Does following up with a potential employer really help your chances of getting the job? Absolutely. Whether you’ve applied for a job and have not heard back, or you’ve just had your initial phone or in-person interview, a follow-up note or e-mail is not just a thoughtful gesture—it’s a strategic move that will set you apart from other applicants.
If You Haven’t Heard Back Regarding an Application
If you’re wondering whether or not you should follow up on an application you’ve submitted, take a moment to go back and read the job posting you applied for. Did the employer give a date range for when they would let applicants know about interviews? Do they specifically state that applicants should not contact them in the interim between sending in an application and getting an interview?
If you haven’t heard back from an employer, and they have not stated anything about other contact beyond applications, go ahead and either call or send them a brief e-mail. Be polite, concise, and positive. Simply state that you’d just like to follow up with them and ensure that they’ve received your application. You can then enquire as to whether they would like any other information from you, and you’ll have successfully followed up and kept your application on their radar. No further action is necessary until they call you for an interview.
If You’ve Just Had Your Initial Phone or In-Person Interview
After your first interview, always send a thank-you note or e-mail as soon as possible. This is, by far, one of the most successful ways to secure a second interview and get the job—because most applicants don’t follow up at all. Fewer still will extend the courtesy of sending a thank-you note.
When you express gratitude and appreciation for the time they’ve taken to speak with you and consider you for a position, you show that you’re really interested in getting the job. If fifty people apply for a job, and you’re among the thirty who actually qualify for the position, you might think that your competition is still pretty tough. However, if, among those thirty qualified candidates, only five of you send thank-you notes, you’re suddenly only competing against four other people for the job.
So, always follow up with potential employers. Showing appreciation for someone’s time is always appropriate, and it will set you head and shoulders above the competition.