Following Up

By Kristen Castillo

July 27, 2016 4 min read

You applied for the job, the interview went well, and you really want the gig. So how come they haven't called to offer you the position? There could be lots of reasons you haven't heard yet. Perhaps they're interviewing more candidates or the hiring manager is out of the office. Still, you're eager for the job. How can you politely check in with your potential employer?

"After applying for a job, I always try and find out who is either a) the hiring manager or b) someone in HR that I can speak with instead of just waiting for them to call me back," says Paul Trowe, CEO of Replay Games, a video game developer and publisher, noting job applications typically go into a central place.

*Get Connected

"My secret for finding the right person to speak with at the company I just applied for is to do a search on LinkedIn for the company's profile page," says Trowe, who does all the interviews and hiring for his company.

LinkedIn will tell you whether you're already connected to people who work at the company where you're applying. If you know an employee, contact them. If not, ask one of your connections for an introduction.

"Basically, you want to do whatever you possibly can to make yourself stand out from the crowd and make sure they see your resume before making a decision on somebody before they even got to yours because it was at the bottom of the stack," says Trowe.

*Email Is Essential

If you get an interview, conclude the discussion by asking when they expect to make a hiring decision. Then make sure you follow up right away.

Jennifer Braganza, career coach and speaker recommends sending "a handwritten thank-you note to anyone you interview with as soon as you leave the interview."

Email is OK, says Trowe. And if it's a phone interview, send an email right after you hang up.

"If it's in person, write them an email from your car in the parking lot before you leave," says Trowe, explaining how immediately following up shows your appreciation. "Whenever a candidate has done that with me, I was always impressed with the timing of their follow up."

When sending follow-up notes, be realistic and patient.

"Don't expect a response, but if you don't hear anything a week later, you can email again, briefly reiterating your interest in the company and asking for an update," says Lynda Spiegel, founder of Rising Star Resumes, a job search coach and resume service. "Never call. You may think you're showing gumption, but most employers will read it as intrusive."

Braganza suggests following up again a few days later and then a week later.

"Don't assume that no news is bad news," she says. After three follow-ups with no response, you can check in once a few weeks later and then turn your attention to other things.

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*Follow-Up Guidelines

--Be patient and respectful. Even if you're frustrated, it's never a good idea to be rude to hiring managers.

--Don't annoy them. You want the job, but you don't want to pester your would-be boss. That means don't call or email repeatedly.

--Don't just show up at the office. You may think it looks assertive, but it can look aggressive and even creepy.

--Take the high road. If you don't hear from the employer, you probably didn't get the job. Stay professional anyway. "The worst thing you can do is burn a bridge with someone who might be in a position to hire you down the road," says Trowe.

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