I can provide any additional information to support you in your decision-making process, please let me know.” This opens the door to further communication, hopefully inching you closer to closing on that job offer.
Make a Follow-up Call
After a few days have passed, it’s now time to make a follow-up call. Try to plan your call during the less-busy business hours, so you have a better chance of catching someone on the phone. It’s also highly recommended to plan out a short script to follow during your call, or in case you need to leave a voicemail. You’ll sound more put-together and will lower your chances of leaving out important information.
If you do happen to leave a voicemail, send another email to your main point of contact at the company. Mention that you called to check on your application status and briefly wish them well. This kind of persistence isn’t annoying; it’s strategic. Recruiters and HR reps know the difference.
If You Didn’t Get the Position
So maybe you don’t get the position. What can you do now? It’s always good to let the interviewer know that you appreciate their time and consideration. It’s also a great idea to ask them to keep you in mind for other roles down the road. You never know what might happen. Keep in touch with a quarterly email or let them know when you do land a job. Right now, all you’re doing is building valuable social capital in your industry, and networking is a skill that any recruiter can appreciate.
Hopefully, these tips will help you increase the odds of landing your dream job. If you’re currently seeking a job or have more questions, please contact us to get in touch with a recruiter today. You can also visit our career page to see all the current opportunities we have available.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JESSICA HOWES + TALENT SOURCER
Jessica Howes is a Talent Sourcer with over two years of recruiting experience. She is responsible for interviewing and placing candidates for Lutz Talent clients. Howes focuses on recruiting for the accounting, finance, office administrative and human resource industries.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Candidate Experience
- Relationship Management
- BA in Hospitality Management, Minor in Leadership Communication, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
- Pi Beta Phi Alumni Advisor
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