In my past life, when I use to hire employees, on rare occasions, a candidate followed up with me–and I loved it! A strategic follow up effort can ‘ensnare’ a hiring manager, especially if you are qualified. [Reality check: No amount of seduction will help you if you are NOT qualified. Forget the flowers. Forget the chocolate. Don’t send me any T-shirts, please.]
As a believer in professional ‘wooing,’ it amazes me to learn that some of you, job hunters, fail to follow up after an interview. What is the issue? (No. Really.Tell me.) You’ve got nothing to lose.
Now, true, there are ‘those’ job seekers that go way too far and harass the hiring manager. Perhaps because of this you are afraid to follow up and fear netting the label of ‘stalker’ instead of the job? Indeed, becoming a pest and harassing the hiring authority will not only hurt your chances for the current opportunity—it will also abolish any bridge you were planning to strut over toward the next job offer.
Yet, ‘get over it.’ You are not a prowler, right? You just know you are qualified and you desire to gain a better footing after your interview. Therefore, beginning today you will standardize following up after the interview, tactfully that is, as part of your job search etiquette. (I heard that “yes, ma’am.”)
How, you ask? Below I have listed my favorite ways to follow up after an interview.
1. Ask at the end of the interview for a business card and permission to follow up. You will immediately know if a follow up is acceptable. (Trust me. He/she will let you know.)
2. Write a thank-you letter and make sure you email it within 48 hours. The main issue with thank-you letters is the letter is usually written carelessly with no solid strategy. You must use this follow-up opportunity to affirm your candidacy by summarizing what was discussed during the interview and re-connecting your experience and skills with the employer’s need. Connect the dots! You can also use this opportunity to make up for any areas in which your interview performance was weak.
3. Find the hiring authority on LinkedIn and invite them to connect. Please make sure you customize your invitation and remind them of who you are, when you interviewed, and your intentions to connect regardless of whether the job is yours or not.
4. Send follow up recommendation letters, especially if you can solicit one written by someone in the company you are targeting. Do not list references on your resume. References is another great leverage so wait until you speak to your contacts and ask them to write a recommendation for you that will strengthen your candidacy.
5. Leave one (only one) follow up call to see if there is anything else you can offer and mention that you are flexible and willing to interview for future openings. Let your voice exude confidence and ‘breeziness’ – please don’t sound desperate and definitely do not threaten.
6. If you were in the middle of updating your resume, email a new version explaining that it is a revamped version. It happens. Some of my clients have hired me to re-brand their resume and in the middle of our project, someone connected them with an interview opportunity. At this point, following up with a re-branded, targeted, and more professional resume will cement your candidacy.
Feel free to comment below and share your favorite ways to follow up during an interview.
Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Master Resume Writer