Follow-up

Research shows that only 3 of 10 applicants follow-up appropriately. Whether you are following up after having an interview, submitting employment documents, or meeting a new contact, use the following steps:

Steps to Follow-up

Immediately after any meeting make some notes about what occurred. Follow-up as soon as possible with a thank you (email, telephone, handwritten note, or typed letter). Any written messages should contain no grammar, spelling, or format errors. Keep your communication brief and professional. Make sure to obtain business cards so spelling/titles are accurate. The following are suggestions for effective follow-up by type of encounter:

Interviewing

Consider the following questions:

  • Who did you meet?
  • Why can you do the job?
  • What does the job entail?
  • What went poorly? Why? Did you neglect to discuss key qualifications/skills?
  • What is the next step in the selection process?
  • What skills/experience was the interviewer visibly impressed by?

Networking

  • Remind the contact how and when you met.
  • Emphasize any key skills you can contribute to the workplace.
  • Use success statements to SHOW not TELL the employer you are a great match for the position (see Building Effective Success Statements/Bullet Points).
  • Ask for a meeting and/or a referral to another potential contact.

Employment Documents

Successful job applicants follow-up their cover letters/resumes and online applications within a week. When asking for a meeting in your cover letter, which is recommended, you should include a follow-up time frame. You MUST contact the employer if you say you will; otherwise, you show a lack of follow-through and enthusiasm for the position.

  • Experts advise making three to five attempts to reach the employer.
  • Add the employer to your network/contact list, even if you are not selected for an interview.
  • Ask for tips on improving your cover letter/resume and interviewing skills.

For assistance in writing effective, customized follow-up messages and other employment documents, see your Career Coach.