There’s always talk about following up after life’s most important meetings–holidays, gift exchanges, family visits–and it’s usually a pretty simple task. But when it comes to job interviews, there seems to be a fine line between the right way to follow up and the wrong way.
And as it turns out that, unlike a simple thank you note where the message is straightforward, there are many ways to do go about writing your job interview follow-up depending on the circumstances surrounding it. Here are a few of those right ways to follow up a job interview, as well as some of the things students should avoid.
Personalize it Your follow-up letter should be more than just a “thank you” email. In fact, many believe it shouldn’t be an email at all. I personally once talked to a hiring manager who had recently hired a student for an internship simply because his handwritten thank-you letter set him apart from other applicants. While it might not always be your style to send in a handwritten note, remember that the more personal your follow up–the more you reference your interview or show how your aspirations/morals align with the company–the better.
Request a rough timeline Following up doesn’t have to come in letter form the first time. When your job interview is finishing up, it can be a good idea to use the time at the end of it to ask for a timeline for when you might hear back. Doing this is a way to show excitement for a position, but also allows you to get something out it, too, as it opens the door up for a lengthier follow up.
Abide by the three-strike rule No matter who you are or how strong your resume is, job searching is a humbling experience. If you follow up three times and don’t hear back, call it a day and move on. As important as it is to follow up to show your interest, don’t let the stress of wanting to hear back interfere with your other responsibilities like your studies, your personal interests, or even other job opportunities,
All-out avoid following up It’s easy to psych yourself out when it comes to following up. Many think it can make you look needy, or that it’s unnecessary, or that it even annoys employers. On the contrary, though, following up shows your commitment and is sometimes even looked for by employers who purposefully wait to hear back from you before they reach back out.
Go there There isn’t much that constitutes going too far in following up, but showing up at the business after your interview usually is a unnecessary step unless you’re invited. Doing this can put unwanted pressure on hiring managers as well as make for an awkward conversation.